If you’re living with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), you might have questions about health care, finances, and other matters.
You might find that you also need some help working through the emotional aspects of life. Use this guide to get started finding the resources and support you need.
While undergoing treatment, it can be a challenge to stay on track. But you don’t have to do it alone. Ask your oncology office or treatment center if they have a list of resources available. You can also take advantage of these sources:
Oncology social workers are professionals who can help you understand diagnosis and treatment. They can also assist with practical matters related to living with cancer. Ask your doctor or local hospital for referrals. You can also visit CancerCare to find an oncology social worker near you.
Get in touch with your local Department of Social Services for information about services in your area.
Financial and legal help
If you’re living with cancer, you have to put your health first. However, you might be overwhelmed by cost and unsure if you can afford the care you need. There are resources out there to help you pay for care and budget your life.
- Understanding Financial and Legal Matters is a publication of the American Cancer Society that serves as a good primer on the subject.
- NeedyMeds helps people find assistance for medications and other healthcare costs.
- Pan Foundation can “provide the help you need” if you have a life-threatening disease and are underinsured. The organization is dedicated to helping people with such conditions get financial assistance.
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps people find assistance programs appropriate for their needs.
- RxHope advocates and provides information for people who have trouble affording critical medications.
Housing and transportation needs
Traveling to and from doctor appointments might be tricky if you have to go far distances. There are organizations you can turn to for help getting you where you need to be.
- Hope Lodge, a program of the American Cancer Society, helps with lodging when you need treatment far from home.
- Healthcare Hospitality Network (HHN) is a network of nonprofits that provide lodging and support for you and your family if you have to travel for treatment.
- Patient Travel Referral Program can help you if you have questions on transportation assistance. Here you can find referrals for long-distance medically related transportation and services.
Assistance with everyday needs
Friends and family might offer to pitch in with household duties and errands. But it’s not always easy to remember who’s doing what and when. The confusion can leave you without the help you need, despite good intentions.
A number of free online services address this problem. In addition to letting you update your status, they help coordinate care. Your loved ones can claim chores on specific days and times so things run more efficiently. Some of these services are:
Emotional help and support groups
Depending on your situation, family and friends might be able to provide all the support you need. Some people might need something more. That’s where counselors, therapists, and other professionals may be able to help. You can get referrals to qualified professionals from:
- your doctor’s office, treatment center, or hospital
- social workers
- clergy and faith-based organizations
- community groups
People living with cancer sometimes join a support group so they can connect with people who “get it.” Support groups come in all sizes and types. You can choose one that suits you. If you like meeting face-to-face, look into local support groups. If you prefer to interact with others from the comfort of your home, maybe an online group is a better fit.
Most support groups are free to join, so you can try them out and decide how you feel about it. To find support groups in your area, head to:
If you’re a caregiver, don’t forget that you need support too. Taking care of a loved one with cancer isn’t easy. You may find yourself putting aside your own emotional and physical well-being. There are a few places online to turn to for guidance.
- The American Cancer Society has a lot of information for caregivers. On the site, you can read up on how to take care of yourself as well as your loved one.
- Help for Cancer Caregivers can help you create a personal caregiver guide for improving your well-being.
- Caring for the Caregiver and the National Care Institute provide resources for caregivers.