How a Cancer Care Navigator can help you

Feeling overwhelmed by the world of cancer care?

On top of needing to understand the complex healthcare system, there are the ordinary day-to-day problems, like getting to appointments, or understanding your bills. You may also have logistical challenges like transportation or finding a place to stay when receiving treatments far from home.

That’s why the MaineHealth Cancer Network offers you access to an American Cancer Society (ACS) Patient Navigator. Magda Alden, one of MaineHealth's Cancer Network ACS Patient Navigators describes some of the services Navigators can help arrange for you:

Road to Recovery is the American Cancer Society’s volunteer driver program for people who need a ride to and from treatment.  Road to Recovery volunteers helped provide 3,202 rides within the state of Maine last year alone (380,000 rides nationwide) to cancer patients.

Hope Lodge is for patients needing to travel to Boston or other facilities around the country for treatment. Hope Lodge is a great option and has saved patients $23.5 million in lodging costs last year alone.  While we do not have a Hope Lodge in Maine, the American Cancer Society does have a Hotel Partners program which allows you to stay at a local hotel for a discounted rate. We are able to get you a room at the Extended Stay America which is right here in Scarborough.  Eligible patients can receive up to 14 nights of free or $12/night rooms while receiving cancer treatment.  This helps significantly for patients traveling long distances to receive 4-5 weeks of radiation therapy.

Look Good…Feel Better teaches people who are in active cancer treatment ways to help with appearance-related side effects.  Patients can also access wigs from one of several American Cancer Society wig banks throughout the state or from one of our partner salons who offer one-on-one wig fittings and ordering through the American Cancer Society’s TLC catalog.  The program is free. Patients without insurance coverage or wig benefit will receive the wig for free.

Financial Assistance Patient navigators understand financial concerns you may have. Navigators can look into ways to pay medical bills such as applying for Medicaid or other assistance programs.  They can also find other programs that may be able to help in other ways. For example, some funds provide financial assistance for things like car payments or rent while you are going through treatment.

Each patient has their own unique set of needs as they embark on their own personal journey through the cancer process.  Magda and the other ACS Patient Navigators are here to help navigate and support each patient’s path.

Call or email Magda directly at 207-396-8335 or to learn more about how she can help you or your family.

You can learn more about the supportive services available to you through the MaineHealth Cancer Network here.

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