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Locating Financial Assistance For Cancer Patients Doesn't Have To Be So Hard

Coping with cancer and its aftermath both physically and emotionally is a challenging process that taxes all those involved, including the ones at risk and their loved ones. However, don't let the financial burdens unduly increase stress. There are many sources for financial assistance, which cater to a range of people and their situations.

Always remember, don't be silent about this real need! Thirty minutes of research could save thousands of dollars and unnecessary turmoil, but try to exhaust all resources. Talk to doctors, family members, neighbors, and others in the community about your concerns.

The U.S. National Cancer Institute is a comprehensive home base with important information and sources for all types of cancer. Below is a direct link to seeking financial assistance for a range of needs including local programs and support groups, Spanish speaking centers, oncology social workers who can provide pertinent information, assistance for women and children, volunteer organizations, Medicaid and Medicare, help with prescription drugs, tax deductions, transportation, and much more.

  • Financial Assistance for Cancer Care: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/support/financial-assistance

The Patient Advocate Foundation established in 1996, is dedicated to helping patients and loved ones in a variety of sources. Below is a direct link to information on prescription drug assistance.

  • Patient Assistance Programs: What Every Oncologist Should Know:http://www.patientadvocate.org/news.php?p=281

Good starting places for additional links to financial help are:

  • Links to 17 other sites: http://members.tripod.com/~cancer49/index-10.html
  • Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.cancercare.org/get_help/pwc.php
  • An article about others fighting cancer and its debt: Conquering Cancer, but Way Behind on the Bills:http://www.cancerinsurance.com/English/Collaterals/NY_Times_16NOV1997.html
  • National Catholic Charities Web Site: www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.
  • United Way : http://www.unitedway.org/
  • American Cancer Society links to funding: http://www.cancer.org/docroot/res/res_0.asp
  • Drug Assistance through National and International Cancer Supportive Care Programs:http://www.cancersupportivecare.com/drug_assistance.html

"Aid and Attendance" is a monthly pension benefit that the Department of Veterans Affairs offers. Applications may be submitted online at www.vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp or learn more about what your local VA has to offer at www.va.gov. Claimants for the "Aid and Assistance" benefit must be incapable of self support and in need of regular personal assistance. For more information, call 1-800-827-1000.

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