Resources are available for patients undergoing cancer treatment who have been displaced from their homes or have lost their treatment facilities in the areas affected by hurricane Katrina. Physicians who were caring for patients in these areas or physicians who have taken in displaced patients can find help through these resources.
The National Cancer Institute is able to provide cancer information or referrals to treatment centers by calling 1-800-4-CANCER, Monday thru Friday, 9am to 4:30pm, Eastern time ( TTY: 1-800-332-8615) or by visiting their website at: www.cancer.gov/katrina
If you are participating in a NCI sponsored clinical trial in a hospital or oncology practice located in the hurricane-affected region: Call 301-496-5725. This line will be answered from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (Eastern Time). After hours and on weekends, callers can leave a message and an NCI employee will respond within an hour. Provide as much information as you can about the clinical trial (for example Protocol number, type of cancer, name of test drug) to help NCI Information Specialists direct you to the appropriate resources.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has set up several great resources for patients and physicians.
The National Marrow Donor Program has set up resources to help patients and families undergoing or preparing for bone marrow transplant to get help. Patients, their caregivers and physicians can contact NMDP case managers for assistance at (888) 999-6743 or visit their website at: www.marrow.org/NEWS/RELEASES/katrina09072005.html
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (the body that runs Medicare & Medicaid) has relaxed many of their rules and regulations to allow Katrina victims and their healthcare providers to get them the care they need immediately. You can visit the HHS website at: www.hhs.gov/katrina/ or view the fact sheet put out by Medicare/Medicaid for patients and providers: www.cms.hhs.gov/media/press/release.asp?Counter=1546
The Food & Drug Administration has put together a tip sheet for assessing the safety of medications (refrigerated or non-refrigerated) that were affected by the hurricane: www.fda.gov/cder/emergency/default.htm
The American Cancer Society has compiled a list of resources, some specifically for cancer patients, others more general. Call them at: 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit their website at: www.cancer.org/docroot/COM/COM_2005_Katrina_Web_Resources.asp
The Lance Armstrong Foundation is offering financial assistance to cancer patients through grants to qualified non-profit organizations and cancer centers that are currently providing assistance to cancer survivors. Center representatives should visit the LAF website at: www.laf.org or call Suzanne Kho at 512-236-8820.