Wallet Card Helps Doctors and Patients Stay Connected During Disasters
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have developed a tool that we hope will be helpful to oncologists and people with cancer in the event of a national or natural disaster, when patients may not be able to access their medical team for care.
ASCO and NCI have developed and tested with physicians and other medical staff a card that patients can carry in their wallets that will guide them to ASCO's patient information Web site (www.cancer.net) and NCI's Cancer Information Service (1-800-4-CANCER) if they are displaced from their homes due to a disaster situation. Download and print out the card.
The card includes information on how to access ASCO and NCI information tools. It also includes space on the back, where medical staff can include brief information about the patient's care in case the patient needs to be treated by a doctor who is unfamiliar with his or her diagnosis or treatment.
After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast region of the United States in 2005, ASCO and NCI provided the toll-free number and Web-based resources to help doctors and patients who were displaced by the storms contact each other and the treating physicians, to ensure continued care for patients with cancer.
ASCO and NCI encourage oncologists to discuss with their patients what to do in the event of a natural disaster. Oncology practices can order the card for free to distribute to their patients by calling NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). People with cancer and others also can order the card for free by calling the NCI phone number.
ASCO and NCI hope that patients will not face a disaster situation where they need to use these cards, but the cards also can serve as a reminder that patients can access valuable cancer care information through ASCO and NCI.