Thursday, May 10, 2012

CSC Launches "Open to Options" program

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I have been an active participant as well as a speaker for Cancer Support Community of Central NJ (formerly the Wellness Community of Central NJ). That is why it pleases me to write this post regarding a new program by the Cancer Support Community ( CSC)  and the Amgen Foundation .

Open to OptionsTM  was created to improve communication between patient and physicians  and make the patient feel comfortable making treatment decisions. We all know how difficult it is to make treatment decisions when we are still processing the fact that we have been diagnosed with cancer. I knew I relied on the help of the librarian at the resource center at my cancer center to help me find information that applied to my treatments. This program will help patients throughout the country understand their options and find the best way to communicate their decisions and needs to their doctors. Patients work with counselors to generate a list of personalized questions and concerns to take to their oncologist appointmentsIt is available to those newly diagnosed and those having recurrences. 

Vicki Kennedy, Vice President of Program Development & Delivery at the CSC says  “The goal of Open to Options is to help people affected by all cancers evaluate their options so they can feel more confident and communicate clearly with their doctor so a decision is made that best fits their individual desires and goals.” While Jean Lim Terra, president of the Amgen Foundation said,  “The resources that the Cancer Support Community provides individuals and families helps to ensure that those affected by cancer have the knowledge and support they need to make the right decisions at the right time.”

A CSC study found that a majority of cancer patients feel unprepared to make decisions about their care. A pilot program with the Center for Disease Control found that patients using the program  had less anxiety and more informative appointments with their doctors.

The Open to Options program is available through its Cancer Support Helpline at
1-888-793-9355, through select affiliate locations and by visiting  We in NJ are please to have the program available locally at  
CSC Central New Jersey (Bedminster, NJ)  (908) 658-5400 .

Thank you to CSC and the Amgen Foundation for developing a program to assist cancer patients with such difficult decisions.  

Every Day is a Blessing 

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