What do patient advocates and patient advocate groups do?

Patient advocates are people with personal experience of a condition, who:

  • campaign for access to the best available diagnosis, treatment and care
  • work to make good quality information available to the public, patients and their families
  • press for ongoing research into the causes and treatment of the condition

Advocacy has been defined as ‘The act of pleading or arguing in favour of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy’. A quote on breast cancer advocacy:

‘Every woman has a voice. Every woman’s voice tells a highly personal story, which, when blended with the voices of a thousand other women, becomes a rising wave of similar hopes and dreams, fears and concerns. In the field of breast cancer, this rising tide of women’s voices speaking out as sufferers, supporters and campaigners is a powerful force for progress in combating the disease, and it was to give a platform to those voices and harness the power that EUROPA DONNA was launched’. Cancer Futures Vol 1 (2-3), March 2002