My Cancer Navigator, because cancer concerns us all
BRUSSELS - Last year 264 cancer patients or their relatives reached out to My Cancer Navigator, our personal information service for people with cancer. This is an increase of 7 percent, in comparison to 2020. Most questions were about treatment options. Striking is that 12 of the 264 patients were children.
Each year more cancer patients and their relatives find their way to My Cancer Navigator. This success gives us mixed feelings: of course we are happy to help more people, but unfortunately this means the demand for valuable information about cancer treatments is high.
People who have received a cancer diagnosis or are facing an important decision in their treatment, often are full of questions and are confronted to the fact that it’s not easy to find clear answers. My Cancer Navigator listens to their story and gives the answers they are looking for.
In 2021, we provided information to 264 cancer patients. 17% of them were already in contact with us before 2021 and 21% reached out more than once during the year with questions.
It’s important to mention that it’s not always the patient who got in touch, this is only the case for 1 in 2 contacts, otherwise also parents, the partner, a child, a friend or a medical professional was the intermediary.
Most questions were about treatment options in general (139), but also more specific treatment inquiries have been asked (101). A short overview of the main questions:
What are my options for treatment?
Which therapies are under development?
Am I eligible for a clinical trial?
Another striking figure is the number of children: out of the 264 cancer patients in 2021, 12 were children, often with brain cancer. When it comes to adults, we assisted mainly women with breast cancer (23).
A global issue
43% of the information we gathered was for Belgian patients, 33% for other European countries and 22% for elsewhere in the world. 2% remains unknown. These percentages reveal that My Cancer Navigator is truly an international service, as is the Anticancer Fund. It also emphasises the need for clear information about cancer and cancer therapies around the world.
Health literacy is a global issue. We try to contribute to this not only by giving information to patients, but also with policy engagement, as we strive for more patient empowerment in Europe, through the European Cancer Organisation.
We believe patients should be duly informed about their treatment options, so they can make well-considered decisions together with their doctor, family and loved ones.
A testimonial of Joanna and her sister Laura
Quote Joanna (on the right in the picture above): “Since I was diagnosed with lung cancer, I rely on three persons: my oncologist, my sister and My Cancer Navigator. They all play an important role and do what they have to do to make me better. The only thing that remains for me, is to follow my treatment and to stay positive.”
Quote Laura (on the left in the picture above): “My Cancer Navigator gives objective information about cancer therapies. The organisation is completely neutral, as there’s no conflict of interest. They just focus on the best treatment options.”
More information on My Cancer Navigator
My Cancer Navigator is a free service of the Anticancer Fund, a non-profit organisation and a Foundation of Public Utility under Belgian law, that not only supports people with cancer, but also finances and coordinates clinical research into promising cancer treatments. My Cancer Navigator is made possible through donations to the Anticancer Fund.
Download the brochure of My Cancer Navigator: