Professional Support Team Information

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What Is Palliative Care?

by Paul Glare, MD

When a person is diagnosed with cancer, treatment is obviously the number one priority. However, at the same time, most people diagnosed with cancer may be in pain, feel nauseous, or be short of breath. They are likely to be anxious, angry, or depressed. And their family and friends may need support. Addressing these multiple issues in a comprehensive and coordinated way is called palliative care.

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The Oncology Nurse

by Virginia R. Martin, RN, MSN, AOCN

An oncology registered nurse is an essential partner for a person with a cancer diagnosis. The nurse who specializes in cancer care provides comfort, commitment, and a professional guiding hand to the person with cancer and his or her family as the plan of treatment is outlined after a diagnosis is confirmed.

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You’ve Got Cancer. Now What?

by Gail Gazelle, MD, FACP

When cancer strikes or there is a recurrence, your life changes completely. Everything you took for granted is now in question. People often feel like they are living on a roller coaster.

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Building Your Professional Support Team

Most cancer patients have a treatment team of health providers who work together to help them. In addition to doctors and nurses, this team may include social workers, pharmacists, dietitians, and other people in health care. Chances are that you will never see all these people at the same time. In fact, there may be health providers on your team who you never meet.

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First Descents: Outdoor Adventures for Young Adults with Cancer

by Whitney Lange, Director of Programs

Kevin Lebret-White was 36 years old when he received the devastating news. Then he learned about First Descents and its programs geared toward helping young adults with cancer, like himself, regain a sense of control over their lives.

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Oncology Social Work 101

by Maryanne Tierney, LCSW

Cancer diagnosis and treatment affects a person’s physical, psychological, social, and functional status. The diagnosis can cause a variety of emotions: fear, pain, stress, a loss of freedom. The oncology social worker can ensure that survivors receive appropriate services with the hope that many will experience improvement in functional ability, health status, and quality of life.

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What Can a Patient Navigator Do for You?

by Brenda Wilcox, RN, BSN, OCN

A sea of questions without answers. A flood of seemingly endless information. A maze of medical confusion. In an instant, a cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down. When the crisis is at its worst, it is the gentle, calming reassurance of the patient navigator that comes alongside to offer guidance and support to those in need at a time when fear and confusion can blind the way.

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Palliative Care

by Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, FACP, and Charlotte Alster

The concept of palliative care was introduced in the United States in the 1970s. At that time, palliative care was intimately connected to hospice care with its focus on symptom management at the end of life. Today, palliative care has expanded to address the symptom management needs of all people with cancer – even those receiving curative treatment in the acute setting.

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