To the editor: June 6 is National Cancer Survivors Day. Currently, there are 11-million cancer survivors in the United States. And I believe there can be even more.

To the editor:

June 6 is National Cancer Survivors Day. Currently, there are 11-million cancer survivors in the United States. And I believe there can be even more.

As an oncology nurse for more than 30 years, I have been privileged to witness the transition of cancer from a "death sentence" to a chronic disease that can be cured or controlled with treatments that prolong good quality life and result in more birthdays.

However, treatment presents many challenges to cancer patients and their families. They must cope not only with the physical challenges and side effects, but with emotional, social and financial issues as well. I know this firsthand as my father died of cancer at age 54.

The American Cancer Society has a free cancer hotline (1-800-227-2345) available to assist cancer patients and families any time, day or night, 365 days a year. Highly trained cancer information specialists will assist patients in understanding their illness and answer questions about all aspects of dealing with it: information on treatment options and side effects, help with day-to-day needs, and emotional support. (The Society does not recommend treatments or providers.) Patients can also call to receive a free Personal Health Manager, a tool to help organize their health records and appointments.

Also, Ohio Patient Navigators at the American Cancer Society are available to answer questions and find resources concerning medication, transportation, insurance, financial assistance, support groups and more. Navigators help cut through red tape so patients can focus on getting well.

Transportation is often a barrier to treatment. But cancer patients who need to travel for treatment can find safe, supportive, free lodging at one of the Society's 29 Hope Lodges nationwide.

If you know someone with cancer, please encourage that person to call 1-800-227-2345.

Help get the word out about these patient services so more patients can have a smoother time getting to the next birthday.

Jennifer L. Guy, BS, RN, OCN

Columbus