A cancer diagnosis and its treatment can be overwhelming. The Supportive Oncology Clinic works with your oncologist to help with:
- Symptoms such as pain, nausea, lack of appetite, fatigue, shortness of breath, and others
- Emotional issues such as sadness or anxiety
- Concerns about finances or health insurance
- Concerns about job, family issues, and goals of care
- Coordination of care
Our clinic is staffed by two physicians board certified in palliative care, a palliative care nurse practitioner and a palliative social worker who assists with psychosocial distress and support. This interdisciplinary team works together with you and your family to manage symptoms, coordinate care and discuss your goals of care.
Defining the Goals of Your Care
In order for you to make informed decisions about your health care, it is important to understand your disease process and its likely course. Our team wants to know who you are, what matters to you and what you hope for. Your values and preferences help us work with your oncologist to tailor care to your goals, even if at some point you are unable to speak for yourself.
We include your loved ones as we discuss your goals and priorities, unless you indicate otherwise. We ask questions such as:
- How do you and your family define benefit and burden?
- What do you want us to know about who you are and what matters to you?
- What are the opportunities and risks of various services and treatments at a given time?
- As your goals and expectations evolve, your care plan can be revised accordingly.
Pain and Symptom Management
If you are suffering from shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, constipation, fatigue or other symptoms related to your cancer or cancer care, a pain and symptom management consultation may help. A thorough assessment and treatment recommendations are provided by a physician and advanced practice nurse, both board certified in palliative care.
Social Work Services
Social workers provide emotional support for patients and families and address practical concerns about finances, health insurance, or managing at home. At the Supportive Oncology Clinic, our social workers provide information about advanced directives and living wills and can help you complete these forms if interested.