MPN Hero Dr. Irum Khan discusses how education events for patients with cancer are helpful to both the patient and the clinician.
For patients with cancer, especially those with MPNs, knowledge is power and getting this knowledge on their disease often comes in the form of attending education events or conferences where they can connect with medical professionals and get multiple opinions for free, said Dr. Irum Khan.
Khan, a 2019 MPN Hero, highlighted the importance of educating patients with MPN but also stressed that this education needs to be made accessible to vulnerable patients as well and accommodate for their needs.
In an interview with CURE®, Khan highlighted this and discussed how these events illuminate what is important to patients that clinicians wouldn’t have otherwise known about.
But at the same time, it's also really interesting when patients come up to the podium or anonymously ask their questions, or sometimes just come up and talk about an experience they've had. I think what we think matters, it's humbling to be in the clinic, but we think what matters isn't always what really matters to patients.
A lot of times, there's issues in these outpatient medications and the long term financial burden and toxicity of these and sometimes the dialogue gets really interesting, and a lot of back and forth about how different countries handle this, but I think that just understanding some of the real world problems our patients face is something that I at least get a lot of.
And then you know, patients come up and ask you questions on the side and I always encourage my patients to go to these because in my opinion, it's a way to get like five different medical opinions in one room for free. So, I try and push my patients, and sometimes it's a little challenging because a lot of our patients are minorities and they don't have access to the resources and sometimes for them getting to a faraway suburb is a big deal.
But these foundations have been really great about working with us and trying to make sure we have at least one in sort of what we call the Medical District area of Chicago where we have the county hospital or we have UIC, something in that location so that our patients really can attend.