HAMPTON, Va., July 31, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Even with 13,910 new metastatic breast cancer diagnoses each year, Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), a national nonprofit dedicated to helping seriously ill patients overcome healthcare barriers, found there are limited accessible resources that specifically address the needs of metastatic breast cancer patients. In addition, many more patients face advanced complications when their primary breast cancer spreads to other organs. Supported by the Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants Program: Identify-Amplify-Unify, PAF developed the Metastatic Breast Cancer Guide to help those affected and their caregivers avoid common insurance and healthcare obstacles.
"Breast cancer patients represented 28% of all cancer patients served by Patient Advocate Foundation in 2014. During our conversations with breast cancer patients, we found those diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease had limited resources yet unique disease management situations. We were able to leverage our nearly 20 years of case management experience to create this disease-specific publication focusing on these patients' needs," said Clinical Director of Research and Reporting Pat Jolley, R.N.
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Guide provides actionable strategies to avoid the most frequent challenges experienced by metastatic breast cancer patients including sections on:
- Understanding available treatment options- Outlines varying care options that may be prescribed by doctors based on treatment history and response to therapy,
- Avoiding insurance hiccups- Details frequent health insurance roadblocks and how to avoid coverage complications while pursuing treatment,
- Accessing government benefits- Covers general information about accessing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI),
- Utilizing workplace protections- Provides tips to maintain employment, along with information regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections in the workplace,
- Genetic and genomic testing- Covers the benefits of personalized medicine and how to incorporate results into a patients' treatment plan,
- Acknowledging sensitive diagnosis components- Addresses pieces that are more difficult to face like choosing a Power of Attorney, discussing financial burdens and investigating palliative care,
- Defining need-to-know vocabulary- Explains frequently used medical jargon to help patients understand terminology used by their medical providers,
Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer and occurs when cancer spreads beyond the breast to other parts of the body, including the bones, lungs, liver and brain. Patients can be diagnosed with metastatic disease upon first symptoms of illness and may be impacted at any age. In addition, nearly three in 10 women who have had early breast cancer will eventually develop metastatic disease. Currently there are no cures available however ongoing treatment can control the spread of the disease and its symptoms and allow patients to thrive.
The Metastatic Cancer Care Guide is available now online free to patients, providers and caregivers through the Patient Advocate Foundation website and in print by request here.
Statistical References cited in text sourced from 1) National Cancer Institute. www.cancer.gov and 2) O'Shaughnessy J. Extending Survival with Chemotherapy in Metastatic Breast Cancer. The Oncologist.
About Patient Advocate Foundation
Established in 1996, Patient Advocate Foundation assists patients who have been diagnosed with serious illness overcome healthcare access barriers. PAF provides in-depth assistance through personalized case management, financial support, and connection to critical community resources. PAF serves uninsured and insured patients all across the country at no charge to help overcome and resolve insurance-related and financial obstacles that impact care.
Patient Advocate Foundation has numerous patient-focused programs that aid seriously ill patients during their medical journey, including free case management, co-payment assistance for medications and the option to apply for specific financial grants through the financial aid fund division. In addition, PAF offers education and guidance to all consumers nationwide through its 30+ publications and expert materials. For more information about Patient Advocate Foundation and their mission to improve health access to all patients, visit www.patientadvocate.org or call 1 (800) 532-5274.
About Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women is the world's largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. Since its inception in 1955, the Avon Foundation has promoted or aided charitable, scientific, educational, and humanitarian activities, with a special emphasis on activities that improve the lives of women and their families. Through 2014, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has contributed nearly $1 billion in over 50 countries. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and advancing access to quality care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information. For details on the Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants Program read the press release here.
About Pfizer Oncology
Pfizer Oncology is committed to the discovery, investigation and development of innovative treatment options to improve the outlook for cancer patients worldwide. Our strong pipeline of biologics and small molecules, one of the most robust in the industry, is studied with precise focus on identifying and translating the best scientific breakthroughs into clinical application for patients across a wide range of cancers. By working collaboratively with academic institutions, individual researchers, cooperative research groups, governments, and licensing partners, Pfizer Oncology strives to cure or control cancer with breakthrough medicines, to deliver the right drug for each patient at the right time. For more information, please visit www.Pfizer.com.
A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=34843
CONTACT: Erin Singleton, Chief of Mission Delivery at Patient Advocate Foundation, (757) 952-0561
Source:Patient Advocate Foundation