Category: Myeloma

Myeloma

CancerCare Launches New Program to Help Multiple Myeloma Patients Cover Transportation Costs

A list member just told us about this. Thanks, Sandy!

CancerCare Launches New Program to Help Multiple Myeloma Patients Cover Transportation Costs

Help with myeloma treatment travel expenses‘Door to Door’ initiative offers individual grants to patients to help defray costs of transportation to and from medical care

NEW YORK, July 20 /PRNewswire/ — CancerCare announced today the launch of the “Door to Door” program for patients with multiple myeloma. CancerCare’s program will provide individual grants of up to $600 annually to multiple myeloma patients for covering transportation costs such as gasoline and taxi, bus or train fare to and from their medical care.

The program is funded in part by a generous grant from Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. CancerCare is a national non-profit organization based in New York City that provides free support services to people affected by cancer.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow that is diagnosed in approximately 20,000 people annually in the U.S. Advances in the treatment of this cancer have dramatically increased patients’ life expectancy (an estimated 60,000 people in the U.S. are now living with multiple myeloma) and consequently lengthened the duration of treatment.

“Because of the nature of their therapies and the disease itself, many multiple myeloma patients may be required to visit their doctors several times a week over many months. Particularly for patients on a fixed income, these travel expenses add up and create a financial burden that may prevent them from keeping up with their health care,” noted Diane Blum, executive director of CancerCare. “The Door to Door program will provide much-needed relief to this patient population, and we are grateful for Millennium’s support.”

Founded in 1944, CancerCare has a long track record of providing financial assistance to people facing cancer; it is a cornerstone of its direct support services to help people cope with the emotional and practical issues of a cancer diagnosis. During fiscal year 2009, CancerCare provided over $4.2 million in grants to more than 24,000 people with cancer to cover treatment-related costs like transportation, child care and medications for side effects.

Last year CancerCare launched a separate foundation to help cancer patients cover the cost of their health insurance co-payments for certain types of treatments. To date, the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation has assisted thousands of people undergoing cancer treatments with grants of up to $10,000.

To receive a Door to Door transportation grant, patients must meet certain eligibility criteria and complete an application form. The form can be viewed on the CancerCare website at www.cancercare.org.

For more information about the CancerCare Door to Door program, contact Jeanie M. Barnett, director of communications, at 212-712-6137; or email jbarnett@cancercare.org. For more information about multiple myeloma, see CancerCare’s free Connect booklet, Advances in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma, available to order or download from the CancerCare
website.

About CancerCare

CancerCare is a national non-profit organization that provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs – including counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help – are led by professional oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. Founded in 1944, CancerCare now provides individual help to more than 100,000 people each year, and has more than
one million unique visitors annually to its websites. For more information, call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) or visit www.cancercare.org.

Immunoglobulin Profile for June 1, 2009

GENLAB Immunology: Final    06/01/2009 15:03

IMMUNOGLOBULIN PROFILE
                                                             Reference
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN G                  *410         mg/dL       [588-1573]
          TEST REPEATED TO CONFIRM
            NOTE:  African-American reference ranges differ slightly from
                   those listed.  Please call the Immunology Lab at 684-6939
                   for race specific ranges.
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN A                  *432         mg/dL       [46-287]
          TEST REPEATED TO CONFIRM
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN M                  *26          mg/dL       [57-237]
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN E                   30          IU/mL       [4-269]

Serum Protein Electrophoresis for June 1, 2009

Lab Report: Final    06/01/2009 14:36

SERUM PROTEIN ELECTROPHORESIS
                                                             Reference
  SPE INTERP
   COMPARED TO 2/10/09, NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN PREVIOUSLY
  CHARACTERIZED (2) IGA-LAMBDA COMPONENTS FROM 0.21 TO 0.25 AND
  0.14 TO 0.19 G/DL.
  "I have personally performed the interpretation".  Dr. S. Pizzo, MD,PhD

  SPE TOTAL PROTEIN                  6.8         g/dL        [6.0-8.0]
  SPE ALBUMIN %                      65.6        %
  SPE ALBUMIN                        4.46        g/dL        [3.97-5.34]
  SPE ALPHA 1 %                      2.9         %
  SPE ALPHA 1                        0.20        g/dL        [0.11-0.32]
  SPE ALPHA 2 %                      10.5        %
  SPE ALPHA 2                        0.71        g/dL        [0.40-0.88]
  SPE BETA %                         11.3        %
  SPE BETA                           0.77        g/dL        [0.60-1.02]
  SPE GAMMA %                        9.7         %
  SPE GAMMA                          0.66        g/dL        [0.53-1.37]
  SPE M-SPIKE 1 %                    3.7         %
  SPE M-SPIKE 1                      0.25        g/dL
  SPE M-SPIKE 2 %                    2.8         %
  SPE M-SPIKE 2                      0.19        g/dL

The eight lethal cancers

A blog reader sent this to me, and I wanted to pass it on.

