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For Families Impacted by Cancer, Pillow Talk May Help with Hard Conversations

CancerCare and Bayer HealthCare Pillow Talk program offers care packages to cancer patients and their families

NEW YORK and WHIPPANY, N.J. (July 16, 2015) – In an effort to help many of the 1.2 million Americans who receive a cancer diagnosis each year1 deal with the significant emotional challenges of being told they have the disease, Bayer and CancerCare, a leading national cancer support organization, have officially launched Pillow Talk: Conversations about Cancer. The program provides a creative outlet and a conversation starter to help people with cancer, their families and friends talk about the difficult news of a diagnosis.

Experts agree that the standard of care for cancer should include addressing the emotional and practical concerns that accompany a diagnosis, not just physical treatment.2 Using the concept of art therapy, the Pillow Talk program is designed to help families come together and process a cancer diagnosis in their own ways. Pillow Talk care packages include a pillow that can be personalized with pictures or notes, supplies for decorating the pillow, a booklet that gives creative suggestions for designing the pillows and helpful tips on how to talk about cancer.

“A diagnosis of cancer can be frightening and talking about it can be difficult and overwhelming -- especially if young children are involved,” said Brian Tomlinson, MPA, Chief Program Officer of CancerCare. “Many people avoid the conversation or keep it behind closed doors, which can change the family dynamic. Having a creative project to focus on, like Pillow Talk offers, can be a pragmatic, effective way to ground family and friends, adults and children in the cancer diagnosis, helping them to channel their feelings and make these important conversations easier.”

The Pillow Talk program, which piloted earlier this year with a limited number of care packages and families, will now expand to make 25,000 packages available to families impacted by cancer. Pillow Talk care packages can be ordered through, where information about the supportive services CancerCare offers patients and caregivers is also available.

“Every 30 seconds in America, one person is newly diagnosed with cancer.1 This life-changing news can cause a ripple effect, taking an emotional toll not only on the person diagnosed, but also on those closest to him or her,” said Joseph Germino, M.D., PhD, Bayer’s vice president of Medical Affairs for Oncology. “Bayer continually strives to make a difference for the cancer community, and through our collaboration with CancerCare, we hope to help foster important discussions among loved ones affected by cancer and help them better cope with a disease that impacts all aspects of lives.”

About CancerCare

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts. To learn more, visit

About Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the U.S.-based pharmaceuticals business of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a subsidiary of Bayer AG. Bayer HealthCare is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry, and combines the activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care, and Pharmaceuticals divisions. As a specialty pharmaceutical company, Bayer HealthCare provides products for General Medicine, Hematology, Neurology, Oncology and Women’s Healthcare. The company's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing and treating diseases.

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Bayer® and the Bayer Cross® are registered trademarks of Bayer.

Media Contacts:
Kyle Hornyak

Rose Talarico
Bayer HealthCare

1. National Cancer Institute. Cancer Facts & the War on Cancer. Available at: Accessed on March 25, 2015
2. Coping with Cancer: Tool to Help You Live. Available at: Accessed on June 19, 2015.

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