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CancerCare® Launches Initiative to Help Puerto Rican Cancer Patients Access Treatment

Financial assistance available for cancer patients in Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican residents in the continental United States

NEW YORK, New York (October 12, 2017) – Guided by conversations with local health care providers, CancerCare® has partnered with the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) to address unique challenges facing people with cancer in Puerto Rico.

Many Puerto Ricans have evacuated the island, but for patients who remain, accessing treatment is a challenge. Due to lack of reliable phone or Internet service, patients may not know which hospitals or clinics are able to provide care. Additionally, many are not able to reach these treatment centers because of damage to roads and a shortage of gasoline. Even if patients are able to reach a treatment center, the center may not have their prescribed medication.

In response, CancerCare is providing direct financial assistance to people in active treatment for cancer who have remained in Puerto Rico, and to residents of Puerto Rico who have evacuated to the continental United States. Grants will be distributed via check, and can be used to help offset the costs of medical bills, homecare, childcare, transportation, general household bills, lodging and other treatment-related expenses.

In addition, oncology providers in Puerto Rico will be able to use funds from this initiative to order medical transportation and treatment for individual patients. These services will be provided by a local medical transport company and a local courier service, with funds administered by CancerCare.

To apply for financial assistance, patients or health care providers can call CancerCare's toll-free Hopeline at 800-813-HOPE (4673). Oncology providers in Puerto Rico are encouraged to have patients call for assistance while they are at a treatment center.

Funding for this initiative was provided by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and its philanthropic affiliate, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers-Squibb, the Community Oncology Alliance (COA), the Puerto Rico Association of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Tesaro and numerous individual donors.

To support the Puerto Rico Hurricane Cancer Patient Assistance Fund, visit For corporate donations, contact Brian Tomlinson, chief program and communications officer at CancerCare, at

About CancerCare®

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.

To learn more, visit or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).


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