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Is Cancer in Your Life?

Call the Cancer Support Helpline

888-793-9355

Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET
Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET

So That No One Faces Cancer Alone.

The Cancer Support Community is here to help you by offering free navigation for cancer patients or their loved ones by phone and online.

The Cancer Support Helpline is staffed by community navigators, resource specialists and a Helpline navigator who have over 170 years of combined experience helping people affected by cancer. The Helpline provides guidance, resources and support to cancer patients or their loved ones with a variety of needs—from getting information about cancer, identifying a local support group or just finding someone who is willing to listen. We speak your language! We provide help with coping in over 200 languages.

Cancer Support Helpline services include:

  • Connecting callers to local or national resources, including support groups, transportation services and other programs
  • Short-term cancer coping assistance
  • Short-term housing resources
  • Treatment decision planning
  • Financial navigation regarding the costs of cancer and its treatments
  • Specialized information and navigation in pediatric oncology, finances, clinical trials, and genetics/genomics
  • Access to an online distress screening program, CancerSupportSource®
  • General information about the Cancer Support Community

 

"In 2016, I had stage one colon cancer as well as a GIST tumor, stage two, in my stomach. Several weeks ago, I was going to have an endoscopy as well as a colonoscopy. I was quite concerned, very anxiety filled, and to say the least, I could not sleep. Then I called the American Cancer Society's hotline, and they gave me the telephone number of the Cancer Support Community. I would like to thank the two wonderful women (one named Anita) who helped me with my anxiety. After assuring me that it was normal to be worried about the procedure, I practiced breathing exercises, went back to the gym, and drank plenty of water. My colonoscopy and endoscopy went well, and I was told I am cancer free. I thank you, as does my wife."

Merritt, Helpline Caller

"Anita is so knowledgeable, caring and compassionate. She was just the person I needed, and I am thankful for her helping me today."

Helpline Caller

Live Web Chat

Do you need someone to talk with about your cancer experience? Are you feeling overwhelmed with questions about how to cope with your cancer? Our Helpline staff are available via live web chat and are ready to assist you, whether you’re looking for cancer resources and information or someone to talk to about the worries that cancer sometimes brings into our lives.

Chat online with one of our Helpline staff:

Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET

Saturday: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. ET

Find the CHAT NOW window at the bottom of your screen. 

 

"Thank you. I finally have hope on my horizon."

Helpline Caller

We Provide Specialized Navigation

The Cancer Support Helpline’s experienced team of professionals includes specialized navigators who are available by appointment. They are trained in assisting people in the following areas:

 

Clinical Trials

Our Clinical Trials Navigator serves as a resource to patients and families seeking general information about cancer clinical trials, including referrals to resources related to clinical trials. Our Clinical Trials Navigator can also offer tips on discussing clinical trials with a healthcare team and how to find a clinical trial.

 

Genetics/Genomics

Our Genetics/Genomics Navigator provides education and navigation for patients and families concerned about issues related to genetics/genomics and cancer, including referrals to resources.

 

Pediatric Oncology

Our Pediatric Oncology Navigator assists people with psychosocial issues related to pediatric and young adult cancer, including providing referrals to resources. Services also include education and navigation for families and children over the age of 18 who have been touched by childhood, adolescent, or young adult cancer.

 

Financial

Our Financial Navigator assists people with financial issues related to cancer, including providing referrals to resources that may help with cancer-related treatment expenses. Services also include tips on how to manage treatment-related costs, how to communicate with healthcare providers about the cost of care and payment, and understanding insurance benefits.

Peer Clinical Trials Support Program

A free, over-the-phone service that helps Black or African American (AA) cancer patients learn more about clinical trials.

Meet Our Trained Helpline Professionals

Anita

Anita Counseler
LMSW

Anita began with Cancer Support Community as a program manager and Noogieland Coordinator at her local affiliate in 2002 and transitioned to the Cancer Support Helpline in 2020. Much of Anita’s career has been dedicated to helping families, children and teens whose lives have been impacted by cancer through support group facilitation, workshops, social opportunities, and specialty camps connecting youth together to share in their experiences. Over her tenure, Anita has facilitated a variety of support groups for those with a diagnosis as well as caregivers.

Anita has dedicated much of her ongoing training in mindfulness and neuroplasticity with certifications...

Brittany

Helpline Therapist Brittany
LCSW

Brittany recently joined the Cancer Support Community Helpline in January 2021. She is a licensed clinical social worker, starting her career as a mental health therapist and has spent the last several years of her career as an oncology social worker, providing psychosocial support and connection to resources to families through their cancer experience. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys her new found love for the Peloton, interior decorating, traveling, and spending time with her family, friends, and yellow lab.

