Patient Resource Cancer Guide: Where Information Equals Hope

Editor's Note: This is part of a series of Patient Advocate Guest Columns and Podcasts, launched as a forum for patient advocates to address a topic, issue, or trend within the cancer community through Cancer.Net, the patient information website of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Listen to the Special Cancer.Net Podcast: Patient Resource Publishing, with Linette Atwood, adapted from this column.

Patient Resource Cancer Guide: Where Information Equals Hope

A Patient Advocate Guest Column by Linette Atwood, Co-Founder and CEO/Publisher, Patient Resource Publishing (

Cancer has played a dominant role in my life since the early 1990s, as many of my family members faced cancer. My father died of stomach cancer at age 62. My husband, Wayne, died of leukemia at 50 and my sister, Bev, died of breast cancer at 49. Two months after my sister's death, I learned I had breast cancer. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, along with me. Over the years, I dreamed of creating a helpful resource guide for people newly diagnosed with the disease -- something that my family never had.

That dream blossomed into reality in 2006, when I co-founded Patient Resource Publishing and used my extensive background in medical publishing to create the Patient Resource Cancer Guide. Our mission for the Patient Resource Cancer Guide is to educate and empower people with cancer by giving them the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to treatment and facilities for their disease. We strive to help people take control of their cancer, and we encourage people to become an advocate for their health.

At Patient Resource Publishing, I am joined by a distinguished group of medical writers, a Medical Advisory Board and a Patient Advisory Board. Our Editor-in-Chief, Charles M. Balch, MD, FACS, is the former CEO of ASCO. Several past ASCO Presidents serve on our Medical Advisory Board as well. Diane Blum, MSW, Editor-in-Chief of ASCO's Cancer.Net website, joins our extensive Patient Advisory Board. Collectively, our goal is to make Patient Resource Cancer Guide an invaluable tool to help people throughout their entire cancer experience.

The Patient Resource Cancer Guide is divided into sections to help people find the information they want quickly and easily:

Cancer Journeys includes several inspiring stories from cancer patients and survivors. Stories are also included throughout the entire Guide.

Cancer Treatment provides comprehensive educational information about cancer basics, types of treatment, finding a medical team, seeking a second opinion, genetic testing, metastatic disease, targeted treatments, and the importance of cancer clinical trials.

Supportive Care includes information on side effects of treatment, how to cope with them, as well as information on nutrition and exercise.

Types of Cancer includes detailed information about various types of cancer and how they are typically treated.

Patient Resources lists more than 2,000 credible websites where people can find more information, financial assistance, psychosocial support, and more.

Cancer Treatment Facilities contains an extensive listing of over 1,400 cancer facilities throughout the United States and offers advice on how people find which one is right for them.

Throughout each section there are articles, medical illustrations, and other helpful information from ASCO's Cancer.Net website. We are very fortunate to work in conjunction with ASCO to provide this unique, oncologist-approved content.

The Patient Resource Cancer Guide is free to patients and to treatment facilities and can be ordered through our website, New publications are being added soon, including Patient Resource Cancer Guide to Treatment-Related Side Effects, as well as a breast cancer guide.

On a personal note, what I cherish most are the accolades from people who have been helped by the Guide, as well as the thanks of doctors and nurses who finally have something to give to their patients. It has been very gratifying to give back to the cancer community and have it be so well received.

If you are a patient advocate interested in authoring a future Patient Advocate Guest Column and Podcast, please contact or 571-483-1358.

The ideas and opinions expressed by the author and organization in this Patient Advocate Guest Column and Podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The mention of any product, service, organization, activity, or therapy in this column should not be construed as an ASCO endorsement. The information presented does not constitute medical or legal advice, and is not intended for use in the diagnosis or treatment of individual conditions or as a substitute for consultation with a licensed medical professional. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to the information presented.

Last Updated: September 14, 2009