Nothing prepares you for a cancer diagnosis. Whether it was a sudden shock after a checkup or a sneaking suspicion that something was wrong with your body, hearing that you have cancer is never easy. Luckily, New Jersey is a progressive state that offers prescription assistance, financial support, and much more. Here are some important resources for cancer patients in the New Jersey area.
Selecting Your Specialists
The kind of specialist you’ll need for your course of treatment will depend on your specific diagnosis. In some cases, you’ll need a tumor to be surgically removed. In others, you’ll be undergoing rounds of chemotherapy. Regardless of the treatment you require, you’re going to want to find well-regarded specialists that you can trust. Oftentimes, it’s best to get referrals, be it from other patients or from your primary physician.
Your treatment options will also expand if you widen your search area. While you may be seeing a team of radiologists in Annadale, NJ, you might find better surgical options if you drive 30 minutes east to see the neurosurgical specialists in Summit, NJ. If you’re able to find one facility that handles all of your unique treatment needs in the same complex, that’s always a bonus, but the reality is that you may need to seek out different care centers to handle all of your medical needs.
A cancer diagnosis comes with a whole host of confusing and frustrating emotions. From anger at the situation to fears about undergoing treatments, cancer is emotionally distressing. Many patients report feeling lonely, even if they cohabitate with others. Luckily, New Jersey is full of cancer support groups, counseling services, and patient-to-patient networks to help you build up your personal support system in these trying times.
These programs are an excellent resource for patients at all stages of their illness, from in-treatment support groups to post-treatment options for those that have completed active treatments.
Figuring Out Finances
One of the biggest stressors of a cancer diagnosis is wading through the finances. As if cancer wasn’t difficult enough on its own. The disease truly takes a toll on your wallet, so it’s important to understand your financial options when it comes to paying for treatment, considering hospital stays, and obtaining necessary prescription medications. New Jersey has many cost-saving programs like Rx4NJ and the Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation that are dedicated to providing financial assistance to patients in need. Speak to your specialists and primary physician to see if they have a full list of financial aid programs that you qualify for.
Many programs work to subsidize medication costs or offer discounts to patients that shop within a preferred pharmacy network. This is a great option for a patient who doesn’t have insurance or carries a policy that doesn’t assist much with prescription costs. Sometimes it’s worth a drive for a better deal or the added financial assistance. If you live in Newark, it may be worth your time to select a pharmacy in Westfield, NJ that offers prescription assistance over a more local pharmacy that would make you pay full price for your medications.
You’re Not Alone
Whether your needs are financial, emotional, or professional, the resources available for cancer patients in New Jersey are only growing in their numbers. While cancer is a frightening, life-altering diagnosis, your battle is just beginning. Remember that even though your diagnosis might make you feel lonely, you don’t have to fight the illness alone. Make sure that you have a support system in place and don’t be afraid to rely on others to help you get through. Keep in mind that cancer is beatable. Stay positive, be proactive, and take care of yourself.