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Resource Guide: Why Should You Participate in Your Cancer Care?

What Is an Empowered Patient? 

An empowered patient is someone who feels confident in discussing choices that impact their health and comfortable making decisions WITH their healthcare team. 


What Are the Benefits of Being an Empowered Patient? 

Empowerment works best in an environment that is inclusive, recognizes community and cultural differences, and encourages participation. Research also shows that people who take an active role in their health feel in control and participate more in their care. 


Did you know that empowerment is a skill that can be learned and improved upon over time?

Patient empowerment isn’t only important when you have been diagnosed with a serious condition. Beyond your cancer care, you can also be proactive in your overall health by scheduling recommended check-ups and preventative tests, like a mammogram or colonoscopy. 

How Can You Be Empowered in Your Care? 

  • Develop a good relationship with your healthcare team. 
  • Connect with someone who has gone through a similar cancer experience. 
  • Educate yourself about your condition by finding credible and easy-to-understand resources in a format and language you are comfortable with. 
  • Understand how your care or treatment options may impact your lifestyle and overall health. 
  • Don’t be nervous to speak up and to share what is important to you. 

 Adopt your own communication style like sending your concerns in writing through your patient portal or making a list ahead of an appointment. 

What Is the Goal of the “Becoming Empowered” Program? 

A collaboration between the Patient Empowerment Network (PEN) and Empowered Health, the goal of the series is to help people with cancer and their caregivers feel empowered, informed, and confident as they navigate care with their healthcare team. 

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The program was created through a collaboration between Patient Empowerment Network and Empowered Health, a partnership between the CDC Foundation and Amgen Oncology, with technical support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ©2022