A diagnosis of cancer has not only physical impact, but it also impacts the emotional and spiritual aspect of a patient's life. Families are also affected as coping skills are challenged by the diagnosis and its subsequent treatment.
The Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center provides social, emotional, psychological, and financial support to cancer patients and their families through social work services. Upon learning of a cancer diagnosis, many patients have a strong support system of family members and friends to help them cope and successfully participate in treatment. Other patients find that the diagnosis creates or worsens existing problems, such as family conflicts, financial needs, lack of caregivers, parenting difficulties, psychiatric disorders, substance abuse disorders, or work-related issues. Extra resources are often needed to help patients get necessary cancer treatment and care.
Social work plays a significant role in assisting patients and families to cope with changes in various roles and a return to well being and equilibrium.
Education and referral to internal and local community resources, education regarding financial assistance, transportation needs, housing, federal benefits, and advocacy are just some of the needs social workers try to address. We work with the multidisciplinary medical team to enhance a patient’s experience throughout the course of treatment and beyond.
Our social workers are skilled in helping patients and their caregivers find solutions and resources to address any of these problems, including assisting with obtaining financial resources. In-person or telephone counseling is free of charge to cancer patients and their caregivers.
“When I had worries about not being able to meet obligations to utility companies, they sent Maria the social worker to educate me about resources that were available to me during my treatment.” Tina