Introduction: Good communication matters!
Introduction: Good communication matters!

In the scene below, a survivor and provider misunderstand what's "positive."


Rosa Miller talks about "adopting" Dr. Palmer

It is important to communicate effectively with your provider about your experiences with cancer and its treatment. Poor communication can lead to problems like unnecessary pain and side effects. Poor communication can even lower your chances of survival.

On the right, you can view an example of poor communication.

Good communication helps everyone.

Most Native cancer survivors and their loved ones have to find information, locate resources, and make health care decisions with little to no help from someone outside of the family. We can help you with a "Native Sister" (1-800-537-8295), but you are the one who talks directly to your providers. On the right, Rosa Miller comments about how great it was that her family and her doctor communicated so well.

How do I communicate better with my provider?

You need to feel free to speak up and be assertive about what is happening to you.

  • Use clear statements.
  • Don't make the listener feel defensive.
  • Don't use phrases like, "Why did you" or "You are"
  • Use "I Messages" a lot

In the following pages, you will learn good and poor kinds of communication, and the use of I messages.

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