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angel
08-23-2005, 02:48 PM
So my mom got a skin screening last week, and they did a biopsy on one of her moles. It came back yesterday positive.
Right now, my dad's business is struggling (slow time of year) and we don't have money to pay for doctor's bills. My mom wants to do what her mom did when she had cancer. My grandmother did clinical research trials and is now cancer-free. There is a place in Texas that will do what my mom wants for free, but she has to get there on her own money. We don't really want to send my mom to Texas; for one: because we can't afford it right now, two: because we don't want her to go through all this away from the family.
My mom has some people at the hospital trying to help her find places that are closer that will do the clinical research with grants. But I wanted to throw this on here to see if anyone here had any ideas or has gone through any of this and might have advice.
I'm not exactly sure what to look for, but something for people with no money and preferably close to home.
She's worried that the people at KU Med will only do what is covered by our insurance, and that she won't get the best care possible.

Also, for those of you who might know, I'm a worrier. Both my grandmothers and now my mother have had cancer. So now I'm worried about it. Of course, all three of them had three different types of cancer, so it may just be their lifestyles that did it. Either way, my mom set up a screening appointment for me to be on the safe side.

chagrin
08-23-2005, 02:53 PM
ok, as far as trial go, isn't there a dept that does trials at KU Med? What college of medicine is in your area?

P.S. It's hard to find any medical center that will do more than what insurance covers, unless you hammer them with requests, or get a rep to help you out.

Call the American Cancer Society in your city for referrals too! Holding out for "the best care possible" is not a good plan of action (what I mean is, how do you know you are not receiving adequate treatment?), it's cancer, so go get it treated right away and then go from there. I am also a cancer survivor, I do everything I can, including asking every question possible about it to learn what I can. Once you know the exact "type" of skin cancer she has, you can find out more info about it at the ACS, internet sites, call a hospital, anywhere you can.

J Diddy
08-23-2005, 02:54 PM
First best wishes to everyone involved. Second the only experience I have had with cancer was my mother who passed away in 92. That being said treatments are incredibly more advanced today than then.

I know nothing of these clinical trials but if it worked with your grandma than I would be all about sending your mom to the same place.

How long away from family are we talking about?

Plus treatment for free plus travel costs will be considerably less expensive then paying for treatment and staying at home. Not to mention the peace of mind that you have personally seen the results of the clinical trials.

SoCalBronco
08-23-2005, 03:00 PM
Please call the CLRC. Back in Law school I interned there for a semester, its a great program, they can help you find places that provide for clinical trials, programs that pay for medicines and treatments,financial assistance and a variety of cancer resources to help in your area. You are not alone against this disease there are MANY RESOURCES OUT THERE, but people just dont know how to find them. This program is a great, great tool in this regard. This is really a great program and it costs you NOTHING! Talk to Barbara Schwerin, she will prolly refer you to their main number and then you and/or your mom will talk with one of the workers there, they will get your information down regarding the cancer and info regarding your address and stuff (so they can find local resources for you) and then they will call you back within a few days with the information/resources and then they will mail you a copy of hte information as well. Please call them immediately and I will certainly keep you in my prayers.

Here is the contact info:
Barbara Ullman Schwerin, Esq., Director
Cancer Legal Resource Center,
Western Law Center for Disability Rights
919 South Albany Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1211

Phone: (213) 736-1455
Fax: (213) 736-1428
TDD: (213) 736-8310
Email: Barbara.Schwerin@lls.edu

Rain Man
08-23-2005, 03:22 PM
What type of cancer is it? Melanomas are serious, but most other types of skin cancers are easily treated by just excising the cancer, despite their scary names.

I freaked out when a biopsy came back positive several years ago, but it turned out that they just took a big chunk out of my neck, and it never returned.

angel
08-23-2005, 03:24 PM
thanks socal, I'll show that info to my mom

I don't know what type it is-- she's not saying much to me about it
it might just be the same as you, Rainman, they took a chunk out of her neck as well, and they want to take more. We'll see what happens.

DanT
08-23-2005, 03:25 PM
The Federal Government has a website with information on active clinical trials.

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov

Iowanian
08-23-2005, 03:27 PM
First....Best wishes with that, my family has all too much experience w ith the disease.

second....Measure advice you get here with caution and research it and discuss it with her doctors.

I don't know alot about skin cancer, but know that some forms of malenoma? are alot more serious.

My mom has had bouts of skin cancer, and its been as simple as laser treatments to burn some areas off.

Don't freak out until you know what you're dealing with. your mom and family will need your strength.

DanT
08-23-2005, 03:33 PM
angel,

Here's the Skin Cancer page at MedlinePlus, which is provided by the U.S. Government's National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine.

It has a lot of good links, including specific queries of the clinicaltrials.gov page I cited earlier.

My prayers are with your family.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/skincancer.html

Rain Man
08-23-2005, 03:33 PM
thanks socal, I'll show that info to my mom

I don't know what type it is-- she's not saying much to me about it
it might just be the same as you, Rainman, they took a chunk out of her neck as well, and they want to take more. We'll see what happens.

