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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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Oncology Social Workers

by Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C

Almost all people with cancer are treated by a team of healthcare providers: physicians, nurses, and other specialists who work together to provide often complex medical care. Oncology social workers are integral members of many multidisciplinary oncology teams. They are recognized as leading experts in providing psychosocial care to people affected by cancer and their families.

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Talking to Your Doctor about Cancer-Related Symptoms

by Charles S. Cleeland, PhD, with Diana Lazzell

You’re reading this article before your regular clinic appointment. You’re not feeling well today – the pain has been getting worse, and the overwhelming fatigue is really getting you down. You think about mentioning these symptoms to your doctor, but you hesitate.

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Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Which chemotherapy would you recommend for me and why?
  • Are there other treatment options I should consider?
  • How many treatments will I receive?
  • How long will each treatment take?
  • What types of side effects should I know about?
  • What are the signs of a serious side effect?
  • When can I call you?

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Gilda's Club

Although Gilda Radner lost her personal battle with ovarian cancer in May, 1989, her indomitable spirit lives on in what is turning out to be a priceless gift to the cancer community. Gilda's Club, a free, non-residential psychological and social support community for people with cancer, their families and friends, will open in New York City next spring, thanks to a phenomenal outpouring of support from the medical and business communities and friends of Gilda and Gene Wilder.

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