Cancer not only affects you physically — it also has an undeniable impact on your emotional well-being, as well as that of the people who care about you. To support you and your family during your cancer journey, we provide many support services. You can count on us every step of the way to provide these services with compassion, sensitivity and respect.
Cancer Center Support Services
- Financial Counselors
- Clinical Social Work
- Clinical Health Psychology
- Interpreter Services
- Nutrition and Rehabilitation Services
- Oncology Specialty Pharmacy
- Patient and Family Support Groups
- Patient Partner Program
For your convenience and peace of mind, UMass Memorial has financial counselors available to help you understand your health insurance benefits. In fact, a dedicated financial counselor is available just for patients who are dealing with cancer.
Patient Financial Services is open Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm. There’s also a financial counselor located on the first floor of the Ambulatory Care Center. This office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm, and Tuesday and Thursday, 8 am to noon.
Clinical social workers are trained to provide support to you and your family in dealing with the medical, emotional and social issues that a cancer diagnosis can raise for you and your loved ones. These interventions can include:
- Crisis intervention (emergency psychological care) to help restore balance and your ability to function physically, emotionally and socially
- Assistance with problem-solving and decision-making
- Help and support in coping with potentially life-changing events associated with a cancer diagnosis
Our clinical health psychologist offers support for the emotional and physical side effects of cancer during and after treatment, which can include fatigue, worry, sadness, and depression. We can help you with the impact of cancer on your family, decision-making about treatment, survivorship and fear of reoccurrence. We also teach relaxation and coping strategies that have been shown to be beneficial during times of stress.
Qualified medical interpreters who speak about 20 languages and American Sign Language assist patients and families who do not speak English, have limited English proficiency, or are deaf or hard of hearing. These interpreters are available free of charge, 24 hours a day.
As you progress through treatment, you may require adjustments to your diet. If this is the case, you’ll be referred to our oncology dietitian for nutritional counseling. This one-on-one counseling is available to ensure that you consume a proper diet while undergoing treatment, or to help manage excessive weight gain or loss as a result of your treatment. If you’d like to meet with our dietitian, please tell your doctor or nurse.
If cancer treatment has affected your physical strength or ability to function normally, you may benefit from physical or occupational therapy. If this is the case, you’ll be referred to the UMass Memorial Outpatient Rehabilitation Services Department. Physical therapists and occupational therapists can design an individualized program to help you regain your strength and improve your everyday functional capabilities. Outpatient rehabilitation services are located on our Hahnemann Campus.
We have a team of pharmacists who specialize in cancer-fighting medications and the development of chemotherapy treatment guidelines. They are available to consult with your care team and help determine precise chemotherapy dosing, and they coordinate safe and timely administration of chemotherapy and other medicines.
Our Cancer Center also has a team of dedicated staff members who can help obtain prior authorization for your cancer medications. Prior authorization from your insurance company is required three to five days before the start of your treatment. In addition to providing intravenous chemotherapy medications, our pharmacy can fill many of your outpatient prescriptions, which can be dispensed to you while you receive your treatment — saving you an additional trip.
For your convenience, our oncology pharmacy is located on the sixth floor of the Ambulatory Care Center, adjacent to the outpatient infusion area and the outpatient blood and marrow transplantation area.
Undergoing cancer treatment can be an isolating and difficult experience for both you and your family. That’s why we encourage you and your loved ones to reach out for support.
Our cancer support group offer a safe, compassionate environment for open discussion, exchange of information and sharing of experiences. A trained medical staff member facilitates each group and is available for assistance after each meeting. The group are open to anyone with a past or present cancer diagnosis. Family, friends and significant others are invited to attend.