Language specific community pages

Asian Cancer Support

Language and Culturally Specific Cancer Support

In 2019, AHSC launched Oregon’s first culturally and linguistically specific program, ACRSS for Asians facing cancer, thanks to generous support from regional foundations. Our Asian Cancer Resource and Support Service program aims to cover the entire cancer journey: from prevention and screening to treatment and survivorship support. We’re dedicated to enhancing access to care, improving treatment outcomes, and boosting the quality of life for Asian cancer patients, ensuring that no one faces cancer alone. 

Asian Cancer Resource & Support Services (ACRSS):

Asian Cancer Resource & Support Service (ACRSS) is our community-based cancer patient navigation service at Asian Health & Service Center that provides personalized support to cancer patients, survivors, and family caregivers. Our services encompass every stage of the cancer experience, including screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and end-of-life care.

All of our services are offered at no cost to our clients. Our trained staff and volunteer cancer patient navigators offer culturally and linguistically appropriate resources, education materials, care coordination, and emotional support. If you or someone you know could benefit from our services, please reach out without hesitation. All services are provided in five languages: Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, and English.

Patient Navigation – Staff and Volunteer Cancer Patient Navigators are trained to provide culturally and linguistically specific services. They assist cancer patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and community partners in coordinating services and navigating cancer resources. Additionally, they offer emotional support and guidance to patients, families, and caregivers throughout the cancer journey. Many of these navigators are cancer survivors themselves or family members of cancer patients, prepared to support you on your cancer journey in a culturally sensitive manner. 

Case Management – ACRSS staff provide case management to assist patients and family members in accessing care and connecting to resources. We coordinate with treatment sites, schedule medical visits, and explain diagnosis and treatment options. Our collaborative team approach supports cancer patients throughout their entire treatment journey.

Transportation Support – Based on individual’s health insurance and geographical location, ACRSS staff will identify available transportation services and schedule rides to oncology visits and treatment sites.

Counseling – Our experienced, trained bilingual, and bicultural staff and volunteers provide counseling to enhance emotional and psychological well-being. We aim to foster self-care, promote coping and problem-solving skills, and improve resilience to make the cancer journey more manageable for patients and their families.

Caregiver Support – We offer support for non-paid caregivers caring for individuals with cancer. Our assistance includes providing language and culturally specific information, resources, nutrition education, self-care tips, and access to resources such as hiring paid caregivers and referrals for palliative and hospice care.

Peer Support – Asian Cancer Support staff and volunteers provide individual support to patients and family members through various means, including phone calls, video chats, and in-person visits. From comforting phone conversations to tea-time visits, peer support is personalized to meet the needs of each individual client. Support groups, currently facilitated in Cantonese and Korean, offer a safe and comfortable environment for patients, survivors, and family members to share their cancer journey together. 

Grief support – Additionally, we offer grief support through emotional support and counseling, as well as providing resources for funeral arrangements.

Health seminar & workshops – Language specific cancer education and resources will be provided to individuals, groups, and community to increase cancer awareness, prevention and recovery.

Health Talk – ACRSS has been offering many live webinars by oncologists and cancer specialists. Their presentation videos have been uploaded in AHSC YouTube channel for educational purpose.

Nutrition and diet education -ACRSS has developed “Cancer Nutrition Handbooks” and videos related to cooking demonstration and nutrition education through Asian Cancer Diet Project.

Cancer specific education resources – Many Asian Americans, especially new immigrants with cancer, face the additional challenge of finding information about their illnesses in their native languages. ACRSS aims to provide educational resources in Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean, as well as English. Explore Asian Cancer Support Resources here.

AHSC Cancer Program Milestones

2007: AHSC expands scope of service to include breast cancer services with support from Susan G. Komen. ACS Foundation and Avon Foundation also supported this effort.  

2013: AHSC begins contract with ScreenWise to provide breast and cervical cancer screenings. 

2016: OHSU Knight Cancer Institute awards AHSC Phase 1 funding to research the needs and experiences of Asian cancer patients.

2019: OHSU Knight Cancer Institute awards AHSC Phase 2 funding to implement an Asian-focused patient navigator program. 

2019: AHSC launches Asian Cancer Support with generous three-support from The Collins Foundation. 

2020: M. J. Murdock Trust Fund for the project titled New Staff

2021: OHSU Knight Cancer Institute awards AHSC’s Asian Diet & Cancer to develop a pilot project to address the needs of nutrition education before, during and after cancer treatment 

2023: CareOregon expanded contract to serve Asian cancer patients during all phases of cancer treatment spectrum as well as their caregivers needing specialized behavioral support.

Client Testimonials

“My father has been feeling burnout from taking care of my mother who has been house bound most of time due to cancer. Since he received counseling and support from the program, he was able to do better self-care and motivated to do more fun things with my mother. He has been making progress in communication with my mother and having more quality time with her. I really appreciate all your support and help.”

— Tiffany L.
October, 2020

“A volunteer called me and shared her own breast cancer experience. I realized I was not the only one who has been struggling with caregiving issues and cancer treatment. She was very supportive, and I was able to open up for on-going telephone counseling from Asian Cancer Support program.”

— Ying N.
December, 2021

“My husband and I cannot properly explain the deep gratitude and appreciation we have for everything the center has done. The emotional support and the words of encouragement helped me go through this hard time. Also, thank you for taking the time to research the cancer information in Chinese. It is really helpful to understand my treatment.”

— Hing Jun C.
April, 2021

“I am a cancer survivor and I’m volunteering at ACRSS for the last 3 years. I have a dream- I would like to share how I walk my tough cancer journey with a positive perspective, with other cancer patients, to serve & support them. Thanks to AHSC/ ACRSS to make my dream come true. I will continue to dedicate my life to serve & walk with the cancer patients through their difficult cancer journey.”

— Winnie.

“I was a family caregiver. I found that ACRSS not only gives me the chance to serve our cancer patients, ACRSS also provides me with a strong sense of resilience by caring for people who are in need. I hope our patients can feel blessed through our services. I wish that they can also find faith, hope, and love in ACRSS.”

— Vivian.

“Watching a loved one go through cancer as a caregiver was very difficult. We still deal with continued side effects every day. We love coming to the center for group activities. My spouse always reminds me about the cancer support group. We receive a lot of joy and support from ACRSS staff, volunteers and members.”

August 2023

“Eternally grateful for all the support I have received. I was previously very ashamed and overwhelmed with my cancer diagnosis. I did not know how to navigate all my appointments and was too afraid to ask for help. I was luckily introduced to the ACRSS program where I have received continued assistance with appointments and compassionate emotional support. My wife and I now have a team of supporters that together feel like a family.””

April, 2024

“Thank you to the staff at Asian Health and Service Center for their concern and guidance when they learned that I had breast cancer. They recommended the Asian Cancer Resource and Support Service program. With the warmhearted assistance from the cancer patient navigator, I was able to solve some problems and learn about the positive attitude that should be taken when you are sick. I would like to express my gratitude here.”

March, 2023