Our Mission

Circle of Hope Inc. provides emotional, financial and educational support to those diagnosed with cancer in the Santa Clarita Valley. We are dedicated to our community, serving patients and families since 2004.

100% of donations and proceeds remain in the SCV!

 Cancers We Support

Circle of Hope Inc. welcomes all members of our community that have been affected by cancer of any kind.  This includes family, friends, and those who have long-since recovered from the disease. Our education and support services are open to everyone.

Below is a list of cancers that are currently eligible for financial aid.


breast cancer ribbonBreast cancer starts in the cells of the breast as a group of cancer cells that can then invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to other areas of the body.  Breast cancer occurs when malignant tumors develop in the breast. These cells can spread by breaking away from the original tumor and entering blood vessels or lymph vessels, which branch into tissues throughout the body. When cancer cells travel to other parts of the body and begin damaging other tissues and organs, the process is called metastasis.

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Most people who have breast cancer symptoms and signs will initially notice only one or two, and the presence of these symptoms and signs do not automatically mean that you have breast cancer.By performing monthly breast self-exams, you will be able to more easily identify any changes in your breast. Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional if you notice anything unusual.

Symptoms may include a chnage in how the breast ot nipple feels, a change in how a breast or nipple appearance or any nipple discharge, particularly clear discharge or bloody discharge. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider so that the problem can bediagnosed and treated.

Breast cancer is the second most lethal cancer in women. (Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in women.) The good news is that early detection and new treatments have improved survival rates. The 5-year survival rate for women diagnosed with cancer is 80%. About Unfortunately, women in lower social and economic groups still have significantly lower survival rates than women in higher groups. The good news is that women are living longer with breast cancer. Due to better treatment options, breast cancer mortality rates declined by about 25% since 1990. However, survivors must live with the uncertainties of possible recurrent cancer and some risk for complications from the treatment itself. Recurrences of cancer usually develop within 5 years of treatment. About 25% of recurrences and half of new cancers in the opposite breast occur after 5 years.

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

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cervical cancer ribbonCervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. Then, between 1955 and 1992, the cervical cancer death rate declined by almost 70%. The main reason for this change was the increased use of the Pap test. This screening procedure can find changes in the cervix before cancer develops. It can also find cervical cancer early − in its most curable stage. The death rate from cervical cancer has been stable in recent years.Cervical cancer tends to occur in midlife. Most cases are found in women younger than 50. It rarely develops in women younger than 20. Many older women do not realize that the risk of developing cervical cancer is still present as they age. More than 20% of cases of cervical cancer are found in women over 65. However these cancers rarely occur in women who have been getting regular tests to screen for cervical cancer before they were 65.

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Women with early cervical cancers and pre-cancers usually have no symptoms. Symptoms often do not begin until a pre-cancer becomes a true invasive cancer and grows into nearby tissue. When this happens, the most common symptoms are, abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding after sex (vaginal intercourse), bleeding after menopause, bleeding and spotting between periods, and having longer or heavier (menstrual) periods than usual. Bleeding after douching, or after a pelvic exam is a common symptom of cervical cancer but not pre-cancer. An unusual discharge from the vagina − the discharge may contain some blood and may occur between your periods or after menopause and pain during sex (vaginal intercourse).

For cervical cancer, the survival rate is close to 100% when precancerous or early cancerous changes are found and treated. The prognosis for invasive cervical cancer depends on the stage of the cancer when it is found. According to Cancer Research UK around two-thirds of patients survive cervical cancer beyond five years after diagnosis. The NHS emphasises that if the cancer is still at an early stage the outlook will usually be very good and a complete cure is often possible. The NHS also says that more than 90% of women with stage one cervical cancer will live at least five years after receiving a diagnosis and around one in three people with the more advanced type of cervical cancer will live at least five years. It is also important to note that no statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique and so are you. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people. The statistics are not detailed enough to tell you about the different treatments people may have had and how their treatment may have affected the outlook for them.

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

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colon cancer ribbonColon cancer is cancer that starts in either the colon or the rectum. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have many features in common. They are discussed together here.

