Coping with Cancer in the Workplace

May 13, 2014

Recent medical advances are allowing more and more people coping with cancer to continue working during and after treatment. The workplace can be a supportive environment for people facing a cancer diagnosis; it can contribute to a sense of normalcy and provide a feeling of community, not to mention financial stability and health insurance benefits.

For many people who want to continue to work during and after treatment, the issue of disclosure looms large in their minds. Some may worry that they will be seen as a liability to their employer and perhaps be terminated from their position if they open up about their diagnosis. Others may fear that they will encounter subtle discrimination.

As an oncology social worker at CancerCare, I encourage clients who decide to tell their employers about their cancer to learn as much as possible about their diagnosis and treatment schedule before discussing it. Presenting a plan of action to their supervisor will not only help people feel more in control of their diagnosis, it may help ease the supervisor’s or coworkers’ concerns about how work will keep moving forward as the patient copes with his or her diagnosis.

Part of returning to work after an illness is immersing oneself back into the identity you had before treatment. I encourage people to take control of conversations that become about their cancer by acknowledging their colleague’s comment and then immediately focusing back to work specific topics. This is called “re-casting” or resetting your professional image.

There are many available resources that can help people coping with cancer in the workplace. CancerCare provides free resources on workplace issuesCancer and Careers is another excellent resource for information about coping with cancer in the workplace.


Our guest blogger is Anna L. Eckhardt, LCSW, coordinator of online services at CancerCare.         



AVONCares Supports CancerCare Financial Assistance for Women Facing Cancer

August 19, 2013

Being told that you have breast cancer or watching as a love one receives this diagnosis can turn your world upside down. Facing important medical decisions and managing difficult emotions can sometimes be overwhelming to everyone involved. But for many families, it is the tremendous financial cost of cancer treatment that presents the greatest challenge.

The financial impact of a cancer diagnosis is oftentimes overlooked and under-discussed. The inability to go to work and provide for one’s family, paired with medical and practical costs, can result in patients feeling lost and unsure of where to turn for help.

Donna came to CancerCare after she was diagnosed with breast cancer and facing a financial crisis. “I was overwhelmed with emotions, questions, concerns, and yes, sometimes fear. Because I was laid off from my job just short of a year before being diagnosed with aggressive stage-II cancer, I had nowhere else to go, since my treatments were overwhelming and left me with no energy to work. CancerCare came through for me, helping me to attend my daily radiation treatments that extended for seven weeks.”

Since 2000, The Avon Foundation for Women has generously supported CancerCare‘s financial assistance services, educational programs and publications for underserved women facing breast cancer. AVONCares, a partnership between CancerCare and the Avon Foundation for Women, provides limited financial assistance to underserved women for homecare, child care and transportation. Over the past 13 years of our partnership, the Avon Foundation has provided more than $20,000,000 to more than 65,000 women from all 50 states.

Remember to reach out for support—medical debt can cause emotional stress, but there are resources available to provide relief. Learn more about CancerCare’s financial assistance services, and view all of our support services for people affected by breast cancer, including counseling, support groups and education.

Support for CancerCare and the Avon Cares program is made possible by funds raised through the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series. For more information, visit


How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect People Facing Cancer?

December 10, 2012

The Affordable Care Act is poised to bring many changes to health care in the United States. For people coping with a cancer diagnosis, it’s especially important to understand how these changes might impact the care they or their loved one receives.

Leading experts recently answered listeners’ questions about the Affordable Care Act during CancerCare’s Connect Education Workshop, “Understanding the Affordable Care Act for People Living with Cancer.” You can listen to the workshop as a podcast here.

Learn more about the Affordable Care Act.

The professional oncology social workers at CancerCare understand the costs of cancer and its treatment can be overwhelming. CancerCare provides limited grants to help people cope with costs associated with a cancer diagnosis, including transportation to or from treatment, child care, and pain medication. To learn more and apply for financial assistance, call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

The Avon Foundation for Women Donates $1 Million in Support of CancerCare’s Free Services

October 24, 2012

People coping with cancer face what can feel like non-stop challenges, including keeping up with mounting bills. The costs of cancer treatment not only include medical expenses, but also practical costs such as transportation to and from treatment, home care and child care—the list goes on. For underserved women, these treatment-related costs can seem insurmountable.

The Avon Foundation for Women is a longtime supporter of CancerCare’s financial assistance services, as well as other programs, for underserved women facing breast cancer. The Foundation recently presented a $1 million check to CancerCare at the 2012 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, held October 20-21 in New York City.

CancerCare Director of Patient Assistance Programs Jane Levy accepts a $1 million check from the Avon Foundation for Women at the 2012 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in New York City.

CancerCare provides free, professional services for women facing breast cancer, including counseling, support groups, and financial help. Learn more about how we help people affected by breast cancer.

Co-Payment Assistance for People Coping with Metastatic Breast Cancer

October 18, 2012

People being treated for metastatic breast cancer may be eligible to receive up to $10,000 in co-payment assistance per year through the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation. To qualify for assistance, individuals must meet certain criteria related to their financial, medical, and insurance situation.

View the eligibility requirements.

CancerCare offers free, professional services for people coping with all types and stages of breast cancer. We also offer free services specifically for people who have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, including support groups available both online and over the telephone.

