Patient Partnership Strategy Provides a Clear Line of Sight to Patient Needs

Your support is allowing us to go further for head and neck cancer patients.

When it comes to understanding the effects of cancer, nobody knows better than patients and their families. Their perspective on diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and quality of life can provide a wealth of insights into potential new research and investment priorities. Yet, a patient’s cancer journey experience often remains untold.

That’s why the Alberta Cancer Foundation has committed to a bold new Patient Partnership Strategy that is bringing together patients, family members, clinicians and researchers to share their expertise and talk about what’s most important for the future of cancer care. The first project involved collaborating with the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM) and challenged a team of 12 patients and clinicians to consult with 200 head and neck cancer (HNC) stakeholders across Alberta – even reaching out to patients diagnosed more than 25 years ago. We were delighted to receive more than 800 great ideas and the team managed to reach consensus on the top ten head and neck priorities. This knowledge helps inform us where we should be investing—in areas that matter most to patients.

Patient-centred research is very important because as a patient you’re the only one that has seen it all. You were there for the diagnosis, you were there the treatment, and for the initial follow-up treatment. And so the patient is the only one that really has the complete experience of what it’s like.

Roxana Anderson, Patient Advisor

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