Triage Cancer Joins the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance!

Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance

Triage Cancer is proud to announce that we are a new member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance! We are committed to providing education and support in an effort to ensure that the metastatic breast cancer community has access to crucial information about practical issues to improve their quality of life.

What is MBC?

Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is cancer that originated in the breast but has spread to other parts of the body, such as liver, lung, bones and brain. MBC is the cause 40,000 deaths every year in the U.S. Learn more about MBC.

MBC Alliance Mission

Triage Cancer believes that collaboration is the key to providing valuable information and practical tools on the many issues that arise after a cancer diagnosis, particularly to underserved members of the cancer community. In alignment with our goals, the MBCA’s mission is to:

Unify the efforts of MBC Alliance members to improve the lives of, and outcomes for, those living with metastatic breast cancer and their families through increasing awareness and education about the disease and advancing policy and strategic coordination of research funding – specifically focused on metastasis – that has the potential to extend life, enhance quality of life and ultimately
to cure.”

One of the resources offered by the MBC Alliance is the Metastatic Trial Search, which is the first-ever clinical trial search engine designed specifically for people with MBC.

Metastatic trial search

Triage Cancer Resources & Tools

As a member of the MBC Alliance, we are committed to providing up-to-date and relevant resources to those coping with MBC. We offer a number of educational resources that have particular relevance to the metastatic community, such as our Quick Guides on disability insurance, clinical trials, and estate planning. Click here to watch our recent webinar on Taking Time Off Work & Disability Insurance.

Given the long-term treatment that many in the metastatic community receive, the financial burden can be significant. Triage Cancer hosts, which provides tailored information on topics that can have an impact on finances after a cancer diagnosis.

We also offer a number of free educational events throughout the year, which cover topics that pertain to the metastatic community:

Triage Cancer looks forward to working with the Alliance to continue to support the MBC community. For more information about the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance, visit

The Gift of Music – Beyond the Concert

Written by Do It For The Love Foundation Outreach Director Julie Dalrymple with submissions from Stephanie Tuma, Lisa Toledo and Wesleigh Roeca. This blog originally appeared here.

Triage Cancer Blog - For The Love FoundationThat moment when the entire audience is in sync, singing along to a familiar tune, bouncing with the rhythm and basking in the collective energy . . . it’s a moment of escape, joy at its purest and for some, it’s magic.

It brings those confined to a wheelchair to their feet, eases the pain inflicted by countless chemo treatments, and energizes even the most weary of souls. But the healing power of music goes even further, providing profound inspiration to those who have watched their loved ones struggle. For a moment, together they outrun the diagnosis and celebrate life, fully engulfed in the experience. And once the concert has ended, often that is when the most profound effects are realized.

The Do It For The Love Foundation provides the opportunity for loved ones of those dealing with severe health challenges to offer support in a unique way by submitting a nomination for a live music experience. It’s a gift that speaks more than words.

“I realized that this experience helped more than just me,” wrote Stephanie, a 23-year old living with a rare and life-threatening genetic condition. “Often times we forget that being sick is hard but watching someone helplessly be sick is hard too. This provided an opportunity for my mother to say “help me” without speaking words. She reached out to the foundation to help her do something that made her feel good. It was one of the nicest things she could have done. By nominating me she was able to show me her love.”

The power of music transcends words and, as Stephanie experienced during her wish grant, it can provide a bridge during a difficult time. “Unspoken love is something that isn’t always apparent, but this whole experience spoke love in volumes.”

Triage Cancer Blog - Michael Franti“During that evening, I watched all these amazing positive things unfold before my eyes with two of my favorite people and afterwards all I could think about is how much I love my mom. We danced and high-fived and hugged our way through the evening leaving all the unspoken words float around us because in spite of all the obstacles life gives us, whether big or small, there’s one thing that keeps us all connected . . . music.”

Another magical moment happened just a few seats over at that same show. Sam has cerebral palsy, and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Despite his physical limitations, he’s always found great joy in listening to music and dancing. Sam’s aunt Lisa nominated him for a concert with Michael Franti and the experience was just as moving for her as it was for her nephew.

