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(NewsUSA) - Where can I get good information about my disease and treatments? Is there anyone I can talk with who has been through this? What will treatment cost?
These are just a few of the hundreds of questions Blood Cancer Information Specialists at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) answer day in and day out.
Because there are so many recent breakthrough discoveries in cancer treatments, patients and caregivers need up-to-date information, education, and support to help navigate these complex diseases, treatments, and financial, emotional, and social challenges.
According to LLS President and CEO Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., "There is no other organization that provides the level of patient support and service that LLS?does. Our trained, compassionate Blood Cancer Information Specialists spend hours talking with patients -- many of them newly diagnosed -- about their disease, clinical trials, how to talk to their physician, and so much more.
"In addition to our significant investment in research to find cures, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a patients-first organization. We launched our Blood Cancer Information Specialist group in 1997 -- this work is in our DNA!"
The LLS Information Specialists are social workers and nurses who work one-on-one with blood cancer patients and caregivers, connecting them to free personalized information tailored to a patient's specific diagnosis as well as to a variety of free resources and services, including:
* Clinical Trial Support Center A highly unique and comprehensive service to assist patients in accessing clinical trials.
* Financial Support -- Assistance with the cost of treatment, transportation and daily expenses.
* LLS Community -- A free online network providing support and education to thousands of blood cancer patients and their caregivers.
* Patti Robinson Kaufmann First Connection Program -- Peer-to-peer support program to help patients and caregivers cope by matching them with trained volunteers who have also been touched firsthand by a blood cancer.
* Co-Pay Assistance -- Help for eligible blood cancer patients to pay for prescription drug co-pays and health insurance premiums.
* Local Support Groups -- A program that gives patients and their families a place to go where they can share information, education and feelings in a comfortable and caring environment.
"When I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at 38 years old, I didn't really understand what it was," says survivor Jasmin Egan.
"My doctor introduced me to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's free patient online support group, LLS Community, which allowed me to connect with so many others who were going through exactly what I was enduring. It was comforting to hear from others about how they were dealing with the effects of treatment and their disease."
LLS Blood Cancer Information Specialists are available by phone at (800) 955-4572, and live chat or email via LLS.org -- Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. (View a video about the LLS Information Specialists and their work here.)