Late Effects and Healthy Living: Lessons for Childhood Cancer Survivors

Once childhood cancer patients have been declared cancer-free, most are not completely out of the woods. More than 60 percent of childhood cancer survivors experience late effects of cancer treatment resulting in chronic conditions. The New England Journal of Medicine says nearly half of all late effects are severe, life threatening or disabling.

Although two-thirds of all childhood cancer survivors develop late effects—including breast cancer, heart disease, learning disabilities, infertility and hearing loss—few get adequate follow-up care.

A Childhood Cancer Survivor’s Map to Health Insurance

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – There are approximately 50 million uninsured people in the U.S. Of those uninsured, young adults are among the highest groups without health insurance. For childhood cancer survivors, however, going without health insurance is not an option.
“As a cancer survivor, you will need health insurance more than ever,” says Pam Gabris, Beyond the Cure Coordinator. “If you don’t have a lapse in coverage, an insurer cannot deny coverage for your illness or related health problems. It’s critical that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities under your health insurance plan to ensure continuous, dependable coverage.”
Currently, the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010 allows young adults to be insured as dependents on their parents’ health insurance if they are under the age of 26. But if that isn’t an option, there are other insurance opportunities:
Employer-Provided Insurance. Typically, health insurance offered by employers is a form of managed care. The most common types of managed care are Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO), Point of Service Plans (POS), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) and Health Savings Account (HSA). For questions about which type of policy you are covered under, talk to your human resources manager.
Group Insurance. If you are self-employed, or if your company doesn’t provide coverage, group health care policies are sometimes offered through organizations such as labor unions, fraternal and business organizations, student associations or other special-interest groups. Be sure to check with your state’s insurance office to avoid fraudulent providers.
State and Federal Programs. Check to see if you qualify for state or federal health insurance through Medicaid or State Children’s Health Insurance Programs (S-CHIP). As of 2010, pre-existing insurance is available in all states according to the Affordable Care Act.
Drug Coverage Programs. Programs like the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and the Together Rx Access Card offer relief to prescription drug prices. The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) also offers a free prescription drug card that provides significant savings on generic and branded drugs. Visit theNCCS.agelity.com to locate participating pharmacies and print a card.
Individual Policies. Purchasing individual policies can be very expensive, so make sure you exhaust other options first. To get the most of your plan, talk to an insurance broker or contact the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Visit beyondthecure.org to learn more.

The National Children’s Cancer Society Observes 25 Years

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The battle against childhood cancer is ongoing. Over the past 20 years, incidence of children diagnosed with cancer has risen from 11.5 cases per 100,000 children in 1975 to 14.8 per 100,000 children in 2004 — during this same time, however, death rates declined dramatically, according to the National Cancer Institute. Many experts agree that these higher survival rates can be attributed to better medicine — and awareness.
One such organization that delivers essential action, The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS), has established a legacy of providing emotional, financial and educational assistance to children with cancer and their families.
This year, NCCS is marking its 25th anniversary — that’s 25 years of assistance to more than 28,000 children in the U.S. Since its beginning, NCCS has grown and evolved with programs such as the Pediatric Oncology Program (POP), which has distributed over $52 million to families, and Beyond the Cure. This year alone, Beyond the Cure — a survivorship program designed to educate children and their families about the challenges they may face as childhood cancer survivors — has awarded $100,000 in college scholarships to 32 cancer survivors.
“The NCCS recipients show all of us how to successfully turn a challenge into something positive,” says Mark Stolze, NCCS president and CEO. “The Beyond the Cure Scholarship Program is a vehicle to help these individuals move forward with their lives in a meaningful way.”
The programs give children suffering from cancer a better chance to make a full recovery, especially children who don’t have access to quality health care or proper treatment. And POP lessens the family’s financial strain by helping with the ongoing expenses of treatment, such as meal assistance, gas money and, in some cases, health insurance premiums. This gives some added peace of mind to those parents whose incomes have become affected by their child’s illness.
For more information on the NCCS or coping with pediatric cancer, go to www.thenccs.org. To learn more about Beyond the Cure, visit www.beyondthecure.org.

The National Children’s Cancer Society Celebrates 25-Year Commitment

It’s hard not to be moved when you hear about the stress that cancer can put on a family – especially when it affects a child. It’s now time to salute one of the driving forces behind the efforts to try make these lives a little more joyful and longer.

Over the past 20 years, incidence of children diagnosed with cancer has risen from 11.5 cases per 100,000 children in 1975 to 14.8 per 100,000 children in 2004 — during this same time, however, death rates declined dramatically, according to the National Cancer Institute. Many experts agree that these higher survival rates can be attributed to better medicine — and awareness.