Is Your Cancer Different? Yes.

Remember when I talked about how every single cancer is different, just like every person who gets it is different?

Well, there’s a group that actually really, really, really knows that and wants to help you get the most personalized and individualized treatment you can. How? By simply speaking up and asking your doctor: “Is My Cancer Different?

If s/he’s a good doctor, the answer should be a resounding “YES”. I’ll never forget how my mom used to tell me, “SUNNY! Write down everything that bothers you when you go to the doctor and don’t leave anything out!”. Naturally, I’d be way too embarrassed because she simply forgot that I wasn’t “old enough” to shake off the embarrassment that surrounds the various aches and pains you get in the most unfortunate places…and if the doctor was a male, you better believe I’d be leaving some stuff out!

Ah, youth (and good health!) – wasted on the young. Clearly, I’m older now and while I still mutter under my breath the most humiliating symptoms, I tell my doctor everything and make lists and diaries of my ailments.  And why shouldn’t I? It’s *my* health and *my* life – if I don’t speak up, then no one will. As much as I wish the doctor could just look at me and read my mind (or perform a mental CAT scan), that’s just not possible. After seeing what happened to my mom, I’m definitely more vigilant than ever about talking to my doctor.

Thankfully, there’s a group that feels the same exact way as my mom! encourages cancer patients to simply ask their doctors that question, in an effort to have their tumors tested on the molecular level (for a helpful glossary of treatment terms, check out this glossary). Why? Because there are specific qualities to *your* tumor that make them unique to you – and because of that, your treatment should be unique, as well.  Don’t you agree?

For more information on the Is My Cancer Different? movement, check out:

A good FAQs PDF
Some additional helpful websites
The Is My Cancer Different? Facebook page

The bottom line? You are an individual, so your treatment should be individualized. You deserve that. Speak up or bring this flyer with you to your next appointment.

PS – If you’re not going through cancer treatment, share this with someone who is – you may save their life!