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Psychosocial Oncology Program

Psychosocial Oncology Program is the set of services focused on meeting the emotional, physical, social and spiritual needs of cancer patients and their families. These services may be needed and accessed at any time, from a cancer diagnosis to follow-up care.  The Psychosocial Oncology Program can help people who are living with cancer and those who are coping with bereavement.

Psychosocial Oncology Program services are available to all patients at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. Our professionals will work with you, your family and your primary healthcare team to identify and respond to your care needs.

Care we provide:

  • Social Work
  • Dietitians
  • Pain and Symptom Management

Child Life Specialists

Child Life Specialists are pediatric health care professionals who work with children (0 to 17 years old) and families to cope with the stress and anxiety of illness, medical treatment, and disability.

Below are some ways a Child Life Specialist can help families:

  • Meet with your child, youth or adolescent to understand how they are coping with this change in their family and provide support
  • Help guide families in conversations about your diagnosis that is appropriate for the child, youth or adolescent
  • Explain any changes in your health or treatment plan in a way that is appropriate for the child, youth or adolescent
  • Prepare the child, youth or adolescent for any hospital visits
  • Support parenting and maintaining the parent-child relationship
  • Explain the behavioural and emotional responses to stress and grief that children, youth and adolescents may experience
  • Promotion of meaningful experiences and family memory-making

A referral to Child Life Specialists can be arranged through your oncology team or you can self-refer by calling Supportive Care at 905-387-9711 Ext. 64315.

Dietitians

We provide a detailed clinical nutrition assessment based on your cancer diagnosis and care plan. This would include relevant past medical history (such as diabetes), medication use, weight history, blood work, social history, overall activity and functioning, nutrition impact symptoms and overall oral intake.

Our goals are to:

  • Determine your energy and protein requirements
  • Identify your macro and micro nutrient profile
  • Develop individualized patient care goals
  • Formulate a Nutrition Care Plan

We make recommendations regarding tube feedings, oral nutritional supplementation, symptom management, rehydration and medication review and advice.

Pain and Symptom Management

The Pain and Symptom Management Team focus on helping you maximize your quality of life, when cure is no longer the goal of care. Patients may still be receiving chemotherapy, radiation, and participating in clinical trials.

The Pain and Symptom Management Team can help patients learn ways to manage the symptoms caused by cancer and/or treatment. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty coping

We are available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours, patients can contact the on-call team who will be able to access electronic notes and provide guidance based on the care plan established.

If you have a pain and symptom management concern, please discuss this with your primary oncology team who can determine if a referral is appropriate. They will be able to refer you to our team.

Social Work

Social Work is focused on meeting the emotional, social, financial and practical needs of cancer patients and families. These services may be needed and accessed at any time, from the diagnosis of cancer through to follow up care.

Like many people facing care, you and your family may have questions or concerns about:

  • feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, depression, anger, or a sense of loss
  • finances, income replacement and disability benefits
  • talking to family and friends about your cancer
  • helping your children understand what is happening
  • managing daily activities at home
  • connecting with community programs and resources

A referral to Social Work can be arranged through your Oncology Team or you can self-refer by calling Supportive Care at 905-387-9711 ext. 64315.