Free eBook Helps Patients to Organize Their Medical Information

CURE, Summer 2017, Volume 1, Issue 1

After a cancer diagnosis, there is a ton of medical information that patients and their caregivers must keep track of. Cancer Concierge developed a resource to help.

During treatment, organizing medical information can be a complex and time-consuming job for patients and their caregivers. Vital Options International, a Los Angelesbased nonprofit cancer communication, education and advocacy organization, is working to make that job easier by providing a free ebook, “The Cancer Concierge.”

The ebook, written by Dorothy Breininger, a best-selling author who also works as a problem solver on the A&E television show “Hoarders,” provides patients and their loved ones with organizing tips, information and strategies for minimizing the stress and chaos commonly associated with the cancer experience. The ebook is available at thecancerconcierge.org.

The ebook was created in honor of the founder of Vital Options, Selma Schimmel, who died three years ago, and is based on many of the organizing methods she used herself. Schimmel was diagnosed with breast cancer at 28. A genetic test later revealed she had an inherited BRCA gene mutation, and although she underwent a prophylactic oophorectomy, she was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

“In her 30-plus years as a cancer patient, she knew the importance of keeping the reports from doctors, hospitals and medical providers in an organized system so that consultations and second opinions are facilitated,” says Schimmel’s sister, Debby Bitticks, Vital Options CEO.

Drawing on her experience as a cancer patient, Schimmel became an advocate for patients, caregivers and physicians. She launched Vital Options, a cancer communications organization, in 1983, with the mission of generating global cancer conversations. She later started “The Group Room,” a call-in radio show about cancer, which eventually became a video platform for discussions with some of the world’s leading cancer experts.