Cancer Support Services
Cancer affects the mind and spirit as well as the body, and its diagnosis and treatment often cause significant distress for patients and their families. Cancer support services at Mount Sinai Health System help you manage the distress that may arise from physical symptoms, emotional issues, and spiritual concerns that you experience with cancer. Our goal is to provide the types of services that contribute to your positive outlook and your wellbeing.
The Mount Sinai team of clinicians specializing in support care for cancer patients includes social workers, psychiatrists, dietitians, chaplains, and experts in palliative care, pain medicine, and integrative medicine. We focus on you as a whole person with individual needs that may change over time. We work with you and your loved ones to evaluate your concerns and develop a specialized plan that may include counseling, practical help, education, managing your symptoms, and wellness programs.
Select cancer support services are available to patients at locations throughout the Mount Sinai Health System. Contact your preferred location to find out which support services they offer.
Mount Sinai offers support and wellness events at several locations.
Social work provides emotional support and assistance with practical concerns related to cancer, associated with its diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. Social work may take the form of counseling and guidance for patients, their families, and caregivers.
Emotional Support/Counseling: Social workers support individuals, couples, and families by addressing emotional distress that often occurs as a normal part of dealing with cancer at all stages. Social workers help you cope with issues that may arise. Mount Sinai social workers have a range of expertise and skills with specific cancer-type and treatment focus, including:
Practical Services: Social workers offer assistance with social and financial concerns that you may encounter with cancer. Those concerns may include a place to live; home care; rehabilitation, assisted living, and nursing facilities, and hospice; transportation; disability and medical insurance; support at work or school; access to medical care and supplies such as prescription drugs, nutritional supplements, or medical devices and equipment; and legal assistance referral including completing advance directives.
Information and Resource Referral: Oncology social workers can be educational resources for you with information about cancer beyond the medical aspects of treatment. They can provide you referrals to diverse clinical and wellness programs, educational lectures, support and informational groups both within Mount Sinai and throughout the community.
Psychiatrists help you assess and manage the psychological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral issues you may face in connection with cancer.
Medication Management: Experts with experience in treating cancer patients’ psychiatric issues, such as depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, concentration and memory problems, provide evaluation and follow-up to help you manage your medications.
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy focuses on your talking as therapy to help you deal with your cancer-related issues, along with other emotional concerns that you experience, such as feeling hopeless, discouraged, or overwhelmed.
Palliative care specializes in giving you relief from your symptoms and clarifying the goals of your care to help maximize your overall quality of life. This way, your treatment will match your wishes and values, so that you can live as well and as fully as possible.
Pain Management: Evaluating and managing your pain may include medication, mind-body therapies, psychotherapy, physical therapy, and interventional procedures.
Symptom Management: You will receive assistance in managing any distressing symptoms you experience, including fatigue, nausea, constipation, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite.
Goals of Care Assessment and Family Meeting: The purpose of the care assessment and a family meeting is to ensure that your wishes about your care and quality of life are carefully considered. The process may include discussions with you and members of your family, and other members of your support network, along with members of your cancer support services team and oncology treatment providers. Together with you, your team reviews concerns related to your cancer treatment. The result is to develop a plan of care that is most suitable for you.
Advance Directives: Advance directives are directions and documents that are used to express your preferences about your medical care for the future.
Advanced Cancer Planning: Planning to take care of your needs during the late stages of cancer includes assessing and discussing additional support for you and your family. In your home or at another facility, the planning process focuses on end-of-life care by guiding in preparation, addressing concerns, and reviewing options to optimize your comfort, including hospice.
Oncology nutrition specialists are registered dietitians dedicated to helping you eat well throughout the course of your illness and beyond. Good nutrition is essential, but eating well can be challenging while you are dealing with changes in your appetite and ability to eat. Eating the right kinds and amounts of food can help your body heal, feel better, and become stronger. Our dietitians provide individual nutrition assessment and education. They can answer your questions about food and share information from the latest nutrition research.
One-on-One Counseling: We encourage you to meet one of Mount Sinai’s dieticians at any time to help you address any of a wide spectrum of specific cancer-related eating issues.
Wellness Education: Mount Sinai offers healthy cooking programs and opportunities to participate in weight-related groups.
As part of a holistic approach to your care, we encourage you to participate in a range of wellness programs involving mind-body therapies and novel approaches to enhancing wellbeing. These approaches include yoga, Reiki, acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation and relaxation, hypnosis and guided imagery, fitness and health programs, and creative arts including art therapy, music therapy, and writing workshops.
Mount Sinai suggests that you take advantage of the following resources that we offer, such as:
- Peer Support includes cancer survivors on staff
- Patient Navigation guides patients in finding their way through our facilities and through the complex process of cancer treatment.
- Resource Center helps you find information about community resources and our cancer support programs, directing you to patient literature and web-based information.
- Chaplaincy helps you find comfort and meaning by addressing spiritual concerns, whatever your faith or religious denomination.