WECAN Evidence-Based Advocacy Workshop

February 18, 2024

From 17-19 January, Lāsma Nikolaisone, a patient advocate from “Onkoalianse”, a member organisation of Digestive Cancers Europe in Latvia, had the unique opportunity to participate in the two-day WECAN Evidence-Based Advocacy workshop. It was an empowering and enlightening event.

The workshop brought together more than 40 advocates and skilled trainers from the patient community, EORTC – European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, CML Advocates Network, Myeloma Patients Europe (MPE), and KU Leuven. The workshop provided a valuable platform to explore the intricacies of gathering evidence on the unmet needs of cancer patients and how to use this evidence in advocacy to improve patient outcomes.

The workshop aimed to achieve several objectives. First, it sought to identify and define the unmet needs of cancer patients at different stages of the cancer pathway through a collaborative brainstorming session. Participants then had the opportunity to delve into creating an end-to-end research project plan, the development of a cancer survey methodology, and the design of a survey through highly engaging presentations and practical exercises. The workshop concluded with the creation and presentation of a research poster. The collaboration was centred around a common project, the CANCERSurvey.

The WECAN Evidence-Based Advocacy workshop not only equipped participants with practical skills and knowledge but also fostered a sense of unity and collaboration within the broader community. Having trainees and patient experts among the participants made this workshop particularly special and valuable, enriching discussions and communication with meaningful comments and advice from actual experiences. It was an excellent opportunity to gain new tools and insights for promoting cancer patient advocacy in Europe and beyond.

Marianna Vitaloni

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