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March 21, 2013

Relay for Life Brings Services Directly to Scotland County Cancer Patients

In the fight against cancer, the American Cancer Society places great importance on cancer patient services - hoping to ease cancer's impact on people's lives. The fact that people are surviving cancer today more than ever before - more than 60 percent live at least five years - reinforces the need to help people get back into life's mainstream - in Scotland County, and everywhere.

"Your American Cancer Society provides the most up-to-date information about cancer and guidance to local community resources," says Stephen Schroeder, Relay for Life Publicity Chair. "Programs, services and materials are available at no direct cost to cancer patients here in Scotland County through public contributions."

For over 15 years the Scotland County community has joined three and a half million Relay participants in more than 5,000 local communities across the country. Billions of dollars have been raised to fuel the American Cancer Society's mission of eliminating cancer by helping people get well, helping people stay well, by finding cures, and by helping people fight back.

So what does this mean for Scotland County? Here are just a few examples:

In the past year more than 33 cancer patients in Scotland County have utilized programs and services of the American Cancer Society.

The Society was able to ease the cost of cancer by providing transportation assistance with more than 20 gas cards given to local patients. For many people, getting to appointments is a barrier to receiving and completing treatment. The Gas Card Program provides an annually renewable fuel card for $100. It is run by the American Cancer Society, is funded through Relay for Life, and ensures all patients have access to the care they need to get well. Transportation assistance forms are available at the Scotland County Health Department and Scotland County Hospital.

A total of 12 patients in Scotland County received the Society's 'Personal Health Manager,' a comprehensive organization and educational tool. The kit allows patients to track doctor's notes, directions and details of side effects, file medical information, organize insurance information, and more.

The American Cancer Society provides free lodging while receiving cancer treatment in St. Louis. The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge serves as a free home-away-from-home when the best treatment options are far away. The Society's Hope Lodge in St. Louis serves 2,000 patients and caregivers each year.

Losing your hair due to cancer treatment is a constant reminder to you and those around you that you're dealing with cancer. The Society is proud to have helped numerous cancer patients in Scotland County with free wigs to help them feel better inside and out.

Patients and caregivers alike utilize the American Cancer Society's reliable and thorough information tools. The Society's most-utilized service is a one-of-a-kind 24 hour cancer information line, 800-227-2345. Patients and caregivers receive personal support around the clock for cancer information, access to Society and community programs and services, assistance with health insurance, emotional support, and more. Specialists at the call-center have extensive training; some staff are dedicated in the areas of clinical trials matching, smoking cessation, oncology nursing, and more. The Society's state-of-the-art website www.cancer.org, award-winning brochures, and books also provide information in a time of great need for knowledge and answers.

Currently there are 19 research grants in the East Missouri Region totaling $8.2 million. In 2012, the East Missouri Region raised $5.4 million, so our research grants received far outweigh the amount we actually raised.

800-227-2345 is the first point of contact for a patient who has questions about cancer. Our toll free number is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Due to HIPPA laws and regulations, cancer patients must contact us through the 800# or your local American Cancer Society staff partners Brenda Carlin 573-221-1795, Brenda.Carlin@cancer.org or Dana Blasť 573-221-1986, Dana.Blase@cancer.org

While the examples above outline the tangible ways the Society is helping cancer patients right near your home, it doesn't explain the broad scope of the reach of the Society's efforts to save lives in other ways.

Finding cancer early can mean the difference between life and death. The Society helps you take steps to prevent cancer or detect it at its earliest, most treatable stage. The Society provides the most up-to-date information about how to reduce your cancer risk by healthy lifestyle choices and screening guidelines that are followed by doctors everywhere.

The Society funds and conducts groundbreaking research that helps scientists understand cancer's causes, determine how best to prevent it, and discover new ways to cure it. Research happening throughout the country has helped people everywhere to get screening tests, to have more treatment options available with new drugs, and continues to ease the burden of cancer. The Society is the largest private funder of cancer research.

Cancer is not just a health issue, but a political issue. The Society advocates for people to have access to critical cancer screenings and follow-up treatment - regardless of income.

"The American Cancer Society spends the funds raised through Relay for Life on cancer-fighting efforts that potentially benefit everyone in the community," said Stephen Schroeder Relay for Life Publicity chair.

How can you help? The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a unique community event that celebrates survivorship and raises money for programs that help local cancer patients. The Relay for Life of Scotland County is June 7, 2013 on the town square in Memphis. Find out how you can volunteer, form a team, or sponsor the event at www.relayforlife.org/scotlandcomo or by contacting Brenda at (573) 221-1795 or Brenda.Carlin@cancer.org.

If you or a member of your family is in need of Society services, or if you want to volunteer or need more information about cancer, please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.


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Memphis Democrat
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