“Watching Sam smile, clap and sing was heartwarming, but the most astonishing surprise to all of us was that Sam stood on his feet the entire time Michael was playing!” said Lisa. “At one point Sam turned to me and said “I want to jump!” I, of course, burst into tears and then proceeded to aid him in bouncing around with the rest of the audience!”

Sam not only found inspiration through the music himself, but he also inspired his family Triage Cancer Blog - Sam For the Loveto believe in miracles: “If there is such a thing as a miracles made through music, I would say that night for Sam would count as one.”

It’s heartbreaking to find out that one of our wish grant recipients has lost his or her battle. Last summer, Do It For the Love granted a wish for Wendy, a vivacious and lovely woman living with stage IV colon cancer. She beamed from the stage during her wish grant, singing on stage with Michael Franti, as her proud son and daughter looked on.

“The emotions it now evokes are so powerful, they’re hard to convey, and my brother and I are beyond grateful to the Do It For The Love team for creating such a remarkable memory for us,” said Wendy’s daughter, Wesleigh. “As I held her hands, she smiled and sang and danced. She was so happy…as were we. Her cancer didn’t bear weight on her, or on us. Although our mom passed away in September, this memory exists forever, and we really did feel the healing power of music.”

The memory of these moments is the most sacred effect of these wish grant experiences. That reminder of a smile and a laugh endures long after the music stops.

An unspoken bond, a miracle, a memory – there’s an unquestionable power in the live music experience. Do It For the Love provides wish grants for those going through the greatest challenges of life. And while the smile on a recipient’s face is priceless, the stories from their loved ones add a depth that is often unexpected. That’s what’s so great about a genuine live music experience – it is always full of surprises.


Accelerating Hope for the Lymphoma Community

In honor of National Blood Cancer Awareness Month, we are delighted to highlight the great work our partners at Lymphoma Research Foundation are doing!


In the world of lymphoma research, the past year has been a microcosm of what we have been witnessing in the laboratory over the past two decades. Each new drug approval, improved therapy, and scientific advancement has compounded to Triage Cancer Blog September Blood Cancer Awareness Monthcreate a momentum that continues to accelerate within the research community each day. However, this September, the lymphoma community itself stands at a critical inflection point, faced with the challenge of harnessing this groundswell of scientific hope in support of the 700,000 Americans living with lymphoma today. This year’s Blood Cancer Awareness Month will provide an opportunity for the Lymphoma Research Foundation and the community it serves to honor the accomplishments of the past by supporting those touched by the disease today, raising awareness in their honor.

Every seven minutes, someone in the United States in diagnosed with lymphoma. The disease accounts for nearly one-in-five cancer diagnosis among children, and sadly costs 20,170 lives in the U.S. each year. In an effort to address a disparity between the pervasiveness of the disease and its broad awareness level, the Lymphoma Research Foundation has helped to spearhead a national movement to designate September as National Blood Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) by United States Congress. In the five years since its inception, LRF has been a leader in raising public awareness through its Light it Red for Lymphoma campaign — encouraging individuals and businesses to shed a light on lymphoma by lighting their homes, offices, schools and local landmarks red, changing their social media profiles red, and wearing red to work, in an effort to both raise awareness about this type of blood cancer, and give hope to those who have been affected by this disease.

However, this year’s BCAM holds particular significance for the Lymphoma Research Foundation as an organization as well. LRF hopes that this year’s monumental display of support during BCAM inspires a resounding momentum of awareness as the organization prepares to celebrate its 20th North American Educational Forum on Lymphoma, as well as its 20th Annual Gala, this October. Over the last twenty years, these two events have supported the Foundation’s dual mission by raising funds for lymphoma research and providing education and support to those affected by lymphoma. Together, these two events have made great strides in accelerating hope for those currently living with lymphoma.

It is our hope that this September, as millions witness their local, national, and international landmarks light up red for lymphoma in a show of solidarity and support, the lymphoma community will appreciate the display as both a milestone of the past twenty years, and a mile-marker of a future without lymphoma.

