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First Steps After Diagnosis of Cancer

• Top 10 Cancer Sites, Treatment Centers, and Cancer Books for Newly Diagnosed Patients.

•  Understanding Prognosis and Cancer Statistics - answers the most important question, "What is my prognosis?"

•  Support Groups for Cancer Patients

• Find a Cancer Treatment Center

• Cancer Books written for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their caregivers. 

Anal Cancer
Bladder Cancer
Brain Tumor
Breast Cancer
Cervical Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Endometrial Cancer
Esophageal Cancer
Hodgkin's Disease
Kidney Cancer
Laryngeal Cancer
Liver Cancer
Lung Cancer
Lymphoma (NHL)
Mouth and Tongue
Multiple Myeloma
Oral Pharynx
Ovarian Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Skin Cancer
Stomach Cancer
Testicular Cancer
Thyroid Cancer
Wilms Tumor
Other Cancers
Pediatric Cancers

Welcome to The Cancer Information Network

  Questions about cancer or its treatment? Get answers from a board-certified oncologist.   Please visit our Ask An Oncologist service.

Financial Assistance for Cancer Care

Cancer imposes heavy economic burdens on both patients and their families. For many people, a portion of medical expenses is paid by their health insurance plan. For individuals who do not have health insurance or who need financial assistance to cover health care costs, resources are available, including Government-sponsored programs and services supported by voluntary organizations.

Cancer patients and their families should discuss any concerns they may have about health care costs with their physician, medical social worker, or the business office of their hospital or clinic. The organizations and resources listed below may offer financial assistance. Organizations that provide publications in Spanish or have Spanish-speaking staff have been identified.

  • The national American Cancer Society (ACS) office can provide the telephone number of the local ACS office serving your area. The local ACS office may offer reimbursement for expenses related to cancer treatment including transportation, medicine, and medical supplies. The ACS also offers programs that help cancer patients, family members, and friends cope with the emotional challenges they face. Some publications are available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking staff are available.

Telephone: 1–800–ACS–2345 (1–800–227–2345)

Web site:

  • The AVONCares Program for Medically Underserved Women provides financial assistance and relevant education and support to low income, under- and uninsured, underserved women throughout the country in need of diagnostic and/or related services (transportation, child care, and social support) for the treatment of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers.

    Telephone: 1–800–813–HOPE (1–800–813–4673)

    Web site:

  • The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF) is a nonprofit organization that provides information, peer support, and advocacy through publications, an information clearinghouse, and a network of local support groups. CCCF maintains a list of organizations to which eligible families may apply for financial assistance.

    Telephone: 1–800–366–CCCF (1–800–366–2223)

    Web site:

  • Community voluntary agencies and service organizations such as the Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Services, Jewish Social Services, Catholic Charities, and the Lions Club may offer help. These organizations are listed in your local phone directory. Some churches and synagogues may provide financial help or services to their members.

  • Fundraising is another mechanism to consider. Some patients find that friends, family, and community members are willing to contribute financially if they are aware of a difficult situation. Contact your local library for information about how to organize fundraising efforts.

  • General Assistance programs provide food, housing, prescription drugs, and other medical expenses for those who are not eligible for other programs. Funds are often limited. Information can be obtained by contacting your state or local Department of Social Services; this number is found in the local telephone directory.

  • Hill-Burton is a program through which hospitals receive construction funds from the Federal Government. Hospitals that receive Hill-Burton funds are required by law to provide some services to people who cannot afford to pay for their hospitalization. A brochure about the program is available in Spanish.

    Telephone: 1–800–638–0742

    Web site:

  • Income Tax Deductions: Medical costs that are not covered by insurance policies sometimes can be deducted from annual income before taxes. Examples of tax deductible expenses might include mileage for trips to and from medical appointments, out-of-pocket costs for treatment, prescription drugs or equipment, and the cost of meals during lengthy medical visits. The local Internal Revenue Service office, tax consultants, or certified public accountants can determine medical costs that are tax deductible. These telephone numbers are available in the local telephone directory.

    Web site:

  • The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) offers information and financial aid to patients who have leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, or multiple myeloma. Callers may request a booklet describing LLS's Patient Aid Program or the telephone number for their local LLS office. Some publications are available in Spanish.

