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Published on March 01, 2016

Supportive care: Help when you need it most

Is there anything else we can do for you?

doctor and patientThat’s a question cancer patients are asked a lot at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital. It’s called supportive care. And it’s an essential part of the treatment plan, says Oncology Social Worker Kara Cruz.

“It’s about treating the whole person,” she says—not just the disease.

Here are some of the people and tools at your service:

Patient navigator. A navigator is available throughout the business day to help you with paperwork, appointments and transportation.

Oncology social worker. Need financial help? Feeling overwhelmed? Social workers are trained to help with problems like those.

Stress assessment. “We use this survey to check in with patients and see how they’re doing,” Kara says. And if you’re having problems, someone will call you to help.

Oncology rehab. This program offers outpatient physical and occupational therapy and yoga classes specifically for cancer patients during and after cancer treatment.

Survivorship care plan. When you’ve finished treatment, you’ll receive a summary of all the care you received. It lists people you can call if you need to talk down the road. “So even if you finished treatment a year ago, you can still call,” Kara says.

Here to help

Have questions about your cancer care? Talk to your patient navigator or call Mercy Oncology at 215.748.9530.

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