How the Dollars You Raise Help Breast Cancer Patients

College Relay Leaders Visit AstraZeneca Hope Lodge in Boston

As Relays gear up for 2012, it is important to know where your hard-earned dollars are going. One of the main components of the American Cancer Society is service - more specifically, the support that each cancer patient receives from the Society during and after their cancer treatment. Let’s look at these services through the eyes of a recently diagnosed  breast cancer patient.

When a person hears the words “you have cancer,”  they often don't know where to turn for support or even what questions to ask. From insurance questions to finding a doctor or treatment center, the Society can help. Patients or their loved ones can call our toll-free hotline - 1.800.227.2345 - anytime, day or night, 365 days a year, to talk with a cancer information specialist. They can also access, our state-of-the-art Web site where they can find information about treatment, questions they should ask their doctors, and local resources, such as free rides to treatment, wigs, Look Good . . . Feel Better sessions that can help them cope with the appearance-related side effects of treatment, and much more. By registering on the Web site and designating their preferences, relevant information will appear without them having to search for it.

Another wonderful resource for men and women facing a breast cancer diagnosis is Reach to Recovery,  a program that matches breast cancer survivors with newly diagnosed patients. There is nothing more comforting than having a friend who “gets it”. Reach volunteers share their personal experiences and knowledge and are living proof that the disease can be beaten.

Patients who must travel more than 40 miles to treatment - and their caregiver - may stay at one of our more than two dozen Hope Lodges across the U.S. We have 3 in New England, in Boston, Burlington, VT, and Worcester. These facilities provide a home away from home, fellowship, and allow the patients to focus on healing. If you live near one of our Lodges, we welcome you to contact them and possibly set up a visit. They are always looking for committees and groups to volunteer their time, helping with crafts, games, and organized dinners for the families at Hope Lodge.

When a breast cancer patient is finished with treatment, our service does not end. The American Cancer Society can help survivors figure out survivor care plans and health programs after treatment, and provide fullfilling volunteer opportunities.

Read more details about the American Cancer Society's programs and services for all people with cancer, including their families.

You also can read a breast cancer survivor's perspective on the American Cancer Society.

Pictured here are members of the New England College Relay For Life Leadership Team during a visit to the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston.