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Meet Laura, a Cancer Support Helpline Counselor

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Newly diagnosed and don’t know where to turn? Longtime survivor and looking for new resources? The toll-free Cancer Support Helpline (1-888-793-9355) is available to help you navigate your cancer journey. Professionals like Laura, one of our call center counselors, are equipped to help you find the support you need!

We asked Laura a few questions so that our readers can learn more about her story and how the Cancer Support Helpline may be helpful for them.

Affordability of Insurance Plans Offered on the Health Insurance Marketplaces

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

As implementation of the health reform law (the Affordable Care Act) continues, individuals that do not have insurance through an employer or government plan like Medicare or Medicaid, will be required to purchase insurance on state-based Health Insurance Marketplaces, or exchanges. Open enrollment begins October 1st for coverage that will begin as early as January 1, 2014.

As we have written about before, one unknown about the plans offered in the Marketplaces has been the out-of-pocket costs to consumers, both for premiums and health care co-pays, deductibles and coinsurance.

August is Health Literacy Month

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When diagnosed with cancer, you hear many different medical terms. At first these terms seem like alphabet soup or a long-ago algebra problem. Navigating the world of cancer care and its terminology is a daunting task for anyone.

Heath literacy is defined as obtaining, communicating, processing and understanding health information and services to make appropriate health decisions. A person who has trouble finding and utilizing the correct health information that they need has limited health literacy. This is a crucial skill for people to have in order to understand and cope with a cancer diagnosis and their treatment options.

Affordable Care Act in Action

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Cancer Support Community recognized the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the tenets of the Affordable Care Act and, in particular, felt that insurance provisions of the law such as removal of lifetime caps, the removal of pre-existing condition discrimination and the option for dependents to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26 would be of benefit for the cancer community. CSC was quick to point out that the important work would, in fact, be in the details of implementation of the law.

What to do When There’s a Drug Shortage

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

In recent years the number of drugs that are in short supply has been increasing, including drugs used to treat cancer. Most of these shortages are for drugs that are injected, or given intravenously. Some of these shortages are short-term and are caused by problems with shipping and ordering. Sometimes these shortages last longer. This is especially true when the shortage is caused by problems in the manufacturing of the drugs. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and are getting chemotherapy as part of your treatment, it is understandable that you would be concerned about a possible drug shortage.

Getting Help Through Uncertain Paths

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I lost my mother to cancer just a month after I turned 24. Following her diagnosis of stage 4 esophageal cancer, she braved through more than two years of aggressive chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Losing people you love to cancer is of course tremendous to bear. Ask anyone who has experienced it—what’s said will likely bring you to tears. Stories of dashed hopes, of unanswered prayers, of lost time could shake your faith to the core. They knell of unavoidable pain as well as of our own fragility.

Making a Decision About Cancer Treatment

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The good news in recent years is that there are more and more types of treatment for many kinds of cancer. No longer does “one size fit all” when you are making a decision about the type of treatment you’ll receive. More good news is that increasingly people are making these decisions jointly with their health care team as a part of shared decision making.

The challenge is that having to make these complicated treatment decisions can leave people feeling overwhelmed and confused. This is because for many people there is more than one treatment choice, and each of these choices has advantages and disadvantages.

The Lung Cancer Community Speaks Out

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

During a public meeting at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month, a lung cancer survivor shared her experience. When she was diagnosed years ago, the first thing her doctor said to her was, “How should we begin your smoking cessation program?”

The woman had never even been a smoker—just like one out of every five people living with lung cancer.

She then pointed out that even if she had been, 60% of people diagnosed with lung cancer have already quit smoking, and many long-time smokers became addicted when they were just teens—and for many, that was before government warnings and stricter laws on advertising

Giving Back By Sharing Your Voice Through the Cancer Experience Registry

Thursday, July 11, 2013

If sharing your cancer journey could enhance the lives of others, would you help?

I keep hearing that people who have been diagnosed with cancer want to give back. They want to “pay it forward” so that the next person who is diagnosed with their disease will have a better experience than they had. I always think to myself – how selfless! We want to give back to you, too.

There seems to be so much survey research these days. An organization asks you to answer a questionnaire and then you never hear about it again. We wanted the Cancer Experience Registry to be so much more than a survey, so we created something we call Explore Responses where you can do just that – explore the responses of other people who have been diagnosed with cancer.

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