A movement of patients, carers and relatives

Harnessing the patient voice to build confidence in the use of patient data to save lives and improve outcomes

Quotations from use MY data advocates

A key role of use MY data is to give a forum for patients, advocates and carers to have more of a voice in how data is used. These quotations are from members, and are all freely available for reuse. All we would ask is that you reference use MY data members as the source.

"I acknowledge that things don't always go right, but by sharing data, it is the only way to make progress in saving lives"

"Is the patient voice heard enough so that we learn from patient's experience? To be honest, no"

“We all need to be part of this discussion about consent to sharing our personal health data: to move on from a premise that risk, in relation to privacy, trumps its beneficial use in health care.”

"The use of my health data is infinitely more important than the possible misuse."

“The only source of the data is the patient and I think it’s beholden to all of us to share our disease data, so that we change the world and make it a far better place for others who are living with cancer.”

“As a cancer patient, I want, nay DEMAND that my data is used safely and securely for research and patient benefit.”

“It’s my data. It’s your data.  So let’s use it to improve outcomes and the future for cancer patients.”

“A continuum – Data, Information, Knowledge, Understanding.  But without the data, the rest does not happen.”

“We need data and tissue and protein samples to enable us to do research which will lead to earlier diagnosis and better outcomes.”

“It’s my life at stake”

“Reliable data, correctly used, gives scientists clinicians, patients and their representatives the power to construct arguments, obtain resources etc. to support patients fairly and to drive change”.

“Through data use, treatments, outcomes and patient benefits can and are radically improved."

“When you need treatment you will be very glad that those that went before allowed their data to be used for research..!”

“I am interested in people being able to benefit from the use of my data and other relevant data, because it helps in making plans, improving the system and checking on progress of what is being given to us – the treatment we’re getting.” 

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there.  But what’s important is that we continue to develop research and we continue to develop treatments for patients, and the only way to do that is through research and through gaining access to appropriate data that is actually going to change policies, change operational systems, and change treatment for patients.

“There’s a big need for the media, for different outlets, to publish information responsibly and not to generalise and not to go overboard on issues that actually are misinformation for people.”

“Having seen how my data is used that’s why I’m involved with use MY data, because I actually want my data to be used by more researchers.  I want more of my data to be captured, particularly my outcomes data, so that my data can be used by researchers to actually figure out why have I recovered, how have I recovered, are there any data that I have generated in my pathway that can help others who are going to come along behind me.” 

“The use of my data is important to me, because I think I’ve got a moral obligation to do what’s right for me, my family, my friends, society – current society, future society.  We can make a difference.  It benefits everybody and hurts no-one.”

“Please use my data for gifting a better life to the cancer patients and your near ones and dear ones.”

“As a patient who has spent the past 3 years being treated for cancer, I'd like to know that any info on my records (inc samples, tissue, scans, etc.) can be used to aid understanding & research. That to me provides a positive in what has often been a difficult time in my life. If others can benefit in some way (as I have from those whose data/tissues/records have been used & shared in the past) then use it & share it!”

“I think that if we communicate the benefits of patient data better in terms of its immense value to data analysts, researchers, clinicians, etc. as well as the stringent processes in place for sharing it, then patients would have more understanding & be less likely to want to opt out. I do think that patient choice is vital – but as patients we need to be informed & understand the impact (in terms of continuing valuable research) that our decisions might make.”

“High profile data breaches can cause knee jerk reactions which aren't helpful & cause fear & confusion for us patients …yet breaches are rare, the benefits of accessible & transferable data is huge & I know that as someone recovering from cancer I'd like to know that my tissues/data/biopsy etc. is used to help understand oesophageal cancer better & maybe (who knows) prevent it in future.“

“My experience of cancer was obviously made a lot better by the fact that thousands and thousands of people had given willingly of their data so that all the research could be done, so that instead of having radical mastectomies, as was happening a hundred years ago .... my cancer was dealt with relatively painlessly”

“I think the policy makers should get out the message of the benefits of using the data and the controls around that data so that people feel better reassured.”

“People should be encouraged to feel .... that their data is valuable, not just to them, but to the next generations and the wider population, and so I think people should take that responsibility in return for them being given great care while they’re facing problems.  One of their legacies can be that the evidence that’s gathered from their healthcare can subsequently be used … to improve the healthcare for other people.”

“In the end it is their decision and their choice, .... but it is also their responsibility to make the data available for the benefit of others.”

“What’s important is that we continue to develop research and continue to develop treatments for patients and the only way to do that is through research and through gaining access to appropriate data that is actually going to change policies, and change operational systems and change treatment for patients.”

“There’s always the potential problems that can come from collecting data .... but there are so many measures in place to prevent that from happening.  So, you have to trust the people who have the data, they know what they’re doing and if you can, and we should, then a lot of good can come from that. “

“A lot of people worry about it (data) going to companies that are going to use it for making drugs, but that’s good because they’re making drugs to improve treatment.”

“I think that, although it is the patient’s data and in the end it is their decision and their choice, but it is also their responsibility to make the data available for the benefit of others.  Data has to be used responsibly and it has to be kept safe, but it has to be available for research.”

“If we don’t use data to its best effect, use it more than we are using it at the moment, we are missing the best opportunity we’ve had this generation and for the next generation to make a difference. … I feel quite strongly about …. cancer data being used correctly.  It’s my belief that it should be a statutory requirement, it should form part of a social contract …… we need to make a difference, we need to do something different.”

“I’m quite happy for my data to be used in any way they wish, whether it’s identifiable or not.  More data could have been taken from me, more tissue samples, blood samples …. whatever tests they may have wanted to do, to find out if there was something there that made that treatment so effective, when it was not expected to be as effective as it was.”

“I’m a great fan of things like having the data stored in some sort of central repository, or unified IT system and then having the gatekeeper access method to control it.   Again, if that is legitimate, ethically approved medical research then I see absolutely no problem with that happening and it is how we have made all the advances that we have made so far.”

"The type of treatment that I had depended so much on the data of patients who went before me."

"It is absolutely vital that every piece of information is used. And in his (my son's) case of course it was childhood cancer and without the numbers, what are we doing to do?"

"A moral obligation to do what's right for me, my family, my friends, society - current society, future society. We can make a difference - it benefits everybody and hurts no-one."

"I want my data shared with whoever will use it for the good of everybody."

”We want our data to be used.”

”I’m not too worried about my data being anonymised.”

”If nothing else comes out of this diagnosis …. let it be to save some-one’s life. ”

“I’m totally committed to my data being used as widely as possible, to solve this type of cancer.”

”Patients need to be aware that they have a responsibility to provide the data.”

"I believe that as a patient I have a responsibility to the rest of society in permitting the use of my data."

"The only source of data is the patient."

"If data is not used, people will die."

"It's our data and we want to share it, so let's share in making the decisions about who gets it and why."

"Data makes the unknown, known."

"If data is not released, nothing changes."

"There is no data about us, without us, so use our data to help us, and all the other cancer patients who will be coming in the future."

"Data gives patients, and their advocates, power."

"Patients should be in charge of their data, because their data is a gift."

“One of the most valuable uses of data is to learn.”

"Every day lost is another person dying."

"Put patients at the heart of the matter; empower us as active citizens."

"Data improves services and develops new treatments; data adds to knowledge and understanding; data saves lives."

"Use our data..!"

These quotations are supplied by members, often extracted from their own case studies, or from video messages that they have recorded.

Please feel free to use these quotations. All we would ask is that you reference use MY data as the source.

If you want to add your own quotation, please use this link to submit by email.

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