Hi Beth,

I follow your blog and thought you might be interested to know about a new initiative launched by a coalition of patient advocacy organizations during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  Led by the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF), MDS Foundation and the Tackle Myeloma Foundation (TMF), they unveiled a patient “Statement of Principles” to address the inequalities in reimbursement of cancer therapies.

Currently, Medicare and private insurance companies require higher deductibles and co-payments for oral drugs than for IV therapies and inpatient procedures.  However, private insurance is regulated at the state level and Oregon, Indiana and Iowa have laws requiring equal coverage with similar legislation pending in several additional states and federal legislation introduced in Congress.

If you’re interested in learning more or signing the petition, you can check out the IMF or MDSF websites.

Best,
Allison

If you go to the IMF’s web site, you can read more about the Cancer Patient Statement of Principles.  This was taken from their web site.

About the eight lethal cancers
Eight forms of cancer, of which multiple myeloma is one, are projected to cause 49% of the 562,340* cancer deaths projected in 2009. For each of these forms of cancer, at least half of the patients diagnosed will die from their cancer within five years. Those cancers are:

Type of cancer

Deaths projected in 2009

New diagnoses projected in 2009

5-year survival rate

Brain cancer

12,920

22,070

35%

Pancreatic cancer

35,240

42,470

5%

Esophageal cancer

14,350

16,470

16%

Liver cancer

18,160

22,620

10%

Lung cancer

159,390

219,440

15%

Multiple myeloma

10,580

20,580

34%

Ovarian cancer

14,600

21,550

45%

Stomach cancer

10,620

21,130

24%

*Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2009, American Cancer Society, Atlanta. 2009

Click here to support the Cancer Patient Statement of Principles.

Duke Lemur Center / Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic today

Duke Lemur CenterMonica and I got to go to the Duke Lemur Center in Durham, NC today for business.  It was great!  I took some pictures through the fences with my iPhone camera, and this was the best of them. I’m afraid I can’t tell you what type of lemur this is, but I’ll find out.

Just before the meeting at the Lemur Center, I had a checkup at the Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic.  I’ll have the results of my tests on Wednesday.   It’s been almost two years since I had a skeletal survey, so I scheduled that for September.  The skeletal survey is a series of xrays of the long bones, skull and ribs and spine. I asked about a recent report I read that suggests that PET scans should be used for monitoring myeloma.  My doctor does those if there’s activity such as an increasing m-spike and nothing shows up on xrays.  The PET can show plasmacytomas and other activity.

I’ve been told that standard radiographs aren’t much good at detecting bone damage until there’s been a significant amount of destruction, so it’s not a good early warning indicator. I’d like to have a PET scan just to see what’s lurking.  I know they’re expensive.  A few years ago I called around to get the costs at various places  because I wanted one, but was told by my insurance company that they weren’t covered for myeloma. At the time, the cheapest PET scan I could find was about $3,000.

Did you know you can do that?  If you’re not insured, or your coverage isn’t very good, call around to see who has the best deals on tests or procedures.  The costs can vary quite significantly between institutions.  Another money-saving tactic is to find out what’s covered under what setting.  For example, my insurance has me pay 20% of services performed in hospitals.  That’s why I have most of my chemo and all of my Zometa infused at a nearby doctor’s office.  When I do that, it’s just a $30 copay. Investigate all of your options!

Possible link between formaldehyde exposure and myeloma

According to a recent article published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Advance Access published online on May 12, 2009, it looks as though exposure to formaldehyde could raise one’s risk of lymphohematopoietic malignancies (blood and lymph cancers).

For an extremely statistical look, read the abstract -> http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/djp096

I had some exposure to formaldehyde during my twenties. Nobody can say for sure if that was the risk factor for me though. I worked around plastics.  A certain type of plastic, called high density polyethylene,  gives off fumes that contain formaldehyde when it’s heated to a high temperature.  We stood around at a factory with melting HDPE around us all the time.

My Uncle and www.MyelomaForums.com

All,

My uncle Darryl Ramsey was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 Multiple Myeloma and was told that he has aprox 1 year to live.  However, my uncle feels that Chemo and Radation are a waste of time because he now knows he has been sick with Multiple Myeloma for over 10 years and thinks he is still here today because of the fact that he was the type of person to refuse going to doctors and he for years started jucing and eating better every day.  Like most people the first thing my uncle did was a Google search and he found nothing but grimm information.  I started www.myelomaforums.com because I wanted him and others like him to have access to information from other people so that him and others like him know about all the best treatments and have access to all the answers.  However, the hardest part of getting a sucessful forum started is getting people and content.  I am here to ask everyone to please sign up with www.myelomaforums.com as well because the more your stories are out there the more people we can help.

Thanks,

Andy

P.S. Beth your’re a sweetheart and thanks for the kind email and willingness to help.

RSS Feed aggregator for myeloma blogs

I’m putting my links to blogs into a feed aggregator. If your blog has an RSS feed and you’d like to have it on the list, let me know. Just us the contact form.  Don’t forget to tell me what the URL for your valid RSS feed is.

http://www.myelomablogs.org/?type=archive

If you don’t have a blog or an RSS feed, why not set up one at healthblogs.org?

Find out what others are doing: myeloma treatment, chemo, coping