Social workers are available to provide a variety of supportive services to you and your family. They can provide counseling to help you and your family cope with the diagnosis of cancer and with your treatment. They may also help arrange for home health care, transportation, financial support, emotional support and other services.
Nutritionists or dietitians will work with you to help you maintain a healthy diet during treatments. They will help you modify your eating plan if the side effects of treatment are affecting your appetite, help you identify what you can eat and can provide recipes, menu suggestions and information on ready-to-use nutritional supplements. They also can address dietary issues and current developments that may affect cancer treatment outcomes.
Dentists may be involved in your care if you are receiving radiation for cancers of the mouth, throat or neck. Dentists may recommend that you have preventive dental work prior to radiation, and they will also help you manage the oral effects of cancer therapy such as dry mouth or tooth or denture problems. A dental hygienist may also assist in performing these services under the supervision of a dentist.
Physical therapists use therapeutic exercises to ensure that your body functions properly while you are undergoing treatment. These exercises are used to help manage side effects, alleviate pain and keep you healthy.
A patient navigator is a social worker, nurse or other knowledgeable individual who can assist you in finding your way within the complex health care system. Patient navigators know who to call and where to go so your care may be most efficiently provided.