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The need for coordinated care

In this video, Justin, a cancer survivor shares his experience of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

As mentioned in the opening section of the course, each week, you will be encouraged to watch and listen to real patient stories. These patients have been asked to contribute to this course to help you consider and reflect on how various aspects of cancer survivorship care impact on patients. There is no doubt that patients are central to survivorship care and it is essential to hear the patient’s voice throughout the topics we cover. We hope it brings everything you learn back to what is most important.

As you will have seen after watching the video above, Justin is a 40-year-old fit and successful businessman in the prime of his corporate career. Justin’s life changed significantly following his diagnosis of colorectal cancer in 2013, and his journey wasn’t a positive one:

“The best way to describe cancer is an analogy of bankruptcy. Imagine if you worked all of your life, was not extravagant, saved your money, and on the eve of retirement, there is a knock at the door telling you that you have lost all of your savings. You are bankrupt and they are not sure why. That’s cancer. No dialogue. No preparation. No forewarning; just a decision from someone, somewhere that you are up. A hugely disempowering experience. That’s what kept coming back to me as I was told I had cancer and in the days that followed, I have been robbed.” (McLean, n.d.).

Justin’s story is paramount for all of us in the roles of caring for those diagnosed, treated and living with cancer. Communicating with those affected, listening to their stories, empathising with what they are going through and helping the patient to feel at ease so they can gain trust and confidence in the healthcare system. Nobody wants to feel like a number when going through such a life-changing experience.

Text reference: McLean, J. (n.d.) Justin’s Story. Retrieved from:’s story

Reflecting on Justin’s story, how do you think his experience could have been improved? If you were Justin’s General Practitioner, what would you have done differently?

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Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care Practitioners

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