Carolyn

Portrait of Carolyn Noack
MSW, LCSW

Carolyn is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and completed her Master of Social Work (MSW) at San Diego State University with emphases in direct practice, health, and gerontology. Carolyn found her passion for working with oncology patients and their loved ones while in graduate school and has remained in medical social work since that time. She is experienced in providing mental health therapy, case management, and psychoeducation to the cancer community. Carolyn privileges the self-determination of each individual in their unique cancer journey and recognizes community as a source of strength and resilience during treatment and beyond. Additionally, she...

Chinwe

Portrait of Chinwe
LSW

Chinwe has over 8 years of experience working with individuals in various settings such as Maternal and Infant health, Co-occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, and Child Welfare. Prior to joining the Helpline, Chinwe worked as Program Coordinator for one of CSC’s Affiliate local Programs. She discovered her passion for providing support, education, and hope to those impacted by Cancer after losing a loved one to metastatic bone cancer in 2010.

In her spare time, Chinwe works with women and children providing a host of services including lactation support, counseling, and yoga. Chinwe believes in the power of community...

Christina

Portrait of Christina Bach
MSW, MBE, LCSW, OSW-C, FAOSW

Christina is the financial navigation specialist at the Cancer Support Community Helpline. She's a licensed clinical social worker and a board-certified oncology social worker. She has been working with cancer patients and their families for over 20 years. Christina is also an instructor and field liaison at the Penn School of Social Policy and Practice and the Psychosocial Content Editor at Oncolink.org. In her spare time, Christina loves to knit and volunteer with her therapy dogs Linus, Huckleberry, and Eugene (in training). She also enjoys traveling, cooking, and cheering for her Philly sports teams.

Crystal

Portrait of Crystal Fields-Burdick
MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Crystal is a licensed clinical social worker and board-certified oncology social worker. Since graduating with a Master of Social Work from Colorado State University, her professional background has been in medical social work and behavioral health. She is passionate about supporting all those impacted by cancer in their unique journeys toward hope and well-being. Her aim is to reduce challenges as a result of illness, improve quality of life, and support people with cancer and their loved ones to find meaning from their experience. Crystal also enjoys reading, spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and home decorating.

"I was overwhelmed by the generosity and helpfulness of each person I spoke with — you all seem perfectly matched to your roles! Thanks for getting me (us!) started in the right direction."

Helpline Caller

Debby

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BCPA

Debby is a board-certified patient advocate who has a long history of service as a hospital chaplain and a hospice worker. Debby is currently also on staff as a patient advocate at Gilda’s Club Madison. She founded and leads a team of nursing, case management, and medical billing advocates in her private practice. She has been on the CSC Helpline team since May 2019. Debby and her husband enjoy traveling, supporting University of Wisconsin events, and time with their family.

Irma

Irma Diaz
LMSW

Irma is a social worker with over 15 years of experience providing services to individuals and families in different capacities. She has been fortunate enough to have worked with individuals from many cultural and socio-economic backgrounds with challenges ranging from mental health issues, chronic medical conditions, developmental and cognitive disabilities, domestic violence, immigration issues, and families involved with the child welfare system. Currently, Irma is also a manager for a large public city agency. Her hobbies include reading, music, and spending time with friends and family. Irma lives in NYC with her teenage daughter.

Jeanette

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Jeanette joined Cancer Support Community, working as a Resource Specialist on the helpline, in 2019. Her commitment to helping those affected by cancer began in 2006, when she became a licensed radiation therapist. Prior to joining CSC, Jeanette lived in England and worked as a Cancer Information and Support Specialist for a cancer charity in the UK.

Jim

Portrait of Jim McManus
LCSW

Jim has been with the Helpline since its inception in 2012. After deciding to pursue clinical social work, Jim has worked in many facets of mental health. He has worked in crisis care settings in hospitals, with children in schools, with the military as a civilian readjustment counselor, and as a military and family life consultant. He has had a private practice in psychotherapy for many years and continues to be involved as a crisis response counselor. Jim, his wife, and their dog enjoy living in a small seaside community where they are active in several organizations including the Community...

Joelys

Portrait of Joelys

Joelys works on the Helpline as a Resource Specialist. Her passion has always been to help anyone who needs assistance and she has been helping those affected by cancer since April 2019. She graduated from LaGuardia Community College with an associate degree in Human Services - Mental Health and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in social work at York College. She is fluent in Spanish. In her time outside CSC, she enjoys spending time with her 2 daughters and her son, watching TV shows, and reading.

