Cancer Treatment Support Groups for Patients and Families
Cancer doesn’t simply affect a single part of a person’s body. At Altru Cancer Center, we recognize that cancer can impact your entire body—your physical, mental and emotional health. And beyond that, it can also affect your loved ones.
That’s why we’re committed to providing exceptional cancer care that extends well beyond cancer treatment. Our team of providers will walk with you from the day you’re diagnosed, helping to guide your decisions and make you as comfortable as possible every step of the way.
This extends to the family, too. We offer support services and resources that include family support during cancer, helping them know and understand how to best support the person with cancer.
Who Is a Cancer Survivor?
Did you know that you are considered a cancer survivor from the day you are diagnosed? It’s true—and we consider cancer survivorship as a distinct part of the cancer care we provide. By 2030, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 22.1 million cancer survivors in the United States.
Cancer Treatment Support
While a patient is undergoing cancer treatment, we offer a wide range of support services and care, including cancer discussions with family and support to stay strong during treatment.
Coming to a cancer center can be overwhelming. That’s why we connect each patient with a patient navigator who works to provide support and guidance to help you through the process.
Your patient navigator will work closely with every member of your medical team, helping to coordinate testing and treatment, as well as other aspects of your care.
Our social services department can work with you to determine your individual and family needs and connect you with the resources that can help as you adjust and move through cancer treatment. These may include resources at the Quality of Life Resource Center, a collaboration between Altru and the American Cancer Society.
At the Quality of Life Resource Center, patients can access:
- The Reach to Recovery program, staffed by volunteer breast cancer survivors who meet with and provide support to current patients and their loved ones
- The Road to Recovery program, which provides transportation for cancer patients both to treatments and back home
- The Look Good Feel Better program, which is led by volunteer beauty professionals who offer cosmetic tips to women undergoing cancer treatment
- New and gently used wigs and turbans available free of charge for women experiencing hair loss
- Social services can also connect patients and their families with support in the community, including:
- Referral to community agencies, including lodging, special education and support groups
- Referral to financial programs, including Medicaid, Social Security Administration, medication assistance and Veterans Affairs
- Support services, including counseling and education
- Discharge planning services, including nursing homes, follow-up services, in-home healthcare and home-delivered meals
Survivorship Care Plan
A survivorship care plan is prepared by an advanced practice provider at the end of treatment. It includes information related to diagnosis, treatment, survivorship care and overall health. The provider will review the information with the patient and his or her family, highlighting the information related to what’s next, including follow-up care:
- Cancer-related resources online and in the community
- Information on recommended follow-up visits and tests
- Possible short-term and long-term side effects from cancer treatment
- Promotion of physical and mental wellness
- Signs and symptoms of cancer recurrence or secondary malignancy
Palliative care is not just end-of-life care—it is provided in addition to curative treatment and designed to help improve a patient’s quality of life while he or she is going through treatment.
Palliative care offers patients help with the emotional and physical impacts of cancer by:
- Providing management of pain and other physical symptoms and side effects
- Helping patients understand their options and make decisions about quality of life
- Managing lifestyle goals around new physical limits
- Promoting well-being and peace of mind
- Helping the patient and loved ones deal with issues if and when they arise
- Encouraging reflection, repairing of relationships and creating new memories
For more information regarding palliative care, please call us at 701.780.5483.
When cancer has advanced to a stage where it is considered terminal, patients and their families may need assistance navigating daily life and care. Home care is available to patients who are cleared to return home but cannot care for themselves.
Yorhom Medical Essentials offers support services, including:
- Home health
- Grief center
- Rehabilitation technology
- Respiratory care
- Infusion therapy
- Medical equipment and supplies
For more information about Yorhom Medical Essentials, please call 701.780.2500.
These books are available for check out at the Cancer Center library.
- The Survivorship Net by Jim Owens
- Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book by Susan Love
- UPLIFT: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors by Barbara Delinsky
- Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer: A Survivor’s Guide for When Treatment Ends and the Rest of Your Life Begins by Marisa Weiss and Ellen Weiss
- Cancervive: The Challenge of Life after Cancer by Nessim and Ellis
- It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong
If you have any questions about our support services at Altru Cancer Center, please call us at 701.780.5400.