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Home Support Resources Breast Cancer Resources

Breast Cancer Resources

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Breast Cancer Resources

Information on your diagnosis, treatment options, clinical trials, side effects, supportive services, and much more are available. The websites below provide information that can assist you on your cancer journey. You can also visit the resource room located in the UIC Cancer Center to obtain free educational pamphlets and booklets that include helpful information for patients, caregivers, family, and friends.



National Cancer Organizations

· American Cancer Society

o Comprehensive breast cancer information including information on mammograms, stories of hope, and breast cancer in the news

§ http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/index

· National Cancer Institute

o Comprehensive breast cancer information site

§ http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast

· Cancer Care

o Publications and fact sheets on breast cancer

§ http://www.cancercare.org/reading_room/reading.php?topic=breast


o How do I preserve my fertility?

§ http://myoncofertility.org/

§ http://www.fertilehope.org/



Breast Cancer Organizations

· Breast Cancer Network of Strength

o http://www.networkofstrength.org/information/

o The mission of Breast Cancer Network of Strength is to ensure, through information, empowerment and peer support, that no one faces breast cancer alone.

· Living Beyond Breast Cancer

o http://www.lbbc.org/

o LBBC offers specialized programs and services for the newly diagnosed, young women, women with advanced breast cancer, women at high risk for developing the disease, and African-American and Latina women. Also offer programs for caregivers and healthcare professionals to help them better meet the needs of women affected by breast cancer.

· Susan G. Komen for the Cure

o http://ww5.komen.org/

o Susan G. Komen for the Cure is fighting every minute of every day to finish what we started and achieve our vision of a world without breast cancer

· A Silver Lining Foundation

o http://www.asilverliningfoundation.org/

o The mission of A Silver Lining Foundation is to ensure dignified, respectful and equal access to quality cancer education and services for all, by creating meaningful partnerships with community, advocacy and healthcare organizations.

· Be Bright Pink

o http://www.bebrightpink.org/

o Bright Pink believes in the beauty and strength of women. It exists to enlighten and empower high risk individuals to take control of their breast and ovarian health by providing education, support and a sense of community for a better, brighter future.



Emotional Support

Talking with and listening to others can provide comfort, support, and relief to individuals and family members experiencing a cancer diagnosis. Individuals diagnosed with breast cancer can receive support from other individuals diagnosed with cancer in a variety of support group settings. One-on-one support is also available from breast cancer survivors and healthcare professionals.

One on One Support

· Reach to Recovery

o Individuals recently diagnosed or in active cancer treatment are matched with volunteers who are breast cancer survivors. This creates an opportunity for patients and family members to express feelings, talk about fears and concerns and ask questions of someone who is knowledgable and level-headed. Reach to Recovery volunteers offer understanding, support, and hope as someone who has survived breast cancer and gone on to live normal, productive lives.

§ Contact your American Cancer Society Patient Navigator or 1-800-227-2345 for more information

· Your Shoes (Breast Cancer Network of Strength)

o Get immediate emotional relief. Talk to a breast cancer survivor. Support is available by YourShoes peer counselors 24/7 by calling 1-800-221-2141

· CancerCare

o Talking to a professional about your concerns, a practice known as counseling, can help you feel more hopeful and in control. At CancerCare, you can receive free counseling on the phone from compassionate, professional oncology social workers.

o For more information 1-800-813-4673 or email info@cancercare.org

· Imerman Angels

o IA carefully matches and individually pairs a person touched by cancer (cancer survivor or fighter) with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Mentor Angel)

§ Request a match by calling 1-877-274-5529 register online: http://www.imermanangelscrm.org/magicbutton/

Support Groups

· Gilda’s Club

o 537 N. Wells, Chicago, IL 60654

o 312-464-9900

o www.gildasclubchicago.org/

§ Breast Cancer Networking Group

Ø 3rd Wednesday of every month, 6-7:30 pm

§ Women of Color with Breast Cancer

Ø Meeting time varies monthly

§ Family Groups

Ø Tuesdays, 6-7:30

§ Activities including knitting, yoga, cooking, and more

o Call ahead to register for groups!

o Gilda’s Club currently has support programs and various Chicago hospitals…check the website for a traveling door program by you! Outreach coming to UIC…stay tuned for details!