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Colorectal cancer may cause one or more of these symptoms.. If you have any of the following you should see your doctor: A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days. A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so. Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool (often, though, the stool will look normal). Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain. Weakness and fatigue or unintended weight loss.  Most of these symptoms are more often caused by conditions other than colorectal cancer, such as infection, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel disease. Still, if you have any of these problems, it’s important to see your doctor right away so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

Every person is different and responds differently to treatment. However, with prompt and appropriate treatment, the outlook for a person with colorectal cancer is hopeful. The survival rate for people with colorectal cancer depends on the extent of the cancer at the time of diagnosis and the individual’s response to treatment. In addition, many new discoveries have the potential for improving the treatment of colorectal cancer, as well as the prognosis.  Many people who have had colorectal cancer live normal life spans. The treatments available today offer good outcomes, but you may require several treatments or a combination of treatments (surgery, chemotherapy, radiation) to have the best chance of avoiding a recurrence of the cancer.

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

Support Group
ovarian cancer ribbonOvarian cancer is a disease in which malignant or cancerous cells are found in the ovaries. An ovary is one of two small, almond-shaped organs located on each side of the uterus that store eggs or germ cells and produce female hormones estrogen and progesterone.

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Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect, especially, in the early stages. This is partly due to the fact that these two small, almond shaped organs are deep within the abdominal cavity, one on each side of the uterus. These are some of the potential signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer: Bloating Pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating or feeling full quickly, feeling the need to urinate urgently or often. Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include: Fatigue, upset stomach or heartburn, back pain, pain during sex and constipation or menstrual changes. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your physician.

In women age 35-74, ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths. An estimated one woman in 71 will develop ovarian cancer during her lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed this year and that more than 15,000 women will die from ovarian cancer this year. When one is diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, the 5-year survival rate is over 90%. Due to ovarian cancer’s non-specific symptoms and lack of early detection tests, only 19% of all cases are found at this early stage. If caught in stage III or higher, the survival rate can be as low as 30.6%. Due to the nature of the disease, each woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer has a different profile and it is impossible to provide a general prognosis.

Source: American Cancer Society

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

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prostate cancer ribbonProstate cancer is cancer that starts in the prostate gland. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure that makes up part of a man’s reproductive system. It wraps around the urethra. This is the tube that carries urine out of the body.

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With early prostate cancer, there are often no symptoms. The PSA blood test may be done to screen men for prostate cancer. Often, PSA level rises before there are any symptoms. The symptoms listed below can occur with prostate cancer as it grows larger in the prostate. These symptoms can also be caused by other prostate problems such as delayed or slowed start of urinary stream, dribbling or leakage of urine, most often after urinating, slow urinary stream, straining when urinating, or not being able to empty all of the urine and blood in the urine or semen. When the cancer has spread, there may be bone pain or tenderness, most often in the lower back and pelvic bones.

How well you do depends on whether the cancer has spread outside the prostate gland and how abnormal the cancer cells are (the Gleason score) when you are diagnosed. A cure is possible if the cancer has not spread. Hormone treatment can improve survival, even if a cure is not possible. When calling your health care provider discuss the advantages and disadvantages of PSA screening.

Copyright © 2013, A.D.A.M., Inc.

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

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testicular cancer ribbon

Testicular cancer is cancer that develops in the testicles, a part of the male reproductive system.In the United States, between 7,500 and 8,000 diagnoses of testicular cancer are made each year. It is the most common cancer in males aged 20–39 years, the period of peak incidence, and is rarely seen before the age of 15 years.

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Most often, the first symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on the testicle, or the testicle becomes swollen or larger. (It’s normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other, and for one to hang lower than the other.) Some testicular tumors might cause pain, but most of the time they do not. Men with testicular cancer can also have a feeling of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum. Breast growth or soreness and in rare cases, germ cell tumors can cause the breasts to grow or become sore. Early signs of puberty in boys and some Leydig cell tumors can make androgens (male sex hormones). Androgen-producing tumors may not cause any specific symptoms in men, but in boys they can cause signs of puberty at an abnormally early age, such as a deepening of the voice and the growth of facial and body hair.

