When You Need to Talk With Someone About Cancer
- Created on April 3rd, 2006
So many people are touched by cancer–family members, friends, co–workers — that it seems to have a constant presence in our lives. Being diagnosed with cancer can be overwhelming. The American Cancer Society is here to help by offering resources to cancer patients and caregivers to assist with their overall cancer experience.
Whether someone has been diagnosed with cancer, knows someone who’s battling cancer, or simply has questions about this devastating disease, the American Cancer Society’s toll–free number and web site are valuable resources for information and support.
The Society’s toll–free number–1–800–ACS–2345–is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week–even on holidays. Trained cancer information specialists answer questions about cancer symptoms and treatments, diagnoses, insurance issues, financial challenges, and much more. They can connect callers with local resources and programs right in their own community. Callers may receive assistance in a variety of ways. They may be in need of information, which can be faxed or sent to an email address. If further assistance is needed beyond the originating phone call, specialists follow up with the caller at a later date to confirm that they received the assistance requested. In some cases, if the specialists identify a specific need, they may refer callers to the Dietitian on Call program for one–on–one assistance, or to a clinical social worker for one–on–one counseling.
Comprehensive assistance through the toll–free number is made possible through the Society’s Community Resource Database (CRD), a comprehensive database of community–specific resources. The information contained within the database is provided by Society staff, volunteers and community organizations. It is updated annually and new resources are continuously being added.
Another excellent resource is the Society’s web site, www.cancer.org. The site offers detailed information on every type of cancer as well as how to cope with a cancer diagnosis, the latest cancer news, ways to connect with cancer patients and caregivers, and links to other resources. People touched by cancer go to the web site for support, encouragement, information, or just a chance to express their feelings. It helps those experiencing this disease to know they are not alone.
Cancer survivors, patients and caregivers from every corner of the world can connect by joining the Cancer Survivors Network, which can be accessed via the web site. The Network features discussion forums, individual stories, and personal web pages–all created by cancer patients, survivors and their families. More than 1.7 million people have accessed the Network–both registered and non–registered users–since September 2004.
In addition, cancer.org features information regarding the Society’s activities in advocacy, as well as information regarding local programs and events. Anyone visiting the web site can discover ways to volunteer for patient service programs or learn about fundraising events taking place in their local community.
Information about the burden of cancer among African–Americans, the site features an article by Dr. Lovell Jones, Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center http://www.cancer.org/docroot/SPC/content/SPC_1_Jones_Lovell_On_African_American_Cancer_Rates.asp.
The site also maintains an extensive collection of articles about cancer in Blacks. These articles may be accessed at the site by simply typing "Blacks and cancer" or "African–Americans and cancer" into the site’s search feature.
The American Cancer Society works to maintain comprehensive resources. The toll–free number and web site can give cancer patients and caregivers peace of mind at any time of day or night.