Building Your Cancer Care Team

Building Your Cancer Care Team

Being diagnosed with cancer can feel isolating. Relationships will change, boundaries will need to be set, and you will feel a plethora of emotions that you will come to cope with. This post serves as a guide to some of the resources available to you to add to your cancer care team.

Through all of these changes you will need to navigate, it is important to know who else can offer you support. Knowing who else you can add to your care team based on your personal needs can feel overwhelming, as there are many professionals that you can lean on for support.

Support may come from other health care providers, from those close to you, and even from the cancer community itself. During your treatment, your needs may shift, and you may find yourself needing to add to your cancer care team.

Care Coordinators and Financial Planning

These providers may be able to assist with day-to-day parts of your care. This includes things like scheduling appointments, finding services, and giving financial guidance.

  • Patient navigators can assist you and your family before, during, and after treatment. They are available to connect you to support services, schedule your appointments, and keep you on track to successfully complete treatment.
  • Oncology social workers can refer you to helpful resources for day-to-day needs, like finding childcare or transportation. They can also offer emotional support, and they may be able help you understand the costs of your care.
  • Financial navigators are able to assist you in understanding the costs of your care, both holistically and with specific procedures.
  • Home health aides are trained professionals you may be able to assist you with your personal and household chores.

Specialists and Counselors

These providers may be able to help in certain circumstances depending on your diagnosis.

  • Plastic surgeons are surgeons with special training to reconstruct parts of the body that may have changed due to cancer or treatment.
  • Genetic counselors can assist you with understanding how your family history and your genes may play a part in your cancer. They can also help you assess the risk that other family members could have for cancer.
  • Fertility specialists explain how cancer treatment may impact your ability to conceive, and they can provide advice about preserving fertility.
  • Palliative care specialists give care to help manage the symptoms and stress associated with your diagnosis and treatment.

Mental Health Providers

These providers may be able to assist you through managing the emotions that come with cancer, and they can give support throughout any stage of your journey.

  • Psychiatrists are doctors who prescibe medicine and give counseling for mental and emotional stress.
  • Psychologists can provide counseling and might be able help you and your family cope with the mental and emotional challenges that arise.
  • Social workers can refer you to support groups, and other helpful resources.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

Cancer might affect your lifestyle, and these providers can help with daily life activities that may be affected.

  • Dieticians can help you create a meal plan based on your needs, and will be able to answer dietary questions.
  • Occupational therapists can create a plan to help you with your daily activities that might become more limited through cancer treatment.
  • Physical therapists may be able to assist you to gain back a range of motion that may have been changed by your treatment.
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