Many people don’t realize it and won’t unless they have to. But it’s a simple reality of cancer that battling the disease requires dealing not only with big, obvious things but smaller — and no less important — things, too.
Getting a wig, for example, because of treatment-related hair loss. Finding out how to obtain a bra or prosthesis after a mastectomy. Obtaining liquid nutritional supplements when chemotherapy makes eating solid food a not-at-all-appealing option.
For such everyday issues, the Cancer Resource Centers operated by the American Cancer Society’s Great West Division can be a godsend.
The centers can supply cancer patients with just about every need they may experience during treatment. And, for everything else, the centers’ volunteers can point patients in the right direction. All services are provided at no cost.
Previously, the affiliate’s center was at its main headquarters. But, in an effort to make accessing services more convenient, the society now operates three local centers.
“We want to make sure they get everything they need while they’re going through treatment,” says Erika Brassington-Stocks, quality of life manager for the local affiliate. “And, a lot of people don’t have a way to get around.”
So, Cancer Resource Centers can be found at Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
Last year, the centers served about 1,800 people with cancer, including 600 newly diagnosed patients, Brassington-Stocks notes.
Volunteers always are needed to staff the centers. Volunteers must be 18 or older, Brassington-Stocks says, and be willing to volunteer at least four hours a week.
In addition, she says, “we do ask for a six-month commitment, because there’s a lot of training involved.”
Brassington-Stocks notes that cancer survivors “are wonderful volunteers,” both because they know firsthand about treatment and “lend an air of hope” to patients.
Beyond that, she adds, volunteers need simply to be caring and compassionate.
For more information, call the American Cancer Society Great West Division at 800-227-2345.