Top Resources for People Living With Melanoma
Eileen Bailey | April 2, 2018
Being diagnosed with melanoma can bring a whirlwind of emotions: fear, anger, confusion, and more. It can be overwhelming — you may not know where to turn or what to do first. Luckily, there are many organizations and resources to help you through your cancer journey. Read on to learn about the best support resources available to people living with melanoma.
Melanoma International Foundation
Don’t know where to start? The Melanoma International Foundation (MIF) is a nonprofit organization that provides a wealth of information on melanoma, on its website and at events around the United States. Its mission is to help people with melanoma live longer, better lives. You can call their patient navigation hotline at 866-463-6663 to find places in your area to get treatment and more.
The Melanoma Research Foundation
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is another organization that supports research of melanoma, provides information about the cancer on its website, and offers patients different ways to connect with others who are living with the disease. For example, the MRF has a support groups and a peer-to-peer support program that matches you with someone with whom you can share experiences and practical advice. The MRF can be reached at 800-673-1290.
Interested in learning more about new treatments for melanoma? ClinicalTrials.gov is a database of active clinical trials in the United States and around the world. The information for each trial includes the purpose of the trial, requirements for participating, the location of the trial, and contact information. Clinical trials offer the opportunity to receive treatment that is not yet available to the general public. Call 1-800-4Cancer for more information.
Prescription assistance programs
Treatment for cancer can be expensive and place financial hardship on you and your family. Some prescription assistance programs include:
- Amgen’s Assist Program
- Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Access Support
- Genentech’s Access to Care Foundation
- Novartis’ Patient Assistance Now
- Merck’s Access Program
Partnership for Prescription Assistance can help you connect with prescription assistance programs. You can also talk to your doctor to find out which program covers your medication.
Travel for medical care
You might find you need to travel to a different area of the country to receive the best care for your melanoma. Some organizations that offer air travel for cancer patients include:
- Corporate Angel Network Inc.
- Mercy Medical Airlift
- Air Care Alliance
- The National Patient Travel Center
There are also organizations that offer lodging free or at a discount in areas close to hospitals and cancer treatment centers. These include Joe’s House, Healthcare Hospitality Network, Inc., and Hope Lodge.
Need help advocating for yourself as a melanoma patient? The Patient Advocate Foundation provides information, education, and legal counseling to cancer patients for insurance issues, financial issues, managed care issues, or discrimination and employment issues. They can be reached at 800-532-5274 or through their website.
Help is always available
No matter where you are in your journey with melanoma — recently diagnosed or finished with treatment — it’s normal to need support in some way. Remember: There are people and organizations ready and waiting to provide you the assistance you need if only you ask for it.