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Unique university course in how to be sick with cancer

Published torsdag 30 mars kl 12.13
Ulrika Sandén: It's like being the project manager of your own disease
(4:51 min)
Ulrika Sandén
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Ulrika Sandén came up with the idea for the course after getting frustrated with the lack of coordination within the healthcare sector. Credit: Anders Leisnes
The course is held at Lund University. Credit: Lotta Malmstedt/Sveriges Radio
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The course is held at Lund University. Credit: Lotta Malmstedt/Sveriges Radio

How do you have cancer at a party? That is one of the questions a new course at Lund University, for cancer patients and their relatives, is trying to answer.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer and you go to a party, what do you tell people? Do you say anything at all? And if a family member gets cancer, what should you do to support them?

Ulrika Sandén, an innovation technology PhD student at Lund University, is used to dealing with those questions. After battling cancer herself for many years, she wanted to help others navigate through the process.

"A friend and I were talking about how much time it takes for us patients to help each other. She said, 'we should send a bill to the hospital for the work we do for them!' And I figured, no, let's not send them a bill. Let's educate more people!," Sandén told Radio Sweden.

One of the main problems in the healthcare sector is the lack of coordination between different hospital departments, Sandén said, which adds an extra burden on top of the patient's cancer diagnosis.

I have to be the one who makes the collaboration work. I become kind of a project leader! A lot of people are too sick to do that."

The course is aimed at cancer patients, their relatives, and for healthcare professionals. It is offered by Lund University through distance learning, and starts this autumn.

Click on the Play button above to hear the interview!

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