Fighting Cancer: Where to Go for Help

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More than a century ago, cancer patients and their caregivers had few options for surviving, even thriving, after a cancer diagnosis. Thanks to the American Cancer Society, things have changed.

When the American Cancer Society was founded in 1913, rarely did people talk about cancer and few people survived a cancer diagnosis. When the grim news was given to a patient, a carriage ride and champagne were the “treatments” to distract the patient from the inevitable end. Now, thanks to ground-breaking research, advancing treatments and American Cancer Society screening guidelines, two out of three people diagnosed with cancer are surviving the disease for at least five years. Now more than 500 people a day in the U.S. are celebrating birthdays that otherwise would have been lost to cancer.

The Society has attacked cancer in many ways. Below are just some of the options available to cancer survivors.

Patient Navigators

Fighting cancer is tough enough without worrying about bills, health insurance, appointments and finding the best resources. Society patient navigators guide the newly diagnosed through complex treatment options at more than 100 U.S. hospitals.

Online Support
At the website Cancer.org, patients and caregivers have access to extensive cancer information and educational resources about how to prevent, find, treat and cope with cancer.

Help Any Time, Day or Night
The American Cancer Society’s free helpline offers support 365 days a year at 1-800-227-2345. Cancer Information Specialists answer calls 24 hours per day, providing support and answering questions about cancer, clinical trials and local resources.

Lodging
With 31 locations nationwide, Hope Lodge provides a free, temporary place to stay for patients who must travel away from home for treatment. Patients save millions of dollars in lodging costs and can focus on getting well. Plans are underway now to construct a Hope Lodge in Dallas, and one already exists in Lubbock.

Support Groups
Sharing with another person facing cancer can make all the difference. Volunteers—many of whom are survivors themselves—lead local Society-sponsored support groups nationwide. Dallas cancer survivors can participate in Look Good…Feel Better, a free program led by licensed cosmetologists and aestheticians, and also Reach to Recovery, a support program for breast cancer survivors.

Wellness
Educating people about staying well is key to preventing cancer and for recovery after treatment. Society staff and volunteers share proven tips on physical activity, nutrition and overall health in schools, businesses and communities across the country. The American Cancer Society also promotes healthy screening guidelines for specific cancers.

This article was submitted by Joy Donovan, American Cancer Society. For more information on any of the topics, please call 1-800-227-2345.