Our board-certified genetic counselor offers genetic counseling and risk assessment for hereditary cancers. Cancer genetic risk counseling includes:
- Education about the genes that predispose an individual to cancer;
- Evaluation of family cancer histories;
- Discussion of testing procedures and the benefits and limitations of genetic testing;
- A review of ethical concerns related to genetic testing and the impact to family members.
Good nutrition is an important factor during cancer treatment and in the prevention of recurrence. Patients may receive a physician referral for nutrition consultation to help maintain or improve their nutritional status before, during, and after their cancer treatments. The Regional Cancer Center's oncology services dietitians assist with developing nutritional plans for a variety of needs. The dietitians also help patients make decisions about the use of complementary therapies such as glutamine and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation during treatment. The dietitians are a frequent participant and presenter of nutritional information at support groups for oncology patients and their families.
Focusing on hope and healing, chaplains assist patients in finding meaning and making sense of life-threatening illness. A chaplain may encourage a patient to get in touch with a church, spiritual community, or other sources of comfort and support. The healthcare chaplains of St. Mary's Spiritual Care Department understand that medical care is only part of a patient's experience with a cancer diagnosis. Respectful of all faiths and belief systems, a chaplain provides spiritual and emotional support based upon the unique needs of each patient. During times of serious illness, chaplains listen, comfort and guide patients and families through difficult discussions and decisions.
A board certified clinical chaplain is available to provide spiritual and emotional support to oncology patients and their families in the hospital and in the Cancer Center.
Palliative Care Services
Palliative care may be right for those experiencing physical symptoms and/or emotional distress related to living with a serious illness such as cancer. For more information, click here.
Social Work Support
Cancer can change a person's life in a moment, and our on-site licensed clinical social worker helps patients and their families through a difficult time. Our social worker is a key member of our cancer resource team and helps patients through their cancer journey with brief individual and family counseling.
Social workers help patients navigate the healthcare system and help identify local and national programs and resources such as Social Security Disability, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. These services can make a difference in a patient's ability to afford care and cover their living expenses. Our Social Worker partners with patients and St. Mary's financial counselors to ensure no patient goes without care due to financial circumstances. Their services are available to any one affected by cancer whether they received treatment at St. Mary's or elsewhere.