After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families

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American Cancer Society programs

The American Cancer Society programs listed below may be offered in your area. Check your local phone book for your nearest Society office or call 1-800-227-2345.

Finding hope and inspiration

The American Cancer Society Cancer Survivors Network is a free online community created by and for people with cancer and their families. This online community is a welcoming, safe place for people to find hope and inspiration from others who have “been there.” Services include discussion boards, chat rooms, and personal web space to tell your story, blog, post images, exchange private messages with members, and much more. Check it out at

Lodging during treatment

The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge® program offers people with cancer and their families a free, temporary place to stay when their best hope for quality care is away from home. By not having to worry about where to stay or how to pay for lodging, Hope Lodge guests can focus on getting well. And Hope Lodge facilities offer much more than just free lodging. They provide a nurturing, home-like environment where patients and caregivers can retreat to private rooms or connect with others who are going through similar experiences. The Society can tell you if there are other resources offering free or low-cost housing in cities where a Hope Lodge facility is not available.

Cancer education classes

I Can Cope® classes are available free online for people facing cancer and their families and friends. The educational program’s self-paced classes can be taken anytime, day or night. Take as few or as many classes as you like. Many topics are offered such as information about cancer, managing treatments and side effects, healthy eating during and after treatment, communicating with family and friends, finding resources, and more. These free classes are available anytime at

Help with appearance-related side effects of treatment

Some cancer treatments can change the way you look. At a Look Good Feel Better® session, women can learn ways to help with side effects like hair loss and skin changes. There are also programs for men and teens. This free program is offered jointly by the American Cancer Society, the Personal Care Products Council, and the Professional Beauty Association. For more information, call 1-800-395-LOOK (1-800-395-5665) or visit

Breast cancer support

If you have breast cancer, you may want to talk to someone who knows what you’re feeling – someone who has “been there.” The American Cancer Society can help through our free Reach To Recovery® program. We can match you with a volunteer who will talk with you about coping with your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Every volunteer is trained and is a breast cancer survivor. They know what it’s like to hear the words “You have breast cancer.”

Transportation to treatment

Every day, thousands of cancer patients need a ride to treatment, but some may not have a way to get there. If finding a ride is a problem for you, we may be able to help. The American Cancer Society Road To Recovery® program provides rides to and from treatment for people with cancer who don’t have a ride or are unable to drive themselves. Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their cars so that people can get the lifesaving treatments they need.

Mastectomy and hair-loss products

The “tlc”TM magalog is the American Cancer Society’s catalog and magazine for women. It offers helpful articles and a line of products made for women fighting cancer. Products include wigs, hairpieces, breast forms, bras, hats, turbans, swimwear, and accessories. You can order by phone at 1-800-850-9445 or at All proceeds from product sales go back into the American Cancer Society’s programs and services for patients and survivors.

More information from your American Cancer Society

The following information may also be helpful to you. These materials may be ordered from our toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345, or read at

Dealing with the medical system

Choosing a Doctor and a Hospital (also in Spanish)

Talking With Your Doctor (also in Spanish)

Health Professionals Associated With Cancer Care

More on treatment

Understanding Cancer Surgery: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)

A Guide to Chemotherapy (also in Spanish)

Understanding Radiation Therapy: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)

Coping with cancer

Coping With Cancer in Everyday Life (also in Spanish)

Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Understanding Psychosocial Support Services

Caring for the Patient With Cancer at Home: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)

Nutrition for the Person With Cancer: A Guide for Patients and Families (also in Spanish)

We have many other sources of information, including books. If you do not see what you are looking for here, please call us. We are available anytime, day or night, to help you with cancer information and support at 1-800-227-2345 or

Last Medical Review: 03/06/2014
Last Revised: 04/07/2014