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Being a Health Care Advocate

Health care advocates support mostly by their presence. As a health care advocate you will be at doctor appointments to ask questions on behalf of your loved one because he or she cannot may not be able to ask them. As a health care supporter you provide critical information that doctors rely on to make the best medical decision for the patient.

As a health care advocate it is important to acknowledge and assert yourself as part of the health care team, include your family members in as much of the decision making as much as possible, and write down everything.

Becoming a health care advocate for your loved one takes time, but these tips can help you feel more confident and organized while working with your loved one’s health care team. It is always good to reach out to other caregivers for advice through support groups or LUNGevity's online forum, the Lung Cancer Support Community.

Everyone has different decision making styles, and as a health care advocate, it's helpful to determine your personal decision-making style for making medical and treatment decisions. Your style may change as you proceed through diagnosis and treatment. For example:

  • I prefer to make the final selection of my treatments after considering my doctor's opinion
  • I prefer my doctor make the final decision about which treatments will be used after considering my decision
  • I prefer to make the final decision on which treatment I should use
  • I prefer to leave all decisions regarding my treatment(s) to my doctor