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Is Cancer in Your Life?

Cancer Support Helpline

Call us at 888-793-9355

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

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.-9:00 p.m. ET

Saturday-Sunday: 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.

Meet Our Trained Helpline Professionals

Debby, BCPA

Debby

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 has also founded and leads a team of nursing, case management and medical billing advocates in her private practice. Debby and her husband enjoy traveling, supporting University of Wisconsin events, and time with their four adult children. Debby and her husband enjoy traveling, supporting University of Wisconsin events, and time with their family.

 


Jim, LCSW

Jim mcmanus

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 Emergency Response Team. In their free time, they like beachcombing, kayaking and spending time with their three children and five grandchildren.

 

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

Helpline Caller

 

Kaley

Kaley

Kaley works on the Helpline as a Resource Specialist. After losing her mom to metastatic breast cancer at age 14, Kaley made it her lifelong mission to help those dealing with a cancer diagnosis. She began her career of supporting people with cancer and their loved ones at one of Cancer Support Community’s California sites, where she worked as an operations manager for 5 years. Kaley has 2 college-aged daughters, 3 cats, and is very philanthropically active in her community.

 

Anita, LMSW

Anita Counseler

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 in Positive Neuroplasticity and Compassion Fatigue.

In her spare time, Anita is dedicated to supporting international and national missions as part of Women on Mission. Anita enjoys hockey road trips to support her son’s team and is especially thankful for family time spent with her husband, son and 2 dogs.

 

Brittany, LCSW

Helpline Therapist Brittany

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 Peleton, interior decorating, traveling, and spending time with her family, friends, and yellow lab.

 

Karen, 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.

Michael, MPH, PCC, ACC

Michael Counseler

Michael started as a Resource Specialist on the Cancer Support Helpline in August 2017. Michael has a private life-coaching practice where he works with a range of people, including cancer survivors. He is also on the faculty of a coaching certification program that integrates coaching and social justice. Michael has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years as a counselor for LGBTQ teens, a community health educator, and a program director at a large nonprofit. In his spare time he enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi books, watching horror movies, and is a tennis fanatic. He also loves to travel when he has the opportunity. As a cancer survivor himself, Michael is grateful to have the opportunity to support others affected by cancer by connecting them with vital resources that will help them live their best lives.

 

"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

 

 

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.

 

Karen, MSS, LSW

portrait of helpline counselor Karen Costello

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 concerns.

Karen is from the Philadelphia area and is married with two sons, two step-daughters, and two rescue dogs. For fun she enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, music, and spending time with family.

 

Terri, MSW, LCSW

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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.

 

"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

 

Irma, LMSW

Irma Diaz

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.

 

Crystal MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

Portrait of Helpline Staff Member Crystal

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.       

The Cancer Support Helpline staff are available to counsel cancer patients or their loved ones who are struggling to cope with a cancer diagnosis. 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. – 9 p.m. ET  and Saturday - Sunday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET

Helpline Supporters