Kathy Kanavos

Cancer Q & A

with Kathy Kanavos

Kathy O'Keefe Kanavos addresses

your concerns about Cancer

Dear Kathy,

I have just had a questionable mammogram. Three needle biopsies were taken and the pathologist said he is "leaning toward" lobular cancer. How can a pathology report "lean toward" something? Is it or isn't it? I don't have much confidence in my pathologist. Did you have this problem and do you have any suggestions

Chris in Kentucky

Dear Chris,

I think what I am hearing from your email is a disconnect and a lack of confidence in your doctor. Yes, I also had concerns with my medical team and immediately sought second opinions. Most insurance companies will cover second opinions and some even desire or require them.

Any doctor worth having will not only be comfortable with a second opinion but may actually encourage it.

I found that one of the most important things concerning any treatment is a trust and feeling of camaraderie with your medical team. Self-advocating is not easy. However, if you are not going to do it, who is? Good luck and let us know how everything goes. We care.

If you are struggling with your own diagnosis, or know someone who is, please email Kathy with your questions and concerns at:

Dear Kathy,

I've just been diagnosed with breast cancer and will need a mastectomy. I am alone, no family and no one to help me after my surgery. I have other health issues, too.

I don't think I can take care of myself alone. I need to be in a full-care facility but my funds are very limited. The medical facility where my surgery and therapy will take place is more than an hour drive from my house. I don't think I can get myself there alone. Do you have any suggestions? I need help.


Dear Linda,

I'm sorry you are facing these challenges. Facing cancer is hard enough. The answer to your questions may lie in the Hope Lodges.

I don't know what state you are in but they are located throughout the country. Click here for some information on The American Cancer Society's Hope Lodges.

Having to travel out of town for treatment can be difficult. Yet the American Cancer Society has a place where cancer patients and their families can find help and hope when home is far away - an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge.

American Cancer Society

Comprehensive cancer information is available from your American Cancer Society 24 hours a day,
365 days a year, at


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AZHL entrance
AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston

The AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston, a program of the American Cancer Society, annually provides free lodging and support services to more than 1,500 cancer outpatients and their caregivers who must travel far from home for treatment in Boston.

With 40 private guest suites, a library, common dining areas, transportation services, the Lodge allows more patients than ever before to take advantage of the state-of-the-art cancer treatments offered in the city's premier medical institutions. A Community Resource Center in the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center also provides outreach to the community with cancer information and resources.

For information on the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston, a program of the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org/hopelodgeboston

Each Hope Lodge offers cancer patients and their families a free, temporary place to stay when their best hope for effective treatment may be in another city. Not having to worry about where to stay or how to pay for lodging allows Hope Lodge guests to focus on the most important thing: getting well.

A Hope Lodge offers so much more than just free lodging. It provides a nurturing, home-like environment where patients and caregivers can retreat to private rooms or connect with others who are going through many of the same experiences.

Currently, there are 30 Hope Lodge locations throughout the United States. Accommodations and eligibility requirements may vary by location, and room availability is first come, first served.

To find a Hope Lodge in your area and to learn more about a specific facility, please visit that location's page, or call the American Cancer Society toll free anytime, day or night, at 1-800-ACS-2345.

You can also check out the website "Joe's House" for additional lodging resources.

Joe's House is a nonprofit organization providing a nation-wide online service that helps cancer patients and their families find lodging near treatment centers. You can search for housing by city or by treatment center.

Another resource is the website www.Cancer.org - click the "In Your Area" tab and enter your zip code when prompted. A page will pop up with your local information, all cancer-related Events, News, Resources and Volunteer Opportunities. If you scroll toward the bottom of the page, you will see the Local Resources section, where you can select the category "Housing" to find options in your area.

I hope these resources help you locate the support you need during this difficult time.

Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos is a cancer survivor and an agented author of SURVIVING CANCERLAND: The Psychic Aspects of Healing. She is currently working on her second book, SURVIVING RECURRENCE in CANCERLAND: The Dream World and Healing. Visit her web site and her blog .

In addition to answering readers’ cancer questions for CapeWomenOnline, Kathleen is a phone counselor for the R.A. BLOCH Cancer Foundation and a breast cancer mentor for WE CAN. Her articles about her experiences appear on many blogs and discussion groups. She also volunteers for many cancer organizations and online cancer support groups. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook