People Living Through Cancer (PLTC) is in its 27th year of empowering cancer survivors and their families by providing free emotional support, wellness programming, education, and referrals to those affected by all types of cancer.
PLTC is unique in New Mexico. The agency is:
• The only evidence-based, peer and professionally-led cancer support model;
• The oldest and largest provider of emotional cancer support;
• The only support organization providing services to patients and caregivers throughout the cancer journey, from diagnosis through long-term survivorship; and
• The steward of the largest collection and lending library of cancer-related information for consumers.
PLTC's mission is to connect and support cancer survivors and caregivers by transforming shared individual experiences into enduring hope. PLTC has long understood that one's emotional wellbeing can greatly impact one's ability to wage the best fight. We have grown and changed in the last several years. Based on the needs of the community we serve, we continue to provide both peer and professionally-led support services to address the emotional needs of cancer patients and their families.
We are here to help survivors overcome fear, anxiety, despair and isolation. PLTC serves cancer survivors from diagnosis through long-term survivorship. We offer caregivers support through the cancer experience, including bereavement. We assist families by providing a safe place in which they can learn about their cancer, treatments and side effects, while allowing for release of emotions and the opportunity to gain strength and reassurance from those that understand.
PLTC helps cancer survivors enhance their quality of life, feel empowered in their decisions, improve communication with their families and medical teams, and reduce their emotional or physical pain and suffering.
More than 9,000 New Mexicans will hear the words "you have cancer" for the first time in 2011. These three words render families vulnerable as physical and emotional suffering begins. Yet, cancer patients must also make critical decisions about treatment and continue to care for their families.
After treatment, survivors continue to need support coping with the long-term effects of chemotherapy, losses related to physical health, finances, jobs, and the fear of recurrence. PLTC's peer and professionally-support model will continue to set the standard for supporting survivors during these common emotional reactions.
From reviewing client feedback, the literature, and peer organizations nationwide, PLTC has identified an increasing need to help survivors and families distinguish between the needs that can be met through peer support and more severe mental health needs that require the support of professionals. These needs are especially acute at the time of diagnosis, when dealing with metastases or depression.
At PLTC survivors of all cancers - plus caregivers and loved ones - are able to receive the emotional support and educational services they need to navigate the cancer journey. PLTC serves people from across the state with about 85% from the metro area.
We offer free services to families of all economic backgrounds. Families coping with cancer face several expenses - often concurrent with job loss and disability related to cancer. Even with insurance, families face treatment and prescription co-pays and often lifetime or annual coverage limits. Having to pay for counseling is often just not possible. We serve survivors of all ethnicities and have received awards for minority outreach and care from the National Cancer Institute.