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Cancer Journey Resources

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A number of resources can help you find information, support groups or even financial assistance. Visit the Resources section for a more thorough list of websites, books, mobile apps, videos, groups and more to help you and your loved one throughout the cancer journey.

Finding support groups and counseling services

You may want to identify a support group for yourself, your loved one or both of you. The members of support groups can often provide strategies for navigating the cancer journey or recommendations about communicating your loved one’s needs to health care professionals.1, Ziebland S, Chapple A, Dumelow C, Evans J, Prinjha S, Rozmovits L. How the internet affects patients' experience of cancer: a qualitative study. BMJ. 2004 Mar 6;328(7439):564.2Meier A, Lyons EJ, Frydman G, Forlenza M, Rimer BK. How cancer survivors provide support on cancer-related Internet mailing lists. J Med Internet Res. 2007 May 14;9(2):e12.

Organizations that may be able to provide a list of support groups and/or provide counseling services are CancerCare and American Cancer Society.

Finding National Cancer Institute treatment centers

Although it may be early in your loved one’s cancer journey, you may also want to consider determining if there are National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated centers nearby.3National Cancer Institute (NCI) Website. Accessed at http://www.cancer.gov/ on February 19, 2013. Enter your location to find out if there are nearby facilities.

NCI-designated centers treat cancer with multidisciplinary teams and often have access to clinical trials, which may be useful if your loved one has advanced head and neck cancer.3National Cancer Institute (NCI) Website. Accessed at http://www.cancer.gov/ on February 19, 2013.

Locating financial assistance

Although it may be early in the cancer journey, you may wish to identify resources for financial assistance to help your loved one. Since primary caregivers often have to stop working or begin working part-time as a result of their caregiving responsibilities, you may find you have need for financial assistance or advice as well.

The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition has a searchable database that allows the user to search by cancer diagnosis and location to identify possible financial assistance resources for living expenses, lodging or medical expenses.

Assistance for those who must travel for treatment

Some patients and their caregivers must travel to get appropriate treatment and/or rehabilitation for their head and neck cancer. Hope Lodge®, offered through the American Cancer Society, gives cancer patients and their caregivers a place to stay when they are far from home.

My best advice is to keep a list. Write everything down. I had a notebook and recommend doing that. I never would have remembered all the questions. Write down the telephone number of anyone you might need to call.Ronnie W. (wife of cancer survivor)

References

1 Ziebland S, Chapple A, Dumelow C, Evans J, Prinjha S, Rozmovits L. How the internet affects patients' experience of cancer: a qualitative study. BMJ. 2004 Mar 6;328(7439):564.

2 Meier A, Lyons EJ, Frydman G, Forlenza M, Rimer BK. How cancer survivors provide support on cancer-related Internet mailing lists. J Med Internet Res. 2007 May 14;9(2):e12.

3 National Cancer Institute (NCI) Website. Accessed at http://www.cancer.gov/ on February 19, 2013.