National Support Services
There are many national organizations that offer services to cancer patients and their families. The list is just a sampling of organizations that provide support.
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a voluntary organization that offers a variety of services to patients and their families. The ACS also supports research, provides printed materials, and conducts educational programs. Staff can accept calls and distribute publications in Spanish. A local ACS unit may be listed in the white pages of the telephone directory under “American Cancer Society.”
Cancer Care is a national nonprofit agency that offers free support, information, financial assistance, and practical help to people with cancer and their loved ones. Services are provided by oncology social workers and are available in person, over the telephone, and through the agency’s Web site. Cancer Care’s reach also extends to professionals—providing education, information, and assistance. A section of the Cancer Care Web site and some publications are available in Spanish, and staff can respond to calls and e-mails in Spanish.
Cancer Support Community
Cancer Support Community, part of Gilda's Club, is an organization that provides a meeting place for men, women and children living with cancer. Through networking, support, lecture and social groups, Cancer Support Community offers a unique supplement to medical care in a comfortable, home-like setting.
Lance Armstrong Foundation
The Lance Armstrong Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by cancer survivor and cyclist Lance Armstrong, provides resources and support services to people diagnosed with cancer and their families. The LAF’s services include Cycle of Hope, a national cancer education campaign for people with cancer and those at risk for developing the disease, and the Cancer Profiler, a free interactive treatment decision support tool. The LAF also provides scientific and research grants for the better understanding of cancer and cancer survivorship.
National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Instituteprovides a list of the national organizations that provide support to cancer patients and their families.
Patient Advocate Foundation
The Patient Advocate Foundation provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination, and debt crisis matters. The Patient Assistance Program is a subsidiary of the PAF. It provides financial assistance to patients who meet certain qualifications. The toll-free number is 1–800-532-5274.
Cancer Net, the patient information website of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), is designed to help patients and families make informed health-care decisions.
Share the Care
Share the Care provides a road map on how to create a caregiver team (comprised of friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, etc.) to provide individuals and families with help to meet the daily challenges of illness. Share the Care insures that the person who is ill has the support he or she needs and that no caregiver has to do this very difficult task alone. The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center has developed a 12-minute video to explain the program. The video can be obtained by contacting (608) 265-4618 or firstname.lastname@example.org.