National Cancer Organization Steps Up Free Counseling Services to Patients Affected by Katrina

Financial Assistance Also Available to Qualified Patients; Call 1-800-813-HOPE

NEW YORK, NY, September 9, 2005—After destroying homes, businesses, schools and hospitals, and displacing hundreds of thousands along the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Katrina has left countless cancer patients in need of emotional and financial support. To help these patients cope with cancer while dealing with the additional stress of finding treatment facilities and new homes, CancerCare is stepping up its free, professional counseling services to cancer patients, caregivers and loved ones from the evacuated areas. Financial assistance may also be available to qualified patients through one of CancerCare’s ten financial assistance programs.

Displaced patients in need of counseling and financial assistance may contact CancerCare’s more than 40 professional oncology social workers on staff at 1-800-813-HOPE (4673). CancerCare social workers can provide callers with over-the-phone counseling, information about CancerCare’s financial assistance programs and practical help—all free of charge. CancerCare is also collaborating with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to provide referrals to patients for operating oncology practices and treatment centers.

“Although CancerCare always provides free counseling to anyone affected by cancer, this is a particularly critical time for the hurricane victims to know this support is available to them,” said Diane Blum, MSW, executive director of CancerCare. “CancerCare is committed to providing patients with the resources they will need not only to find appropriate care, but to cope with the uncertainty of cancer treatment at a time when nothing in their lives is certain.”

CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs—including counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help—are provided by trained oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. Founded in 1944, CancerCare now provides individual help to more than 90,000 people each year, in addition to the more than one million people who gain information and resources from its website. Find out more about CancerCare by calling 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) or at www.cancercare.org.

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