Hematology and Oncology
Promoting Well-Being During and After Treatment for Hematologic Cancers
We are dedicated to helping people live their lives to the fullest, both during and after cancer diagnosis and treatment. We have developed a wide array of services for our cancer patients.
Most cancer patients will have questions or a concern about their diet before, during, and after their cancer is treated. We have an experienced staff of registered dietitians who can help our patients identify and meet their nutritional needs.
After receiving a cancer diagnosis, patients may feel worried, afraid, angry, confused or nervous. Patients, spouses and families may have practical concerns, such as health care coverage, work absences, or arranging travel to and from treatments. Social workers and psychiatry services at the Lifespan Cancer Institute are available to patients and their families.
The Lifespan Cancer Institute offers free services to our patients that manage symptoms and complement their medical treatment while enhancing healing and promoting a sense of well-being. Our therapists practice a variety of approaches—reiki, massage and pet therapy that address the mind, body, and spirit.
The division of behavioral and preventive medicine conducts a smoking cessation program. In this program, we teach patients techniques to manage depression, anxiety and sadness, as well as behavior management strategies to deal with the triggers that lead to smoking.
Genetic Testing and Counseling
Some cancers are hereditary. Families may share a common gene for cancer that is inherited, or passed from generation to generation. People in such families may be at greater risk for developing cancer. The Lifespan Cancer Institute offers genetic testing and counseling to patients who have may have an inherited type of cancer. This service will help at-risk relatives know that they will need to be monitored closely and to ensure that if cancer occurs, it will be detected and treated early.
Cancer patients are living longer than ever before. Our survivorship experts will help the patient stay healthy and tackle the physical and emotional challenges that patients may experience after treatment.
Sometimes patients and their families want strength and comfort from those who have faced the same experience and journey. We offer a variety of support groups for our patients and their loved ones.
Psychiatry and Social Work Services
We recognize that a cancer diagnosis may be overwhelming and can bring with it a wide range of emotional stressors, including anxiety, fear, depression, and a sense of uncertainty. To address these and other related conditions, a team of social workers as well as psychiatrists are on staff.
Patients have access to social work supports and services at any point during their treatment course (surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy) and later, through periods of post-treatment and survivorship. Social workers and psychiatrists help coordinate psychosocial interventions, including appropriate outpatient referrals for psychotherapy, and facilitate communication of psychosocial needs with the interdisciplinary team as well as outside providers.
Palliative care is supportive care given to a patient who has a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer. This starts at the time of diagnosis and lasts throughout the course of illness. The goal of palliative care is to prevent or treat the symptoms and side effects of the disease and its treatment as early as possible. Current research shows that early palliative care improves quality of life for patients being treated for cancer.
Palliative care is different than hospice care. Although the goal of both is comfort and support, palliative care begins at diagnosis and continues during cancer treatment and beyond.
Palliative surgery is often used to relieve the signs and symptoms of certain cancers. For example, removing part of the stomach may relieve signs and symptoms of a growing tumor in people with an advanced stomach cancer.
After surgery, whether it is considered curative or palliative, patients may have to deal with pain management issues, surgical drains, post-operative wounds and other possible normal complications of surgery, such as infection or dehydration. Surgical palliative care will address those needs early in the process and last throughout the recovery period and beyond.
Palliative care also addresses the psychological, social, and spiritual needs of the patient and family. Those providing palliative care always take into consideration the patient’s treatment goals with respect to his or her racial, ethnic, religious and cultural values.
We offer gynecologic physical therapy and oncology rehabilitation, including therapy for lymphedema.
Pelvic Floor Disorders Therapy
Certain cancer treatments can affect the strength and functioning of pelvic and sphincter muscles, causing incontinence, constipation and pelvic pain. The Women’s Medicine Collaborative’s program for pelvic floor disorders includes clinicians with expertise in this area. Physical therapists teach women techniques and exercises to regain strength and control of their pelvic muscles.
Induced menopause, because of a medical condition or procedure, occurs more suddenly than natural menopause and can cause more pronounced symptoms. The Menopause Consultation Program can identify and help manage medically induced menopause symptoms.