Story by: Elizabeth M. Archer-Nanda, DNP, APRN on March 17, 2022
No one needs to face cancer alone.
A cancer diagnosis is life-altering, and living with cancer can cause feelings of fear, sadness, nervousness and uncertainty, and a sense of being overwhelmed.
At Norton Cancer Institute, the health care team understands that patients need both leading-edge medical care and support for their mental and emotional health needs. The complexities of treatment can contribute to patients’ further uncertainty regarding how well they may tolerate treatment and what their prognosis may be. Coping with this news can seem daunting.
We understand a significant number of cancer patients will experience difficulty with adjustment, difficulty with anxiety and even feelings of depression.
To meet the emotional and psychological health needs of patients, Norton Cancer Institute Comprehensive Support Care includes a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including psychiatric advanced practice providers, licensed clinical social workers, music and art expressive therapists, nutritionists, massage therapists, and nurse navigators.
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Cancer is an illness that impacts each individual differently. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the compassion and care. Just as we deliver individualized medicine, we deliver individualized care to ensure we meet the needs of the whole person. We know that cancer can be all-encompassing.
Advanced treatment that includes care for the whole patient.
As patients begin treatment at Norton Cancer Institute, all are screened to see who might benefit from specialized mental health services. Norton Cancer Institute Behavioral Oncology Program providers work collaboratively with the medical team to determine the needs of each patient and their caregivers. The program offers individual and group therapy and brief caregiving interventions. When appropriate, medications may be prescribed to treat a variety of mental health issues and enhance quality of life.
Our primary goal is to ensure that individuals going through a cancer journey have the resources available to them to meet the demands of the illness with as much grace and dignity as possible. We want to help patients adapt to a new normal, leverage their personal strengths and enhance their ability to deal with whatever challenges the illness may bring.
We know that each individual brings different perspectives, life experiences and resources, and varying capacities to cope with a cancer journey. We want to ease the burden that cancer can bring by connecting individuals to resources to enhance the sources and types of psychological support available. As psychosocial oncology care providers, we are here to help manage the human side of cancer.
Elizabeth M. Archer-Nanda, DNP, APRN, is an advanced practice psychiatric provider and leads the Behavioral Oncology Program within Norton Cancer Institute’s Comprehensive Support Care.
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