American Cancer Society program provides help 24-7

Each year, the American Cancer Society’s National Cancer Information Center (NCIC) receives about 800,000 calls, emails and chats from people who are in need of answers — they may need cancer-related information and support or they may want to volunteer or make a donation. Those contacts lead to more than 1.7 million services being provided.

“Phone lines are open around the clock, 365 days a year, to ease fears and give people all the answers they need about cancer,” reports Patti Davidson, American Cancer Society senior market manager of community engagement based in Reno.

“While many people are familiar with the research efforts of the American Cancer Society, few are aware of the full scope of free services available to cancer patients and their loved ones,” says Kevin Babb, vice president of the National Cancer Information Center. “These services can be obtained through one easy toll-free call to the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.”

According to Babb, when an individual calls the American Cancer Society they will be connected to a live Cancer Information Specialist. These specialists, who staff the phone lines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, are specially trained to listen to and identify the needs of cancer patients and their caregivers, then match them with services or resources to meet their needs.

“Our specialists really listen to where the patient is in their cancer journey,” Babb says. “Did they just get diagnosed and need educational materials? Are they in the middle of treatment and looking for a ride to their appointments? We make sure to manage all requests through to completion. No one will be left to navigate a cancer experience alone when they reach out to us.”

Road to Recovery is an in-demand service that provides free transportation for a patient to and from cancer-related appointments. The American Cancer Society offers this program because many cancer patients aren’t able to find consistent or dependable transportation to their appointments, keeping them from getting the lifesaving treatment they need.

“Transportation is the number one barrier to cancer treatment for many patients,” says Babb. “Some patients don’t have a car, can’t afford the gas, or have friends and family that live too far away and can’t help out. Road to Recovery matches each patient with a volunteer driver from their area who comes to their home, takes them to their appointments, and gets them back safely. It’s convenient and totally free.”

Look Good Feel Better is a free program for women who are undergoing cancer treatment. Volunteer licensed facilitators teach women to improve their appearance and self-image through beauty techniques designed to overcome the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. This program is a collaboration between the American Cancer Society, Personal Care Products Council Foundation, and the Professional Beauty Association.

“Women who battle with cancer fight more than just the disease,” Babb explains. “Many women feel a loss of identity from the side effects of cancer treatments, such as hair loss or skin issues. Look Good Feel Better gives women a chance to feel like themselves again and enjoy being with other women who are facing the same issues.”

The National Cancer Information Center can provide information on smoking cessation, clinical trials, and emotional and financial support. They have access to thousands of resources and can help cancer patients and their caregivers in both English and Spanish with more than 200 other languages available via a translation service.

“Even if a person is just lonely or scared and needs to talk, we’re here,” says Babb. “We are dedicated to serving the needs of all cancer patients. Our entire structure revolves around helping them get well.”

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. during the past two decades, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates.

For more information about the many free American Cancer Society patient programs and services, or to learn how you can become a volunteer or donate, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit


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