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Supporting Cancer Survivors
Finding Cancer’s Causes and Cures
Providing Leadership and Education for the Health Care Community
Helping Cancer Patients Access Care
Offering Information and Education
Fighting Cancer through Public Policy
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN), our nonprofit, nonpartisan, advocacy affiliate, works with lawmakers at the federal, state, and local levels to pass laws and policies that impact our mission and improve our ability to prevent, detect, and treat cancer. Some results of these efforts:
Raquel Lopez was pregnant with her fourth child when she noticed abnormal bleeding. It can be hard to determine what normal symptoms are when you’re pregnant, but stage II rectal cancer at 28 weeks pregnant is not. Because of the rarity of her disease which affects only 1 in 13,000, Raquel chose a center with experience treating the disease in pregnant women. The facility also happened to house an American Cancer Society Patient Navigator.
Near the end of her treatment, one of the nurses reached out to Raquel to see how she was doing. While Raquel was feeling well, she had something on her mind. A running toilet on the second floor of her home while Raquel was in treatment and couldn’t climb stairs resulted in a $3,000 water bill. The nurse put Raquel in touch with the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator. “One of my greater regrets was that I didn’t meet (her) sooner,” Raquel said. “She was so comforting, a friendly face.” Together they looked at options and several organizations in the area assisted with immediate help, including paying the water bill.
Patient navigators help guide patients through every step of their journey, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. In 2017, more than 40,000 patients received personal guidance as they moved through the health care system, including helping with insurance problems, referring patients for American Cancer Society and other local services, communicating with their health care teams, assisting caregivers, and addressing obstacles to care. The Patient Navigator Program is just one example of how the American Cancer Society is attacking cancer from every angle.
Following several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Raquel gave birth to Maximus Crow, a healthy baby boy and Raquel’s superhero. With clear scans, Raquel is looking forward to enjoying summer after the crazy whirlwind of the last year. “Hopefully, everything major is in the rearview mirror,” Raquel said.
“One of my greater regrets was that I didn’t meet the patient navigator sooner. She was so comforting, a friendly face.”
Here are just a few examples of how we worked toward achieving our mission in 2018.