800-433-0464 is the number for every newly diagnosed cancer patient. It is a totally free service (cash donations are never solicited) operated by volunteers who have had cancer. The goal is to match up the newly diagnosed patient with an individual who has recovered from the same type of cancer. The purpose is not to recommend specific treatments or physicians but to figuratively put their arm around the new patient and help them make the myriad of decisions they will have to make if they are going to have a chance to beat this disease.
Fear, disbelief, uncertainty, lack of direction, helplessness and hopelessness are some of the feelings experienced by the newly diagnosed patient. We’ve all heard lots of stories, and we don’t know which way to turn. We are totally frightened by the unknown. We are completely out of control of our own life. Talking with an individual who has beaten the same type of cancer can calm us, give us reasoning power, and most important, get us back in charge of our own life.
The Cancer Hotline, founded in 1980, is a group of individuals who have had cancer who are available to talk to newly diagnosed cancer patients, promptly after their diagnosis. We do not make a prognosis or give medical advice. We talk strictly from personal experience, emphasizing prompt treatment, proper treatment, thorough treatment and a positive mental attitude.
Psychologically, we enable the patient to get over the initial shock and fear and to understand that death and cancer are not synonymous. The patient realizes that because he is talking to someone who has had a similar cancer, it is possible for him to overcome it. We give true HOPE. But we give a lot more than psychological help.
Because cancer is over 200 different diseases and there are at least six primary forms of cancer treatment, it is impossible for any single doctor to know the latest and best treatment for every type of cancer, or even for any single type of cancer. If a doctor knew the latest surgical technique for a specific type of cancer, he could well be unaware of the up to-the-minute chemotherapy, immunization therapy, hyperthermia or radiation therapy for that particular type of cancer .
We recommend the patient consult with a qualified physician, such as an oncologist. Because we accept no cash contributions from any patient (when offered we recommend they donate to their church or hospital), we are free to suggest any qualified physician we personally like. We further recommend a qualified second opinion because we know how serious cancer is and no one is perfect. We try to help them find a qualified doctor in whom they have faith and who says he can successfully treat them. If this doctor cannot be found, we then try to get them to the institution that is doing the most successful work on their type of cancer.
Because we have been there with a similar cancer, we can explain in lay terms what the treatments their doctor recommends are like and how they affected us. We can give practical hints on what we did to help ourselves. We try to take the fear of the unknown out of cancer treatment. We attempt to get them in control of their cancer and become a partner with their doctor.
We recommend that each patient read Fighting Cancer sent free by the Cancer Hotline. We believe we improve the quality of life for every patient and extend the quantity of life for many. Our sole goal is to give the next person getting cancer the best chance of beating it. We educate them about their options and try to motivate them to fight. 800-433-0464