Such is the case with the Journal of Clinical Oncology which is where many of the latest research studies are published. Major props to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) for providing a FREE PatientACCESS link to all of the articles in the journal.
Huge thanks to Dr. Robert S. Miller for sharing this news on twitter and via his blog. Dr. Miller is a medical oncologist at Johns Hopkins. He is an active participant in some of the breast cancer chats on twitter. In 140 characters, he engages with us. We are not unlike the patients who might be on the other side of his desk. He's not practicing twitter medicine, rather, we are having conversations. Hopefully, he is leading the way for more of his colleagues to follow.
I don't know how long it would have taken for me to learn about this new patient access if he didn't take the time to write the blog and then share it on twitter. I've often said that I WANT to read the whole paper. I don't want to just see one paragraph and then have to rely on a journalist to tell me about the study. There are nuances. There may be something that appears to be minutiae to another but may be particularly relevant to me.
THIS is why access is so important. We are all unique and while our diagnoses may seem identical, quite often there are slight variations. The variation may not be a big deal for most, but for others, it may be an important bit of information.
I've griped about this in the past and have had a number of conversations with other advocates. How can we get access? Who will provide it? I can only hope that all other publications behind that "paywall" will follow suit.
Well done, ASCO. And thank you. Accessing the latest research is one more step in the right direction: Patients as partners. Empowered. And appreciative.