Improving your health literacy

wordsThe National Center for Education Statistics released its National Assessment of Adult Literacy 10 years ago. One section looked at health literacy. The results show that only 12% of Americans achieved the highest scores for understanding health information. Here are some other key findings:

  • More than 75 million adults have either ‘basic’ or ‘below basic’ health literacy.
  • Women scored higher than men.
  • Adults age 65 and older had lower average health literacy scores than younger adults.
  • Adults’ level of education influenced health literacy.
  • Adults receiving Medicare or Medicaid, and adults with no health insurance had lower average health literacy.

Want to improve your health literacy as it relates to cancer care? The U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center has put together a brief list of common cancer terms and their definitions. If you need more help understanding your diagnosis, talk to your health care team or visit the Patient & Family Education Resource Center on Level B-2, just off the main lobby, for more resources.


trusted online cancer resourcesThe Patient & Family Education Resource Center (PERC) at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center provides a vital link between the patient and the most current cancer information resources. It is a full-service library housing a comprehensive collection of print and audiovisual resources on all aspects of cancer. The PERC’s goal is to help empower patients, families, caregivers and the public to make informed decisions and become active partners in their health care.


CCC 25 years button150x150The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan for cancer patient care. Seventeen multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.