Symptoms of advanced testicular cancers even if testicular cancer has spread to other parts of the body, many men might not have symptoms right away. Lower back pain can be a sign that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the abdomen. Cancer that has spread to the lungs can cause trouble breathing (shortness of breath), chest pain, or a cough (sometimes with blood). Some cancers might cause abdominal pain, either from enlarged lymph nodes or metastasis (spread) to the liver. In rare cases, testicular cancer spreads to the brain and can cause headaches. Some men with testicular cancer have no symptoms at all, and their cancer is found during medical testing for other conditions. Sometimes imaging tests done to find the cause of infertility can uncover a small testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers: If the cancer hasn’t spread outside the testicle, the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%. Even if the cancer has grown into nearby structures or has spread to nearby lymph nodes, the rate is 96%. If it has spread to organs or lymph nodes away from the tumor, the 5-year relative survival rate is around 74%. (metastasized). Even for the relatively few cases in which malignant cancer has spread widely, modern chemotherapy offers a cure rate of at least 80%.

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

Support Group
uterine cancer ribbonEndometrial cancer, also known as womb cancer or uterine cancer, is a type of cancer that begins in the uterus (womb), specifically in the layer of cells that form the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. Endometrial cancer can also be called cancer of the womb or cancer of the uterus. Nearly all uterine cancers are endometrial cancer. However, there is another much rarer type called uterine sarcoma, in which the malignancy starts in the muscles surrounding the womb. Endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma are usually treated differently. Most newly-diagnosed patients are over 55 years of age.

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The most common symptom of uterine cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding. It may start as a watery, blood-streaked flow that gradually contains more blood. After menopause, any vaginal bleeding is abnormal. These are common symptoms of uterine cancer: abnormal vaginal bleeding, spotting, or discharge, pain or difficulty when emptying the bladder, pain during sex or pain in the pelvic area.  These symptoms may be caused by uterine cancer or by other health problems. Women with these symptoms should tell their doctor so that any problem can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

The 5-year survival rate, when all endometrial cancer cases are looked at together, is approximately 69%, according to the American Cancer Society. For patients whose endometrial cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the 5-year survival rate is more than 91%. The earlier the cancer is detected and treated, the better the survival rate. The American Cancer Society emphasizes “These numbers give you an overall picture, but keep in mind that every woman’s situation is unique and the statistics can’t predict exactly what will happen in your case. They know your situation best.

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

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What is Cancer?

The body is made up of trillions of living cells. Normal body cells grow, divide into new cells, and die in an orderly fashion. During the early years of a person’s life, normal cells divide faster to allow the person to grow. After the person becomes an adult, most cells divide only to replace worn-out or dying cells or to repair injuries.

Cancer begins when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control. There are many kinds of cancer, but they all start because of out-of-control growth of abnormal cells. Cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth. Instead of dying, cancer cells continue to grow and form new, abnormal cells. Cancer cells can also invade (grow into) other tissues, something that normal cells cannot do. Growing out of control and invading other tissues are what makes a cell a cancer cell.

Cells become cancer cells because of damage to DNA. DNA is in every cell and directs all its actions. In a normal cell, when DNA gets damaged the cell either repairs the damage or the cell dies. In cancer cells, the damaged DNA is not repaired, but the cell doesn’t die like it should. Instead, this cell goes on making new cells that the body does not need. These new cells will all have the same damaged DNA as the first cell does. People can inherit damaged DNA, but most DNA damage is caused by mistakes that happen while the normal cell is reproducing or by something in our environment. Sometimes the cause of the DNA damage is something obvious, like cigarette smoking. But often no clear cause is found.In most cases the cancer cells form a tumor. Some cancers, like leukemia, rarely form tumors. Instead, these cancer cells involve the blood and blood-forming organs and circulate through other tissues where they grow.

Cancer cells often travel to other parts of the body, where they begin to grow and form new tumors that replace normal tissue. This process is called metastasis. It happens when the cancer cells get into the bloodstream or lymph vessels of our body. No matter where a cancer may spread, it is always named for the place where it started. For example, breast cancer that has spread to the liver is still called breast cancer, not liver cancer. Likewise, prostate cancer that has spread to the bone is metastatic prostate cancer, not bone cancer. Different types of cancer can behave very differently. For example, lung cancer and breast cancer are very different diseases. They grow at different rates and respond to different treatments. That is why people with cancer need treatment that is aimed at their particular kind of cancer.

Not all tumors are cancerous. Tumors that aren’t cancer are called benign. Benign tumors can cause problems, they can grow very large and press on healthy organs and tissues. But they cannot grow into (invade) other tissues. Because they can’t invade, they also can’t spread to other parts of the body (metastasize). These tumors are almost never life threatening.