Discover "life-saving" antidote
No doctor, no matter how dedicated, can possibly keep up on every promising new development for every type of cancer. As a patient, you only have to research one kind of cancer and one situation - yours. Although you do not have the training and expertise of a doctor, you do have the advantage of having a lot more time to spend on your single case. By researching your disease yourself, you might find a treatment that your doctor does not know about that could save your life.
Build your confidence
Understanding your medical treatment and gaining control over it can be a wonderful antidote to those feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
Manage your illness better
By taking a pro-active approach coping with cancer, you learn more about your illness than you normally would get during a doctor's appointment that often lasts only 10-15 minutes. With your knowledge of your illness, you are in a better position to decide whether the treatments that your doctors are proposing are right for you and pose the right questions to them.
You could read and evaluate the various complementary cancer therapies that are likely to be beneficial alongside your conventional cancer treatment.
For patients having advanced stage cancer, it is even more important for them to learn how to detect metastases and learn about pain management. Most cancer pain is not well controlled by doctors as it should be.