A cancer diagnosis is not only scary, but it’s a life-changing event. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with cancer, the good news is that there are many resources out there for cancer patients that can help with finances, mental health, and managing the logistics of treatment and paperwork. To learn more about a few great resources for cancer patients, read on.
Financial Assistance and Social Workers
Other than the illness itself, finances can be one of the biggest stressors after a cancer diagnosis. If you or a loved one are facing expensive medical bills, having trouble with insurance, or are in financial need, the first thing to do is to ask to speak to a social worker at your local hospital. A social worker will be able to help you navigate the financial resources available to you that you might not otherwise learn about. You can connect with a social worker through your oncologist, too.
Some cancer patients become stressed out, not only over immediate financial challenges but for those down the road. Terminal patients often worry that their loved ones will be left with large bills and aren’t sure where to go for cancer patient financial help. If you’re in this situation, and you have life insurance, consider looking into options for cashing your policy out early. There are companies that can help you get a lump sum payment that can be put aside for later expenses or used now for something like a memorable family vacation. Viatical companies, for example, offer viatical settlements to the terminally ill. They will buy your life insurance policy and give you a lump sum payout, so you can take care of end of life expenses
Support Groups and Spiritual Guidance
While your healthcare provider will be a great source of support, it’s important that any cancer patient also builds a strong support network. This can begin with churches, non-profit organizations, family, and friends. If you or a family member are struggling with a diagnosis and why this is even happening, a great place to start is by turning toward the people who love you and whatever higher power you believe in. Consider doing some research on where to buy a Bible, support groups at your church, and ways the people who want to help could surround you with hope, faith, and love. By having a big support group to depend on, you’ll take some stress off yourself and any caregivers closely connected to the cancer diagnosis.
Advocates and Other Resources
The same social worker you might have met to share financial concerns about medical debt can also work as an advocate for you when it comes to making big decisions about your treatment plans. If you’re feeling confused, sad, or depressed, it’s always a good idea to add a licensed grief therapist to your team, too. These professional advocates will be able to provide you and your family members with resources and tools to help make the journey ahead easier.
As a cancer patient or caregiver, it’s important to take the time to explore your options when it comes to resources at the beginning stages of your diagnosis. Having a list of contacts, research, information, and places to turn for help will make a big difference in your ability to focus on medications and cancer treatment as you work toward recovery. Whether your biggest worry is out-of-pocket costs, where to get referrals, or finding the right treatment center for you, working with a social worker and getting ahead of the process will be a great first step in building your overall plan to manage your cancer. In using resources for things like child care, navigating policies with your insurance company, and paying for medical supplies, your ability to be your own best advocate will go a long way in helping improve your physical and mental wellbeing.