Find Support

Find Support

Getting Started

Programs & Community

Resources

Health Care Access

Getting Started

Programs & Community

National & Local Resources

Health Care Access

Cancer Insurance Checklist

(Plan Comparison)

Cancer is hard and certainly, meandering through the maze of health insurance and The Affordable Care Act can be daunting for those with cancer and other health issues. People are no longer rejected from purchasing health insurance due to a pre-existing condition. Now, all people can and must get the health insurance that will protect them if cancer or another life-threatening disease comes calling.

Cancer Support Community Montana is part of a national group that provides the leading edge of research and training to improve the cancer experience. Cancer Support Community Montana and a group of 18 partnering cancer and patient advocacy organizations have developed the Cancer Insurance Checklist, a resource to help people with cancer, a history of cancer, or at risk for cancer choose insurance plans in the new state-based Health Insurance Marketplaces.

The Cancer Insurance Checklist provides a worksheet to help the consumer detail the costs associated with each plan and is designed to be used while evaluating insurance plans and also when discussing them with a navigator or health care provider. There are people in our community to help assist you to navigate the Healthcare.gov website.

Local Assistance Available

There are people all over Montana who can sit and help you navigate access to cancer care and answer your questions regarding health insurance. In addition, if you would like help completing an Advanced Directive, contact (406)582-1600 to learn more.

Working Together

(Patient-Centered Care)

Cancer Support Community Montana partners with oncology and medical teams to provide integrative care that improves health outcomes for patients while reducing the strain on the medical team. Research has found the following improvements related to cancer care and the costs associated for people who access psychosocial services:

Patients with depression have higher health care utilization.

(33.66 visits vs. 18.8 visits for those without depression)

Patients with breast cancer participating in a six-week cognitive-behavioral session, billed the health care system 23.5% less than the control arm and a total of $6,199 less over the course of the study (Simpson et al, 2001)

Men with prostate cancer participating in group intervention decreased health care contacts from 10 to 4.4 over a 6-month period while the control group remained stable at 8 contacts (Pennebaker, 2000)

According to Andersen et al. (2004, 2008, 2010), patients with breast cancer engaged in social and emotional intervention have significant benefits over those who do not:

45% reduced risk of breast cancer recurrence

56% reduced risk of breast cancer death

Median time to death was 3.2 years for the intervention arm and 1.7 years for the assessment arm demonstrating a 1.5 year increase in total life expectancy

41% reduced risk of death following recurrence for the intervention arm with immune indices significantly higher among those in the intervention

Increase in T-cell development

Decrease in anxiety

Increase in family support

Decrease in number of smokers

Fewer symptoms/toxicities from cancer treatment

The services of Cancer Support Community Montana satisfy many of the CoC Accreditation standards. Contact our office to learn more about the benefits of partnering with us.

More Information

(Patient Resources)

CSC is a hub for cancer-related information in Montana. Click below to download an array of cancer resources.

More Information

(Patient Resources)

CSC is a hub for cancer-related information in Montana. Click below to download an array of cancer resources.

CSC Montana

(Financials)

Cancer Support Community Montana (CSCMT) is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Bozeman, Montana, and part of the national Cancer Support Community network. Established in 2004, CSCMT has a long history of providing support for those impacted by cancer. Starting in Bozeman, we acquired a mortgage-free building in 2009, incorporated the For One Another Family Camp in 2013, and established the Garden of Hope in 2015. Following this success, a Missoula location was launched in 2020 and opened in the Cold Spring Schoolhouse on Briggs Street in 2022. CSCMT is dedicated to partnering with rural, frontier and Indigenous communities across Montana to offer cancer support services close to home. CSC Montana has a number of Resource Centers throughout the state to ensure that no one faces cancer alone. A Resource Center is a referral center placed in communities where the small population will not support a full Chapter. All people impacted by cancer can access a calendar listing the virtual programs of CSC Montana as well as some in-person program offered by the local community. CSCMT provides information, training for the healthcare teams and mentorship to collaboratively get the services to people in their community.

Our Plans for Growth

(Strategic Plan 2022-2024)

Cancer Support Community Montana (CSC) is at an unprecedented time in our history due to a host of forces and trends that are unfolding generally in health care and specifically in cancer care.

The growing interest in the benefits of psychosocial support, and the emerging acceptance by the medical community to shift its focus from medical care only to a holistic, comprehensive approach that cares for the whole patient and their family has created a significant opportunity for CSC to take a leadership role in transforming cancer experience across Montana.

This transformation is urgently needed as cancer incidence and costs are skyrocketing with the aging of the baby boomer generation combined with population growth.

Have Questions?
Visit Our FAQ’s

We’d love to hear from you

Contact us regarding any concerns or inquiries.

OUR FAQ’S

Coping with cancer can be complex, but you're not alone. Explore our FAQs for guidance and support.

Frequently Asked Questions (Cancer)

Breast Cancer: Affects breast tissue, common in women but can occur in men.
Lung Cancer: Arises from lung cells, often due to smoking but can affect non-smokers.
Colorectal Cancer: Develops in the colon or rectum from precancerous polyps.
Prostate Cancer: Affects the prostate gland, common in older men.
Skin Cancer: Primarily caused by UV radiation exposure.
Bladder Cancer: Develops in the bladder, often with blood in urine.
Melanoma: Originates in skin pigment cells.
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Affects the lymphatic system.
Leukemia: Rapid production of abnormal white blood cells.
Thyroid Cancer: Affects the thyroid gland in the neck.