· University of Chicago Breast Cancer Support Group

o 5758 S. Maryland Ave. Rm. 1402, Chicago, IL 60637

§ Every third Saturday from 10:30 am- 12:00 pm

o Call Peggy Williams at 773-702-6730 to register

· Wellness House

o 131 County Line Road, Hinsdale, IL 60521

o 630-323-5150

o http://www.wellnesshouse.org/

§ Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

§ Tuesdays from 10-11:30 am

§ Call Linda Kengott at 630-654-5109 for more info

o Additional groups available

· St. Joseph’s Hospital

o 2900 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60657

o Imaging Conference Room, Third Floor

§ Third Thursday of every month

§ Call Stacy Baustert at 773-665-6992 for more information or to register

· West Suburban Medical Center

o 3 Erie Court, Oak Park, IL 60302

o We’re Movin’ On Breast Cancer Support Group

§ First Tuesday of every month, 7-9 pm

§ Call 708-763-4709 for more information

Appearance-Related Assistance

Programs, services, and supplies are available to help combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Certain products may be covered by your health insurance, while others can be provided free of charge through different organizations. Assistance is available for all patients who desire such products and services to assist with changes in appearance that may occur as a result of cancer treatment.

· Wigs, Turbans, and Hats

o It is important to check with your insurance carrier about coverage for wigs. Wigs are covered under durable medical equipment and you may need to make this purchase through a specific vendor that works with your insurance. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover wigs (cranial prosthesis)

o Free Wigs, Turbans, and Hats

§ American Cancer Society

Ø Patients that experience hair loss as a result of cancer treatment can receive one free wig from the American Cancer Society.

Ø Contact your UIC ACS Patient Navigator at 312-355-4596 or call 1-800-227-2345 for assistance

§ Breast Cancer Network of Strength

Ø Wig bank available for women diagnosed with breast cancer

Ø Contact BCNOS at 1-800-221-2141 or learn more online at http://www.networkofstrength.org/programs/wig-prosthesis-bank.php

§ Good Wishes Scarves from L. Erickson USA

Ø Provides, free of charge, one beautiful It's a Wrap or Good Wishes Scarf to women and children experiencing the thinning or loss of hair as a result of illness or treatment, to in some small way, to ease their journey. Our goal is to provide a small bit of comfort and share the power of positive thinking and good wishes with these individuals on their path to healing and recovery.

Ø http://www.franceluxe.com/i/goodwishesscarves/GoodWishesScarves.html

· Prostheses and Accessories

o It is important to check with your insurance carrier about prostheses coverage. Prostheses are covered under durable medical equipment and you may need to work with a specific vendor that works with your insurance.

o Medicare: covers external breast prostheses and surgical bras after a mastectomy. May cover one external breast prosthesis every 2 years. An order (prescription) must be written by your medical provider. Make sure the supplier you go to is enrolled in Medicare and has a Medicare supplier number. Medicare will not pay your claim if your supplier doesn’t have a number, even if it is a large chain or department store that sells more than just durable medical equipment. You can receive one prosthesis every 2 years and 4-6 bras every year. Some suppliers require you pay for the products and get reimbursed. Others will get their payment directly from Medicare.

o Medicaid: Medicaid coverage is similar to Medicare coverage. You need to have a written order (prescription) from your medical provider. Make sure that the supplier is a state provider, and that they can bill Medicaid for the supplies. The supplier will need to get pre-approval from Medicaid before your purchase. You can receive one prosthesis every 2 years and 4-6 bras every year.

o Free Prostheses and Accessories

§ Breast Cancer Network of Strength

Ø Free prostheses and mastectomy bras available for women diagnosed with breast cancer

Ø Contact BCNOS at 1-800-221-2141 or learn more online at http://www.networkofstrength.org/programs/wig-prosthesis-bank.php

· Look Good…Feel Better

o Community-based, free, national service from the American Cancer Society. Teaches female cancer patients beauty tips to look better and feel good about how they look during radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

§ Monthly sessions at UIC Cancer Center

§ 3rd Tuesday of every month from 11am-1pm

§ Call 312-355-4596 to register



Prescription Assistance

There are organizations and foundations that may be able to assist with the costs of medications and chemotherapy drugs. Depending on your insurance status, income, and the medication being prescribed by your doctor, you may be eligible. Talk to your pharmacist, social worker, or American Cancer Society patient navigator if you need assistance determining which pharmaceutical assistance program may be an option for you.