Karen

Cancer Support Community Logo
MSW, LCSW-C

Karen is an MSW, LCSW-C and joined CSC in November 2020. She is a navigator for the cancer Support Helpline. Karen has been a social worker for the past 16 years and graduated from Howard University School of Social Work in Washington, D.C. She has worked in various medical and behavioral health settings addressing the needs of individuals and families coping with trauma and grief/loss concerns. She enjoys traveling, volunteering for community events, and spending time with family and friends.

Karen

portrait of helpline counselor Karen Costello
MSS, LSW

Karen joined CSC in October 2019 and is the Senior Director and Patient Navigator of the Cancer Support Helpline. She has 30 years of oncology experience as a social worker and practice administrator in university health care settings as well as patient services, fundraising, and programs development in the nonprofit cancer advocacy space. At CSC Karen is a member of the Programs team and provides clinical oversight of the Cancer Support Helpline. In addition, Karen coordinates navigation services for patients and caregivers. Her special areas of interest include financial navigation, addressing barriers to care, adult learning needs, and women’s health...

Lauren

Portrait of helpline staff member Lauren
LCSW

Lauren joins the Helpline as an experienced oncology social worker with special interests in integrative cancer care and oncofertility. In 2011, Lauren pursued her graduate social work degree at Bryn Mawr College after one of her mentors gifted her the book "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl, which ultimately changed her life path from theater to social work. In 2019 she completed Smith College's Advanced Certificate in Palliative and End of Life Care. She also holds a degree in creative nonfiction writing. Lauren is an avid supporter of access to behavioral healthcare for patients and caregivers undergoing cancer treatments...

Lisa

Portrait of helpline staff member Lisa

Lisa joined Cancer Support Community as a Helpline Community Support Navigator May 2022. She is a licensed clinical social worker and a certified case manager. She has worked in hospitals and cancer treatment centers for over 25 years helping patients and families experiencing cancer and chronic medical conditions to navigate through life transitions in the face of medical crisis. She is dedicated to helping people improve their quality of life through connection to available resources, education, and psychosocial support.

Lisa enjoys gardening and the outdoors, time with family and friends, music, and reading sources of humor and inspiration.

Lola

Helpline Navigator Lola

Lola, joined CSC as a Resource Specialist per diem on the Helpline in April 2022. She has worked as an Oncology Patient Navigator since October 2019. Lola has experience working with the American Cancer Society, The University of Maryland Medical Center, and George Washington Medical Faculty Associates. As a patient navigator she has provided emotional support and resources to help eliminate barriers to patient care. She's expressed gratitude to be able to work with Cancer patients and their families at Cancer Support Community. While not working, she enjoys spending time with family and finding new activities to do with friends.

Silenia

Portrait of Silenia
MSW

Silenia works on the Helpline as a Resource Specialist. She graduated from University of Pennsylvania with her master's degree in social work. Silenia also has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and is fluent in Spanish. She has worked with an anti-trafficking agency and has worked closely with individuals facing mental health issues, immigration issues, domestic violence, substance abuse, and housing needs. In her spare time, Silenia enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, hiking, and trying new food.

Terri

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MSW, LCSW

Terri has been a licensed clinical social worker since 2007 and has focused her career on grief, loss and life transition. She has worked in the field of oncology since 2013 and her goal in working with patients and those who provide them support is to help them identify strengths and resources that can help them navigate their cancer experience. When not working on the Cancer Support Community Helpline, she is fostering her interest in the use of therapeutic humor in healthcare, animal assisted therapy and enjoy spending time outdoors with her family and pets.

Victoria

Portrait of helpline staff member Victoria
LCSW

Victoria joined CSC as a Helpline Community Navigator in May 2022. Victoria is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and completed her education at the National Catholic School of Social Service at Catholic University with a concentration in clinical and medical social work. She began her career in oncology during her graduate school internship and has never left. During her time in outpatient oncology, she completed training through the Enriching Communication Skills for Health Professionals in Oncofertility (ECHO) program from Moffitt Cancer Center and Sensitive Practice Training through Mount Sinai. Victoria has a special interest in supporting patients and families through...

"THANK YOU for the delightful conversation of support. With my appreciation for learning about your organization, support options and your professionalism!" 

Helpline Caller

The Cancer Support Helpline staff are available to provide support, education and navigation to people with cancer and their loved ones. Our trained professionals can be reached toll-free at 888-793-9355 or via the 'Chat Now' window at the bottom of your screen. 

Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET  and Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET

Helpline Supporters