Support and Resources
Emotional Support and Psychiatric Services
Everyone who faces a cancer diagnosis has a unique emotional experience. Learning about your diagnosis, treatment plans, blood counts, and prognosis can be intimidating and overwhelming. Our experience has shown us that cancer affects all aspects of a person’s life and it is expected that you and your loved ones will experience an array of emotions as you adjust to the changes. Fear, anxiety, depression, anger, disbelief, and guilt are some of the most common emotions that patients experience and it can be helpful to talk to a mental health professional so that you can adjust appropriately.
At the Cancer Institute, we have found that it is important for us to address the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our patients and their families. Therefore, we have designed a team of professionals including oncology social workers, oncology nurse navigators, a psychiatrist, and a palliative care Nurse practitioner that is trained in dealing with the bio-psycho-social aspects of cancer and can help you and your loved ones cope. Individual counseling and support groups are available on site and/or by referral and can also be helpful to patients during and after cancer treatment. Ask your oncology social worker or your nurse navigator for more information.
Patient Navigation Program
Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is difficult and a challenge you do not have to face alone. Our navigators are here to support, guide, and assist you in a time of uncertainty.
Our navigator program is offered to our patients and families to focus on your needs as you transition from diagnosis through treatment and survivorship. They are specially trained registered nurses who provide individualized assistance to patients and their families with each step of their cancer journey.
Ways Our Navigators Can Help
- Identify and assist in reducing or eliminating obstacles to assure you receive timely care
- Facilitate coordination of appointments for testing, treatment, and follow-up
- Serve as a resource, advocate, and consistent contact person
- Provide education and emotional support throughout diagnosis, treatment, and recovery
- Provide referrals to members of the Cancer Institute team such as social work, Chaplin, and oncology dietitians
- Assist you in accessing additional resources you may need along the continuum of cancer care i.e., financial, and community support services
- Collaborate with members of the interdisciplinary team to assure coordination of care
- Develop a survivorship care plan in collaboration with you and the oncology team
For more information about the navigator program at the Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital or to speak with a navigator, please call (516) 325-7507. Services are free of charge.
Medical Nutrition Therapy
Nutrition plays a large role in overall health and well being. Not only is nutrition important for cancer prevention but it is essential throughout cancer treatment and beyond in order to maintain a strong and healthy body. Our Oncology Dietitians are available to all patients throughout the continuum of cancer care. Oncology Dietitians meet with patients and their families to develop a personalized nutrition care plan, recommend diet strategies to improve nutrition status, manage treatment related side effects, and to provide diet education and nutrition counseling.
Ways Our Oncology Dietitians Can Help:
- Personalize your nutrition care plan based on your treatments and goals of care
- Identify ways to improve your nutrition intake and eat a more balanced diet
- Offer diet recommendations for the treatment of side effects that commonly affect appetite, weight, and quality of life
- Alert you to possible dietary interactions with medications and/or supplements
- Individualize diets based on your additional needs (Diabetes, Cardiac, and Renal diets, tube feeding management, etc.)
- Provide diet education and nutrition counseling throughout treatment with one on one discussion, handouts, food ideas/recipes, and group classes
- Serve as a reliable resource for evidence-based nutrition information
For more information about the Oncology Dietitians at The Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital or to speak with an Oncology Dietitian, please ask your physician or nurse for a nutrition referral. All nutrition referrals are free of charge.
Survivorship can be defined in many ways. At the Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital, survivorship is defined as: “An individual is considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of his or her life. Family, friends and caregivers are also impacted.”*
Regardless of how survivorship is defined, it is unique for each person.
Our goal is to assist you in understanding some of the potential challenges or concerns you may experience after treatment, including:
- Adjusting to the “new normal”
- Managing ongoing symptoms
- Fear that your cancer may return
- Changes in physical appearance
- Altered job responsibilities and financial hardships
Follow-up care for monitoring, screening, and support is essential to your Survivorship Care Plan. Our health care team is here to help you as you live through, with, and beyond cancer.
Please contact the Cancer Institute at St. Francis Hospital for additional information and assistance at (516)325-7500.
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Doctor Approved Patient Information form ASCO