· Cancer Care Co-Pay Assistance Program

o Financial assistance program to assist with the costs of certain medications

o http://www.cancercarecopay.org

o Call 1-866-552-6729 to receive an application

o List of covered medications: http://www.cancercarecopay.org/covered.html (click on breast cancer for complete list)

· Needy Meds

o Links patients to programs that can assist with the cost of medications. Search by medication type.

o http://www.needymeds.org/

· Healthwell Foundation

o Assistance available for breast cancer patients (check website to see if program is accepting new applicants)

o http://www.healthwellfoundation.org/

o Call 1-800-675-8416 to apply

· Patient Advocate Foundation: Co-Pay Relief Program

o Click on website below for assistance for breast cancer patients

o http://www.copays.org/resources/breast.php

o Call 1-866-512-3861

· Partnership for Prescription Assistance

o Links you to resources that may be able to assist with certain medications.

o http://www.pparx.org/

o Call 1-888-477-2669 for more information

· American Cancer Society

o The American Cancer Society may be able to assist with pain and nausea medications for uninsured or individuals with no prescription coverage. Contact Diane Collias, ACS patient navigator at 312-355-4596 for assistance.



Financial Support

Organizations have financial assistance programs to help offset many of the expenses patients and families incur as a result of a cancer diagnosis. The type of assistance, amount available, and eligibility requirements are unique to the organization. Please read below to better understand how each of the following organizations may be able to assist you with some of the financial stressors you may be experiencing.

· American Cancer Society

o Eligible individuals undergoing cancer treatment may qualify for financial assistance based on an assessment with an ACS patient navigator. American Cancer Society’s financial assistance efforts aim to help alleviate barriers to treatment for patients and their families.

o Contact 312-355-4596 for additional information on services provided by ACS.

· Cancer Care

o Yearly grant can provide eligible individuals with financial assistance for transportation, pain medications, home care, and child care.

o Contact 1-800-813-4673 or visit http://www.cancercare.org/get_help/assistance/cc_financial.php

· Living Beyond Cancer Foundation

o The Patient Financial Assistance funds provides funds for living expenses for eligible cancer patients undergoing treatment for the disease. Mortgage payments, rental and utilities assistance are among eligible expenses.

o Applications must be submitted through a health care provider.

o For more information: http://lifebeyondcancer.org/programs-outreach/patient-assistance/

· Breast Cancer Society

o BCS financial assistance not only includes money to help keep their families afloat during treatments, but it also includes products that can help the patient recover more easily. Many families find that they are not financially prepared to pay for extensive breast cancer treatments. The Breast Cancer Society tries to relieve a portion of this potentially crippling financial burden.

o http://www.breastcancersociety.org/aboutus/receiveaidfromtbcs/

· Cleaning for a Reason

o This nonprofit offers free professional housecleaning, and maid services to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for cancer - any type of cancer.

o http://www.cleaningforareason.org/

· Insight Breast Cancer Organization

o A nonprofit organization that provides transportation, child care, and meal delivery services to cancer patients in the metropolitan Chicago area.

o Contact Insight Breast Cancer Organization at 1-866-782-4983 or http://www.insightbreastcancer.org/Contact_Us.html



Breast screenings are integral to early detection. If you do not have coverage for breast screenings, there are programs that can provide you with the services you need.

· Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program

o Proving services to women who meet the following criteria:

§ Living in Illinois

§ Without Insurance

§ 35-64 years old (younger women may be eligible in some cases)

§ To enroll, women can call the Women’s Health Line at 1-888-522-1282 or contact their local IBCCP agency and schedule an appointment http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/womenshealth/owhmap.htm

· A Silver Lining Foundation

o Information about and access to a cost free screening mammogram and diagnostic evaluation

o Contact ASLF at 312-345-1322 to determine whether you are eligible for a cost-free mammogram

o Must have an order from a healthcare professional for a screening mammogram prior to calling.


Diane Collias, MSW, LSW