How Does Someone Become a Breast Cancer Advocate?

How Do I Become a Breast Cancer Advocate?

breast cancer advocateCancer is by far one of the most reported diseases by women, especially breast cancer. Often times the moment that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her life changes forever. 

Breast cancer survivors find that they have a greater purpose in life. Many of these women end up becoming breast cancer advocates.

Breast cancer advocates make a big difference in the breast cancer community. Their efforts affect research and decisions pertaining to breast cancer. They raise funds and lobby for better care, more knowledge and patient empowerment.

Find out from Europa Donna’s Sema Erdem how she became a breast cancer advocate and how you can too.

This video has been brought to you by: Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation


Sema Erdem:  For breast cancer advocacy, I would refer to my personal story.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and the time I heard that because I never suffered from any disease even flu up to the age of 45 and I was not under any risk factor till that year.  So, I could not believe and I found myself in MD Anderson. 

There, I had the best support from the American friends in a very logical professional way so that I decided that I should do this as I give back when I go back to my own country and the way back I just joined Europa Donna Turkey as a patient advocate.  I had my basic initial training in the advocacy training workshop that I have already mentioned on the former questions of yours that is held annually in Neyland for the junior advocates coming from the member countries, so that was the initial training, but then I think I had my personal activities undertaken in a very professional way with my personal goal to reach as I give back responsibility to other woman around myself in family, in my office, wherever I could reach. 

So, coming back to the possibilities to improve your patient advocacy work, I think Alamo invitation that I was invited.  Coming back to the patient advocacy training, I think joining other foundations like Alamo and the cancer coalitions at a global level, has a lot to do to support your advocacy work, because it’s a global issue that woman are facing and we have to reach certain goals in a very speedy way with certain tangible outcomes of any research or clinical trial undertaken, so as patient advocates we can participate in the clinical trials in breast cancer or cancer research.  That’s one of the efficient ways and the other thing is early diagnosis for active and preventive management of breast cancer like healthy diet, healthy living, and exercise. 

These are the basics evidences of proactive management and we know that it’s 30% decreasing the probability of being diagnosed with breast cancer, if we do regular exercise.  So, why not to promote this at a global level working with industry, etc. and there are other major goals that we have to achieve as patient advocates like supporting the integration of data, patient registries to be able to achieve the best outcome of the clinical trials with the integration of information technology into clinical trials that are already going on and as patient advocates, we have to collaborate with medial group as much as possible to speed up the process in breast cancer clinical trials.