As a cancer patient with a likelihood of recurrence of my disease, I need the hope that comes from the rapid introduction of innovative, personalized treatments. I believe that our healthcare system isn’t adopting new treatments fast enough. We need faster, disruptive innovation, and I see the glacial, incremental improvements that will come from the incumbents in the healthcare industry (hospitals, payers, pharmaceutical companies) as insufficient.
Instead, we need to rely on the kind of disruption that has reshaped other industries, such as that spurred by AirBnB and Uber, where engaged consumers and startups have driven major change. I hope that I can help accelerate the engagement and empowerment of patients to network with each other and partner actively with their healthcare professionals—shifting from being passengers to responsible drivers of their own health.
My Advice: Engage in Your Treatment
If you get a cancer diagnosis you need to actively engage in your treatment, or else bad things can happen. Putting all your trust in the medical system—or avoiding the medical system—might have worked for you in the past, but it can be fatal with cancer.
For the full article on Cancer Commons Patient Stories, please see “How to Advocate for Yourself: Advice from an Empowered Lymphoma Patient“.