Partner Spotlight: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s enhanced patient services and clinical initiatives to transform the fight against pancreatic cancer 

As the leader in the field, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is aiPANCAN - Wage Hopeming to transform the country’s system for pancreatic cancer healthcare delivery and medical research. The Clinical Trial Finder, an online tool that provides patients and healthcare professionals easy access to the most comprehensive and up-to-date database of pancreatic cancer clinical trials in the United States, is the latest initiative the organization is bringing to market for the pancreatic cancer community as part of its increased efforts to double survival of pancreatic cancer.

When dealing with pancreatic cancer, mortality can be swift so finding the right treatment as soon as possible is vital. By participating in clinical trials, patients not only have access to cutting-edge treatment but also have the opportunity to transform the treatment landscape for pancreatic cancer. According to Julie Fleshman, president and CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, for years, the organization has had the most accurate database of pancreatic cancer trials and are thrilled to be able to now offer public access to patients and families and the healthcare community.

With a survival rate of just 7 percent, the need for effective treatment options is critical to pancreatic cancer patients. Clinical trials are often the best option for patients facing pancreatic cancer and are the only way to find better treatment options than what is currently available. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s Clinical Trial Finder is the only tool of its kind and aims to assist patients and healthcare professionals alike in finding clinical trials that could be a beneficial course of treatment.

The availability of this service will significantly impact how patients and their healthcare teams are involved in pancreatic cancer clinical trial recruitment. With more people involved in clinical trials, the closer we’ll get to finding better treatments and drugs for our patient population.

The organization’s Clinical Trial Finder and Know Your Tumor initiatives were developed in order to improve the pancreatic cancer patient and caregiver experience and facilitate medical progress. Introduced this past January, the Know Your Tumor personalized medicine service offers tumor profiling to certain eligible patients and provides them access to molecular profiling of their tumor.  The results from the molecular profiling tests are compiled into a report that is reviewed by a pancreatic cancer expert. The report highlights treatment options, including relevant clinical trials which could assist the treating oncologist in more precise and personalized treatment planning.

Personalized medicine is an emerging diagnostic tool for pancreatic cancer. Through the first phase of Know Your Tumor, nearly 50 percent of reports have revealed an actionable finding, meaning the information gained has the potential to impact treatment choices by identifying options that may have particular value in treating the patient’s specific tumor. Later this year, the organization will launch the Patient Registry, a research effort that will collect important information, such as molecular information learned through Know Your Tumor, critical to learning more about the pancreatic cancer patient population.

“By employing our comprehensive and proven approach and focusing our efforts for maximum impact, we are confident that we will make real progress in increasing understanding of and treatment for this devastating disease”, adds Fleshman.

For more information, go to
Follow the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on Twitter: @PanCAN and #WageHope

A New Way to Support Cancer and Medical Research

molecuresWe recently were introduced to a group that has found a creative way for individuals to help fund cancer research.  moleCures(mol-e-cures), is a new crowdfunding platform that connects donors directly to researchers to fast track funding to ground breaking innovation.

Similar to Kickstarter or our friends at GiveForward, crowdfunding is a way to raise monetary contributions from a large number of people (crowd) via the internet towards a common goal, service, project, etc. This method of raising funds has been very successful and continues to grow with viral trends of social media and word of mouth.

moleCures is unique due to the credibility and choice it offers.

CREDIBILITY: moleCures takes the time to vet all of the research projects with researchers from accredited academic research institutions who have published peer reviewed studies so that donors can feel confident that their research dollars are going directly to a credible research project. What’s even better? The research projects will take place once it’s been funded so there’s transparency and a direct impact from the donation dollars.

CHOICE: moleCures also offers donors the opportunity to donate directly or create a campaign to fundraise for a research project of their own choice. Creating a campaign is a meaningful way to share their donor story. Whether you’ve lost loved ones to cancer or would like to raise money in behalf of yourself, someone, or a foundation, you can fully customize your campaign page and tell your story.

