We interviewed Lucia Fanjul, LMSW, Oncology Social Worker with CancerCare, to explain how the Lung Cancer HELPLine works.
What is the Lung Cancer HELPLine?
The Lung Cancer HELPline is a one-stop-shop for all your lung cancer questions and support. The HELPLine is staffed by master’s-prepared oncology social workers who can help you with information about lung cancer, provide emotional support and help you find available financial assistance.
Who can call the HELPLine?
Anyone who needs general information about lung cancer may call the helpline. However, the HELPline was created to support people who have been diagnosed with lung cancer, their caregivers, and family members.
Who answers the phones at the HELPLine?
The HELPline is always answered by an oncology social worker who is trained to answer your questions, provide resources and offer emotional and, for those who qualify, financial support.
What sort of questions can someone ask when they call?
Any questions regarding lung cancer and the resources available in the United States. You may ask about where to find information for clinical trials, how to go about finding peer support, where you may find financial assistance and how to participate in public events. If the social workers do not have the answer for you, they will likely know where you can find the information.
What sort of information can callers expect to receive?
An oncology social worker can provide you with information to better understand your diagnosis, ways to cope with lung cancer, how to manage the emotions that come with living with lung cancer, ways to improve communication with your medical team and your family and where to find the right resources based on your own personal needs.
What is the cost of calling the HELPLine?
There is no cost associated with the HELPline; all calls and services provided during the call are free.
Do you have any specific resources for lung cancer patients related to COVID-19?
Cancer patients can protect themselves by following the guidelines set out by the CDC on how to prevent transmission of the virus. Thoroughly washing hands, using hand sanitizer and social distancing are recommended for everyone right now. For more specific information, the LUNGevity website is updated regularly to reflect any new information that has become relevant to lung cancer patients with regards to COVID-19.
LUNGevity and CancerCare have also launched Breathe Easier: An Emergency Response Fund, to help financially support life challenges for lung cancer patients and their families during the time of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Patients can call the Lung Cancer HELPLine (844-360-5864), a free support phone service in partnership with CancerCare, to apply to the Breathe Easier fund.
Additional Information on the Breathe Easier Fund: Patient who are in active treatment and meet the household income criteria can apply for funds for critical, basic needs, such as food, transportation, and general household expenses. Support in the amount of $500 will be provided to eligible patients and their families. Learn more.
Lucia Fanjul is an oncology social worker at CancerCare. She was born in Argentina but made New York her home over 20 years ago. She graduated from NYU with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science, has worked in nonprofits for most of her professional life. She completed her MSW at Fordham University.