Leading experts in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer will answer listeners’ questions during our upcoming Connect Education Workshop, “Managing the Challenging Side Effects of Metastatic Breast Cancer.” The workshop, which will take place Thursday, Oct. 25 at 1:30 pm EST, is free, though registration is required.

The “CancerCare Get You There” program provides people being treated for metastatic breast cancer with financial help for the cost of transportation to and from treatment. Learn more at

A recently launched program, Magnolia Meals at Home, delivers free meals to people being treated for metastatic breast cancer who live in or near Woodcliff Lake, NJ, Andover, MA, and certain towns in Westchester and Rockland County, NY. The program is a partnership between CancerCare, The Eisai Women’s Oncology Program – Magnolia, Cancer Support Community, and Meals On Wheels Association of America.

Learn more about Magnolia Meals at Home.

View all CancerCare’s breast cancer resources.


CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation Launches New Website

July 13, 2012

Check out our newly redesigned website for the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation,

Some of the site’s new content and features include:

  • Funding status for each diagnosis on the homepage, which lists the diagnoses that are covered by the Foundation and the funds that are currently open
  • Additional resources—including the ability to search the Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition database directly from the website—for people coping with any cancer diagnosis
  • A new section for healthcare professionals
  • A new section for funders

We have also redesigned the Foundation’s brochure, which can be ordered free of charge through our online order form.

The CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation provides up to $10,000 per year in co-payment assistance to eligible individuals coping with the following diagnoses:

  • colon or colorectal cancer
  • gastric cancer
  • glioblastoma
  • pancreatic cancer

If we do not currently have funding for your type of cancer, our co-payment specialists can provide you with information about other possible patient assistance programs, support services, and additional resources that may be helpful. Please call 866-55-COPAY (866-552-6729) or email us at

New Fact Sheet Series for Caregivers

June 12, 2012

Three new CancerCare fact sheets offer tips to help people cope with the challenges of caring for a loved one with cancer.

All three fact sheets can be ordered free of charge from our online order form, or by calling 800-813-HOPE (4673).

CancerCare offers many free services for caregivers, including counseling from professional oncology social workers and support groups that are available online, over the phone, and face to face.

CancerCare will also hold a free workshop for caregivers at our national office in New York City on June 25 at 5:30pm. The workshop, “Caring for the Caregiver,” will provide practical tips and information on topics such as improving communication with a loved one and caring for yourself as you care for a loved one.

The registration deadline for this workshop is June 18. Please contact Chrissy Rubin, LMSW at 212-712-6139 or email to register.

Multiple Myeloma Patients Can Get Help for Transportation Costs through CancerCare’s Door to Door Program

February 23, 2012

People in treatment for multiple myeloma may be eligible to receive grants to help with treatment-related transportation costs through CancerCare’s “Door to Door” program. The grants can be used for expenses such as gasoline, parking and tolls, and taxi, bus, or train fare to and from medical care.

To apply for a grant, download a financial assistance application from our website or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

Experts in the treatment of multiple myeloma recently answered listeners’ questions during our Connect Education Workshop, “Update from the 2011 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.” Listen to the workshop.

You can also register for our upcoming workshop, “Progress in the Treatment of multiple Myeloma,” taking place May 23, 2012.

Learn more about how CancerCare helps people affected by multiple myeloma.

CancerCare will honor Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company at tonight’s 29th Annual Partnerships in Hope Awards Dinner for its generous funding of the “Door to Door” program and other CancerCare services that help people affected by multiple myeloma. Celebrated Actress and longtime CancerCare advocate S. Epatha Merkerson will serve as host.

Underserved New Yorkers Facing Cancer Benefit from New York Community Trust Grant to CancerCare

February 14, 2012

Underserved residents of New York City and their families who are facing cancer can continue to receive free, professional support services from CancerCare to help them cope with the emotional and practical concerns arising from a cancer diagnosis, thanks to a generous grant from the New York Community Trust.

CancerCare has been awarded an $800,000 grant to provide financial assistance and education to underserved New Yorkers by the Trust, a community foundation supporting charities in the New York metropolitan area. Our organization has received the highest grant amount of any of the 46 organizations the Trust has funded so far this year.

“We’re very grateful for the support we’ve received from The New York Community Trust,” says CancerCare CEO Helen H. Miller, LCSW, ACSW. “Especially in these difficult economic times, the Trust’s generosity ensures that we can continue to meet the growing need for assistance across New York City.”

The New York Community Trust has provided grants to CancerCare since 1987, and has donated more than $15 million in support of our free, professional services for people affected by cancer.

Grants totaling $5 million were approved by the Trust so far this year to support organizations that address issues that affect underserved New Yorkers, including health care, education, community development, affordable housing, and environmental cleanup.

Learn more about our financial assistance services for people affected by cancer.

Financial Help for Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer

January 27, 2012

CancerCare has launched a new program to provide financial help to women coping with metastatic breast cancer. The program, “CancerCare – Get You There,” provides financial assistance grants for transportation to and from treatment.

To learn more about CancerCare’s financial assistance programs or download an application, visit Or, call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer, which is among the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women. We offer free support services for anyone affected by metastatic breast cancer, including support groups available online and over the telephone.

View all of our resources for women coping with breast cancer.