Cancer Education

More than 150,000 people with cancer come to a Mayo Clinic site annually. Patients benefit from the knowledge and extensive experience of Mayo Clinic specialists and integrated approach to treating each individual.  Reliable, up-to-date education is central to a patient’s cancer care plan.

Mayo Clinic provides information and resources to support patients during diagnosis, treatment and life after treatment. Knowledge empowers people to be active partners in their health care.

Mar 12, 2020

Personal Learning Style and Impact on Cancer Care

By Wendy Hanson, @wendyhanson

shutterstock_1115051852 learning styles

Have you ever thought about what makes a difference for you when learning something new?

Think back to when you first learned you had cancer. Did you find yourself taking lots of notes and reading as much as possible about your cancer type? Or perhaps you jumped on the Internet in search of videos on the topic.

What works for one person may not work for another. We all have preferences. It's a bit like our personalities.

Stephen and Barbara Slaggie Family Cancer Education Center staff will frequently ask patients and their families how they prefer to learn new things. Information can be delivered in many formats, such as reading a brochure or booklet, watching a video, one-to-one discussion or attending a group class.

If you've never thought about your learning style, here are a few key points to help you discover your preferences. Note that most people learn best through a combination of styles.

  • Visual — prefer to learn with images, maps, diagrams and graphs.
  • Auditory — learn best by listening and through discussion.
  • Read and write — prefer to learn through reading written materials and note taking.
  • Kinesthetic — learn by using hands-on, tactile (touch) information, such as models.

It's important for you to reflect on what works best so you can share your style with your healthcare team. Don't be afraid to speak up and tell them. Communication is key throughout each step of your care.

Also, if you'd like to communicate with other patients who have a cancer diagnosis, please see the Connect Cancer group.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the topic of learning styles. What works best for you and why?

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