Learn more about the current research projects from Harvard/Brigham and Women’s hospital . The researchers are inspired by helping and saving patients and could use your support. Make a difference by donating, campaigning, or simply spreading the word over social media.

Like what moleCures is doing? More research projects and events will be coming soon. Stay connected with moleCures by following on Twitter or liking on Facebook.

DISCLAIMER: This post is designed to provide general information on the topics presented. Triage Cancer is not endorsing the organization(s) mentioned in any way.

New job? Where will you sit?

CAC Logo Updated 2015by Joanna Morales, Esq.

Thinking about a career change? Looking for a new job? Wanting to get back into the workforce?

Then Cancer and Careers is a resource for you. In addition to providing all sorts of information about how to balance work and a cancer diagnosis, they provide a free resume review service, a free job coaching services and free educational events.

For example, Cancer and Careers hosts a free, annual National Conference on Work and Cancer in New York on June 12th. They do offer travel scholarships – the deadline is April 15th! For you west-coasters, they are also bringing a regional conference to LA on November 13th – stay tuned . . .

In the meantime, here is an interesting list of the 10 questions that you should ask before you accept a job offer: Being interviewed is a two-way street. You need to interview the company!

But my favorite suggested question is actually the last one – where will you sit? My first job after graduating from law school, I had a public interest law fellowship. I was so excited about the fellowship, that I never thought to ask this question. For the first few months I worked there, they didn’t have a desk for me, so I floated from cubicle to cubicle that was intended for the volunteers, until they found a spot for me. A “spot” opened up because they moved the copier out of a cutout in the wall, which opened up a space to move a desk into. Then I shared an office, then moved to a dark closet that they tried to convince me was an office. When I worked at the cancer center, they actually did turn a closet into an office space for me.

If you’re going to spend so many hours of your day (in my case it was often 10-12) sitting in a space, you should make a conscious decision about whether or not that works for you. Maybe it’s not the type of job where you sit – it’s still important to ask yourself if it’s a place where you want to spend so many precious hours a week.

For more about the job search process, Cancer and Careers offers a free Job Search Toolkit.

A Hidden Asset- Life Insurance

By Robert Bernstein, Fifth Season Financial

Individuals with a serious medical condition, such as cancer, may be experiencing financial hardship, as well. It’s the last thing someone needs to deal with when their life and health is on the line. But, what if there was a way to provide a source of financial relief from some of the stress associated with their medical condition?

When people purchase life insurance, the primary motivation is to ensure that their loved ones are financially protected. Life insurance policy proceeds can be used to replace lost income, pay off debts, educational costs, funeral expenses, or costs to settle the estate. However, if an individual with a serious medical condition owns a life insurance policy, they should be aware that it is a hidden asset that may be able to provide financial relief now, rather than waiting until after the insured dies.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of life insurance; permanent and term.

Permanent policies—whole life and universal life—have higher premiums that can build up a cash value, which can be accessed prior to death. Term policies have lower premiums but do not have any cash value.

Whether permanent or term, most people don’t expect to get any significant benefit from their life insurance policy until death. However, that is not necessarily true. Under certain circumstances, the life insurance policy could be used to access immediate cash while the insured person with a serious medical condition is still alive.

For policyholders with advanced cancer or life threatening illnesses, there are specialty lenders who will provide cash advances that are solely secured by the policy’s death benefit. The funds received are generally 35%-60% of the face amount and the lender pays all future premiums on the policy. There are no loan payments during the individual’s lifetime; the full loan balance is repaid by the policy’s death benefit.

Quality of life is extremely important to individuals suffering from a serious medical condition. Knowing that there is financial relief available can sometimes be the peace of mind they need so they have a better quality of life. As medical bills pile up from the costs of treatments and medications, people start to worry about the costs and how it not only affects them, but their family as well. Using life insurance as an asset can help take the financial worry away and be part of the answer that allows individuals to focus on quality of life and enjoying time with family.

This article was originally posted September 2014 in the Fifth Season Financial blog. For more information, visit (