Telephone: 1–800–955–4572

Web site:

  • Medicaid (Medical Assistance) a jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program for people who need financial assistance for medical expenses, is coordinated by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). At a minimum, states must provide home care services to people who receive Federal income assistance such as Social Security Income and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Medicaid coverage includes part-time nursing, home care aide services, and medical supplies and equipment. Information about coverage is available from local state welfare offices, state health departments, state social services agencies, or the state Medicaid office. Check the local telephone directory for the number to call. Information about specific state locations is also available on the HCFA Web site. Spanish-speaking staff are available in some offices.

    Web site:

  • Medicare is a Federal health insurance program also administered by HCFA. Eligible individuals include those who are 65 or older, people of any age with permanent kidney failure, and disabled people under age 65. Medicare may offer reimbursement for some home care services. Cancer patients who qualify for Medicare may also be eligible for coverage of hospice services if they are accepted into a Medicare-certified hospice program. To receive information on eligibility, explanations of coverage, and related publications, call Medicare at the number listed below or visit their Web site. Some publications are available in Spanish.

    Toll Free: 1–800–MEDICARE (1–800–633–4227)

    TTY (for deaf and hard of hearing callers): 1–877–486–2048

    Web site:

  • The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is a national nonprofit organization that provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination, and debt crisis matters.

    Telephone: 1–800–532–5274

    Web site:

  • Patient Assistance Programs are offered by some pharmaceutical manufacturers to help pay for medications. To learn whether a specific drug might be available at reduced cost through such a program, talk with a physician or a medical social worker.

  • Social Security Administration (SSA) is the Government agency that oversees Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. A description of each of these programs follows. More information about these and other SSA programs is available by calling the toll-free number listed below. Spanish-speaking staff are available.

    Telephone: 1–800–772–1213

    TTY (for deaf and hard of hearing callers): 1–800–325–0778

  • Social Security provides a monthly income for eligible elderly and disabled individuals. Information on eligibility, coverage, and how to apply for benefits is available from the Social Security Administration.
              Web site:

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) supplements Social Security payments for individuals who have certain income and resource levels. SSI is administered by the Social Security Administration. Information on eligibility, coverage, and how to file a claim is available from the Social Security Administration.
              Web site:

  • The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a Federal-State partnership that offers low-cost or free health insurance coverage to uninsured children of low-wage, working parents. Callers will be referred to the SCHIP program in their state for further information about what the program covers, who is eligible, and the minimum qualifications.

    Telephone: 1–877–KIDS–NOW (1–877–543–7669)

    Web site:

  • Transportation: There are nonprofit organizations that arrange free or reduced cost air transportation for cancer patients going to or from cancer treatment centers. Financial need is not always a requirement. To find out about these programs, talk with a medical social worker. Ground transportation services may be offered or mileage reimbursed through the local ACS or your state or local Department of Social Services.

  • Veterans Benefits: Eligible veterans and their dependents may receive cancer treatment at a Veterans Administration Medical Center. Treatment for service-connected conditions is provided, and treatment for other conditions may be available based on the veteran's financial need. Some publications are available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking staff are available in some offices.

    Telephone: 1–800–827–1000

    Web site:

Suggested Readings
1.Click for cancer Books recommended by our Oncologists.  You may purchase these books with discount price directly through our links with Amazon .com.

2.Living with cancer: A message of hope. by Anne Bancroft. (VHS 55 minutes).

3.Affirmations for Living beyond Cancer. by Bernie S. Siegel (VHS).

4.50 Essential Things To Do When the Doctor Says It's Cancer.
Inspirational Patient Stories - A substantial list of cancer survivors' stories, several with lung cancer. Provided by

Cancer Support Group Mailing List - This is a mailing list for general cancer information, include lung cancer.

Financial Assistance  for Cancer Care - provides an extensive listing of resources available that may offer financial assistance to help cover costs of cancer care.
Top 10 Questions after Cancer Diagnosis - Virtual Hospital provides this informative lecture hitting all the major points about diagnosis and treatment.
  Ask a Physician - From Mayo Health - Do you have specific questions or concerns? Click here to ask a specialist, or browse frequently asked questions about cancer.
  Webcasts Alphacancer provides  discussions between leading health professionals on a particular topic.  Currently available topics include breast cancer and colon cancer.
Clinical Trials

CyberMedTrials - A comprehensive database of clinical trials, with descriptions and discussions directed towards the cancer patients and their caregivers.

Search for Clinical Trials from NIH - Search the database of National Institute of Health for available trials for cancer treatment. 

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