Surgery: Removes cancerous tumors or tissues, typically for localized cancers.
Chemotherapy: Uses drugs to kill or inhibit cancer cells’ growth, often combined with other treatments.
Radiation Therapy: Destroys cancer cells using high-energy rays, delivered externally or internally.
Immunotherapy: Boosts the immune system to fight cancer, targeting specific molecules.
Targeted Therapy: Interferes with specific cancer cell abnormalities to halt growth.
Hormone Therapy: Blocks hormones fueling hormone-sensitive cancers like breast and prostate cancer.
Stem Cell Transplant: Replaces diseased bone marrow with healthy stem cells to produce healthy blood cells.
Precision Medicine: Tailors treatment based on cancer genetics for more effective therapies.
Palliative Care: Focuses on symptom relief and improving quality of life for advanced cancer patients.

During your initial consultation, your healthcare team will discuss your diagnosis, treatment options, and develop a personalized plan. Treatment sessions may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery, occurring at varying intervals. Expect potential side effects like fatigue, nausea, and changes in appetite, managed with supportive care. Follow-up visits are crucial for monitoring progress and addressing concerns. Seek emotional support from loved ones or professionals, and remember to maintain a healthy diet and pace yourself to manage fatigue. Build a supportive network and stay hopeful throughout your cancer treatment journey.

Cancer diagnosis involves reviewing medical history, conducting a physical exam, and ordering tests such as imaging, biopsies, and blood tests. Additional procedures like endoscopy or mammography may be needed. Once cancer is confirmed, staging helps guide treatment decisions, often with input from a multidisciplinary team of specialists.

It’s important to note that having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean you’ll definitely develop cancer. Likewise, many people who develop cancer may not have any known risk factors. Leading a healthy lifestyle, undergoing recommended screenings, and staying informed about your health can help reduce your overall cancer risk.

If you have concerns about your cancer risk or need support in managing your health, consult with a healthcare professional or reach out to cancer support organizations for guidance and resources.

Remember, everyone’s cancer experience is unique, so it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your lifestyle habits accordingly. Be patient and kind to yourself as you navigate through treatment and recovery. If you have specific concerns or questions about maintaining a healthy lifestyle during or after cancer treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare team or cancer support organizations for guidance and support.

Frequently Asked Questions (Support)

Answer: Cancer Support Community Montana is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive psychological and social support to people with cancer and their families. Our services include support groups, educational workshops, mind/body programs, exercise and stress management programs, nutrition management, and networking/social activities.

Anyone and everyone impacted by cancer in Montana is welcome in our community. Many of our participants are individuals with cancer who desire to improve the quality of their lives and be an active partner along with their physicians and healthcare team. Men and women of all ages and all types of cancer diagnoses are welcome. People who have had cancer in the past and have completed medical treatments also attend to maintain their health while focusing on survivorship issues. Family, friends and support persons are also welcome. No referral is needed to participate in our programs and services.

Yes! We have specific groups designated for family and friends of a person with cancer. Individuals can come and share their experiences, learn ways to effectively support the person with cancer, and also learn how to take care of themselves during the process. We offer the support person an array of support groups, educational workshops and stress management programs.

Absolutely nothing! All programs and services offered at Cancer Support Community Montana are FREE OF CHARGE. Cancer Support Community Montana is a not-for-profit organization supported by community-minded individuals and businesses, charitable foundations and special fundraising events.

We invite you to attend one of our New Participant Orientation meetings to learn more about the programs and services we offer. Please refer to our program calendar for exact dates and times. If you can’t find a session that works for you, one-on-one orientation sessions are available by appointment – just give us a call at 406.582.1600!

Participants at Cancer Support Community Montana are able to choose the programs/services that they feel most comfortable with and that will help to improve their own well-being. Participants are never asked to participate in any program that they are not comfortable with. Some may choose to simply visit Cancer Support Community Montana rather than be alone.

No. Cancer Support Community Montana does not have a medical staff. Individuals seek their own medical treatment as they deem necessary.

No. The program is meant to support the treatment prescribed by the patient’s healthcare team and is not a substitute for conventional medical care. While the medical profession fights cancer on the physical front, Cancer Support Community Montana helps people with cancer learn techniques to help them fight on the psychosocial front.

Frequently Asked Questions (Participant)

Answer: Volunteering is a great way to give back or pay it forward in a meaningful way and have a real impact on the lives of others. And you’ll reap many personal benefits:

Knowing you’re helping to improve the lives of those impacted by cancer
Building connections with people who share your interests or expanding your professional network
Strengthening relationships with others through collaborative activities
Developing valuable skills
Fulfilling service hours
Improving your overall happiness, lowering your stress levels and increasing self-confidence (Seriously! Studies confirm it.)
Experiencing a sense of purpose and fulfillment
And more!

Answer: Volunteer as much and as often as you’d like! Some roles require a regular commitment (such as Front Desk Receptionist) while other roles are as-needed or one-time (such as event volunteering or landscape maintenance). We’ll work with your schedule to find a role that works for you.

Answer: At CSCMT, we want our members to take care of themselves, first and foremost, before assisting others. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup. We address the question of volunteering while being a participant on a case-by-case basis to assure that your needs are being met first as a participant and secondly as a volunteer.

Answer: Please do! Volunteering is a great experience to share with your friends, colleagues, or civic groups. To learn more about group volunteering please contact CSCMT.

Still have questions?

Still have question in mind? Please get in touch with our support team or write us an email.