If it's a basal cell carcinoma or a squamous cell, it's not something to freak out over (even though I did at first, and probably most people do). In those cases, they cut a chunk out of your neck (or other body part), and they look to see if the cancer is completely enclosed by normal flesh. If not, they didn't get it all and they have to go back and take a bigger chunk, and repeat the process. Once they get it out, it's gone. It took a couple of chunks for me, but it hasn't come back since.

Apparently, those types of cancer only spread as tumors that get larger. They don't do anything more insidious, so if you remove the tumor, you're done - no radiation, no chemo, nothing. The only down side is that it may come back, but if it does, it comes back as another tumor.

Melanomas are a different story. They're more like the traditional cancer and require more treatment.

bkkcoh
08-23-2005, 03:44 PM
Check to see if their is any assistance that the American Cancer society maybe able to provide to you and your family.

PastorMikH
08-23-2005, 03:51 PM
Sorry to hear about your mom Angel. I've gotten to see several cases of cancer. If it is just skin cancer/mole, I'd suggest having a surgeon remove it. My dad just had this done with a spot that came up on his nose. My grandfather had a spot on his lip and the Dr kept burning off and it kept coming back. He ended up dying from it.

As for putting off treatment, the longer you wait, the deadlier cancer gets. If it were my family member, I wouldn't put off treatment because of finances.

tk13
08-23-2005, 03:54 PM
I can't offer any of this great information that everybody has provided, but good luck....

Coach
08-23-2005, 03:59 PM
I can't offer anything, but just my prayers. Your mom and the family will be in my prayers.

saturnknts
08-23-2005, 04:17 PM
The Federal Government has a website with information on active clinical trials.

http://www.clinicaltrials.gov

thanks for the link, that may help me next week when i talk to my doctor. he said there wasnt any trials for mine.

angel
08-23-2005, 04:20 PM
If it's a basal cell carcinoma or a squamous cell, it's not something to freak out over (even though I did at first, and probably most people do). In those cases, they cut a chunk out of your neck (or other body part), and they look to see if the cancer is completely enclosed by normal flesh. If not, they didn't get it all and they have to go back and take a bigger chunk, and repeat the process. Once they get it out, it's gone. It took a couple of chunks for me, but it hasn't come back since.

Apparently, those types of cancer only spread as tumors that get larger. They don't do anything more insidious, so if you remove the tumor, you're done - no radiation, no chemo, nothing. The only down side is that it may come back, but if it does, it comes back as another tumor.

Melanomas are a different story. They're more like the traditional cancer and require more treatment.
that sounds like what they're doing next week.. I hope that's what it is. My mom didn't explain it to me very much, but she probably didn't understand, either.

angel
08-23-2005, 04:21 PM
thank all of you for your help and thoughts

Ari Chi3fs
08-23-2005, 04:27 PM
She should go with an alkaline diet for awhile, it will get all those toxins out of her system.

Also, you might consider getting an Ionizer for her Kitchen Water faucet. It brings the PH up to approx 10, and really flush out the bad stuff. In Japan and Korea, they swear by them... plus they have more people living very healthy lives upwards of 100 years old than any culture.

Try a Jupiter model, we are getting ready to order one, as I have some toxins to flush out...

http://www.ionizers.org/ionized_water.html

Ask BigDaddy about Alkaline Diet...

Chiefnj
08-23-2005, 04:29 PM
Sorry about your mom.

Ask your mom to fax or mail you the pathology report. Read it and do some research on the internet about the type of cancer it is. Since there are so many types of cancers, including skin cancers, I would imagine it best that you know what your dealing with if you are going to call clinics about trials, etc.

Area 51
08-23-2005, 04:40 PM
Have you tried the Cancer Treatment Center of America? I don't know if they have anything for people that don't have good coverage, but it can't hurt to investigate. They have the best approach I've ever seen in the treatment of all kinds of cancer. They even have a setup that will allow family members to rent a room in the hospital for less than a motel, plus you can eat in the cafeteria for next to nothing.

Like I said, it can't hurt to check them out on their benevolent programs.

KS Smitty
08-23-2005, 04:59 PM
Is there any way you can can go with your mom to her next appointment? If not have her take a tape recorder with her and record the conversation with the Dr. (ask permission first, we have never had a problem with it being allowed). This does a couple of things, it preserves the conversation so that anything she may not have heard or understood can be played back and it gives the rest of the family the opportunity to hear what the Dr. said directly. It is very important that your mom allow the rest of the family to be involved in this, regardless of the seriousness of the cancer. We did this with Dad, he couldn't hear so Mom recorded it for him to listen to at home in the quiet. We also have done this with Kipp's Mom (she is having parkinsonian symptoms) it not only allowed us the opportunity to replay the conversation but we jotted down questions that came up after what he said sunk in and allowed us to do further research. We have also called the dr back with additional questions that (inevitably) came up later and sent the tape to out of state family members. You cannot have too much info (from the dr) and you must make your mom realize that while it is her health it also affects the entire family.

Good luck and prayers to you and yours, Angela.

Pam