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Cancer society promotes information resources

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, it can be hard to know where to turn to seek information and resources. The American Cancer Society is launching even more vigorous efforts to reach out and provide educational material and support to people, both directly and through hospitals and doctor’s offices.

Anna Duncan, community manager for Relay for Life, said the American Cancer society has brochures, pamphlets and all kinds of information packets available upon request for local hospitals and medical professionals to have on hand for their patients – which might be particularly beneficial to people who don’t have access to or are not comfortable using the Internet.

“We’re here as an asset. What I find most is that people don’t know where the information is, and they don’t know who to call for help,” Duncan said. Knowledge is power, and Duncan said she thinks if people have greater access to resources and information about support groups, it will be a great benefit.

Relay for Life senior manager Kevin Sims also encouraged people to take advantage of the 1-800-227-2345 number for information.

“I guarantee you – someone who gets diagnosed for the first time … is probably not going to sleep too well that night and at 3 a.m. is going to have a ton of questions going through their mind,” Sims said. “The 1-800 number has oncologist on the other end of the line, 365 days a year, 24/7. So they can pick up and say, ‘I was just diagnosed today. I have a question about this,’ and they are going to be talking to nurses and oncologists on the other end. It’s not like an answering service.”

Duncan has been in contact with local doctors and hospitals to make sure they are aware of the free resources the ACS has available and encouraged local medical professionals to get in contact with her for more information on these materials.

“I can meet with them … I’m just trying to be here, be present,” Duncan said. “I feel like I can’t do enough for our people here. I feel like this is one thing I can do – just make it that much easier. It’s just really personal for me.”

Sims said hospitals and doctors can also opt to be referring offices, willing to connect patients directly with the ACS.

For more information on any ACS resources or programs, contact Duncan at 256-810-1999

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