Monday, December 14, 2009

You're Not Alone In The Fight Against Cancer

(NAPSI)-The American Cancer Society estimates that a significant proportion of the United States population--almost 1.5 million people--will face a new diagnosis of cancer this year. But none of them has to fight cancer alone.

The Breakaway from Cancer® initiative was created to increase awareness of the resources available to people affected by cancer. These resources address issues that patients face across the entire cancer care continuum--prevention, education and support, financial assistance and survivorship. Breakaway from Cancer charitable partners include Prevent Cancer Foundation, Cancer Support Community, Patient Advocate Foundation, and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, creating a team of advocates to help people access educational materials and resources. The initiative was created by Amgen, a biotechnology pioneer and leader in oncology care.

Breakaway from Cancer organizations span the spectrum of cancer care:

• Prevention. The mission of Prevent Cancer Foundation (PCF) is cancer prevention and early detection through research, education and community outreach to all populations, including children and the underserved. PCF envisions a future in which cancer incidence and mortality will be significantly reduced through preventive measures. Since 1985, PCF has provided more than $106 million in support of cancer prevention research, education and outreach programs nationwide, and has played a pivotal role in developing a body of knowledge that is the basis for important prevention and early detection strategies.

• Support. Cancer Support Community (formerly The Wellness Community and Gilda's Club) provides support, education and hope to people with cancer and those who care for them. By offering free, professionally led support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs, and stress-reduction classes, Cancer Support Community empowers individuals affected by cancer through the learning of vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation and enhance quality of life. Cancer Support Community also collaborates with academic and health care partners to conduct evidence-based research and provide training in the field of psychosocial oncology, with the goal of improving outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients, cancer survivors and the individuals who care for them.

• Access. Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is the leading direct patient services organization in the country, with a mission to eliminate obstacles for patients trying to access quality health care. Founded in 1996, PAF is a national nonprofit organization serving as an active liaison between patients and their insurer, employer and/or creditors to resolve insurance, job retention and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis of a life-threatening or debilitating disease.

PAF is often regarded as the organization that patients and physicians go to when all other avenues have been exhausted. PAF seeks to empower patients to take control of their health care while determining local, state and federal programs that can provide assistance for their individual needs. PAF often handles the most difficult cases to provide assistance to patients with the most critical health care needs.

• Survivorship. National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) advocates for quality cancer care for all Americans and provides tools that empower people affected by cancer to advocate for themselves. Founded by and for cancer survivors in 1986, NCCS created the widely accepted definition of survivorship, and defines someone as a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis and for the balance of life. Believing that access to credible and accurate patient information is fundamental to understanding and receiving quality cancer care, NCCS offers free publications and resources that empower individuals to become strong advocates for their own care or the care of others. Patients empowered with information and tools can receive optimal care by making their needs known to their doctors, care teams, health plans and elected officials.

To learn more about Amgen's Breakaway from Cancer initiative and the services provided by the organizations above, log on to www.breakawayfromcancer.com.

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