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Patient empowerment
Pink ribbon blues : how breast cancer culture undermines women's health
Gayle A. Sulik.
New York : Oxford University Press, 2011.
Pink ribbon paraphernalia saturate shopping malls, billboards, magazines, television, and other venues, all in the name of breast cancer awareness. In this compelling and provocative work, Gayle Sulik shows that though this "pink ribbon culture" has brought breast cancer advocacy much attention, it has not had the desired effect of improving women's health. It may, in fact, have done the opposite. Based on eight years of research, analysis of advertisements and breast cancer awareness campaigns, and hundreds of interviews with those affected by the disease,Pink Ribbon Blueshighlights the hidden costs of the pink ribbon as an industry, one in which breast cancer has become merely a brand name with a pink logo. Indeed, while survivors and supporters walk, run, and purchase ribbons for a cure, cancer rates rise, the cancer industry thrives, corporations claim responsible citizenship while profiting from the disease, and breast cancer is stigmatized anew for those who reject the pink ribbon model. But Sulik also outlines alternative organizations that make a real difference, highlights what they do differently, and presents a new agenda for the future.
     
The everyday advocate : standing up for your child with autism
Areva Martin.
New York : New American Library, c2010.
A nationally recognized expert on autism advocacy and parent of an autistic child lays out vital and relevant step-by-step instructions to parents facing the seemingly impossible odds of advocating for a child with autism.
     
The power of two : surviving serious illness with an attitude & an advocate
by Brian & Gerri Monaghan.
New York : Workman Pub., 2009.
A Road Map for the Journey Ahead
     
Navigating the healthcare maze : what you need to know
by Jeff Knott.
Sanford, Fla. : DC Press, c2009.
  1. Includes bibliographical reference (p. 319-327) and index.
  2. State of affairs -- Medical challenges -- Be aware and prepared -- Survival tips -- Discharged and going home -- Annual physical and surprises -- Sharing responsibilities -- The doctor-patient relationship -- Respectful interpersonal communications -- Observation skills, survival skills -- Trust building -- Epilogue: after thoughts -- Appendix A: online sources -- Appendix B: healthcare trivia and facts -- Sources & recommended reading -- For additional information.
     

Patient empowerment is you, the patient, taking an active role in managing your own health care. No one knows your body better than you. It's up to you to make decisions about getting the best treatment. Build your own healthcare team of providers, support groups, and other patients that will support you in the decisions you make for treatment.

Doctors are often busy, so make the most of the time with them by being efficient. The most important thing to bring to the doctor's office is your complete health profile. Keep a health journal and record your family's medical history, all past and current illnesses, dates of immunizations and any medications you are taking.

Communication is a key factor when working with a doctor for your care. Communication should not only be open between you and your primary doctor, but also with you and any specialists and that specialist with your primary doctor. Build a relationship so there's teamwork for your well-being. Be specific when you make an appointment. Let the office staff know for what and why you want to see the doctor.

A patient advocate acts as a liaison between patients and Health Care Providers to help improve or maintain a high quality of health care for the patients. The patient advocate may be an individual or an organization.

Patient advocacy

Ask if you don't understand exactly what the doctor is saying, so when you leave the doctor's office you have a clear understanding of your situation.

Become an educated patient. You can learn from those who have been through the same medical conditions before you. Don't assume no news is good news. If the doctor orders any tests, ask when the results are due back and keep him to his word. When you get the diagnosis from the doctor you'll want to gather all the information and decide what steps to be taken.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff