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Cancer Support Services

At the Baystate Regional Cancer Program, cancer treatment is more than the latest surgery or innovative medication. We believe strongly that treating your cancer really means caring for all of you.

Marlene Quinlan and patient

Studies have shown an integrated, holistic treatment approach is more effective than procedural practice alone. Our clinical experts develop programs best suited to your individual needs and medical history. You’ll be a part of every decision and will feel in control through lifestyle and diet changes, exercise, prevention practices, spiritual support, and more.

Supportive Care

Going through cancer treatment can be frightening and difficult. Your care team at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program knows this. We’re here for you with supportive care that starts as soon as you’re diagnosed and continues throughout your treatment and beyond.

Support care includes everything from nutritional needs to pain management to counseling, if needed. Incorporating these comprehensive services into the care plan helps to ensure that you are better able to complete the full treatment regimen during the prescribed timetable.

As soon as you know you have cancer, we’ll work with you to determine your need and desire for supportive services. A supportive and palliative care physician will coordinate care with your entire team, including: 

  • Clinical dietitian                                        
  • Radiation oncologist
  • Social worker
  • Other specialists on your care team

Other Specialized Support Services

We encourage you to talk to the members of your care team at any time about any concerns you may have. In addition to the comprehensive support services we offer within the Baystate Regional Cancer Program, we also have relationships with other services in the community who may be able to help.

Additional support services offered through the Baystate Regional Cancer Program include:

Breast Cancer Survivorship Program

Most women diagnosed with breast cancer today have an 80-90% chance of being alive in 10 years. An improvement in survival of 2% a year over the past decade is the result of better screening and more effective treatments.

However, breast cancer survivors need to be especially vigilant about their health. The Baystate Breast & Wellness Center offers the Breast Cancer Survivorship Program to provide breast cancer survivors with the tools and resources they need to live healthy lives long into the future.

The goals of the program include:

  • Proper follow-up to detect local or distant recurrence and second cancers
  • Management of health issues that may be a result of treatment
  • Promotion of overall wellness

How the Program Works

Before entering the Survivorship Program, you will have completed active treatment and reverted to annual visits to the Baystate Breast & Wellness Center, where the focus is on prevention and health maintenance, rather than active treatment. For many women, this begins after the five years of hormonal treatment.

Once a year, you will see one of the program’s nurse practitioners trained in health maintenance and symptom management.

During the visit, they discuss:

  • Breast health
  • Heart health
  • Bone health
  • Avoiding weight gain
  • Management of menopausal symptoms without using estrogen

Your family history is updated and a breast exam performed. When possible, you are scheduled for your annual mammogram in conjunction with your visit.

Women in the program also have access to other programs, including the annual Survivors’ Day Celebration and an ongoing wellness program.

Visiting Nurse & Hospice Services

During your treatment, you may qualify for visiting nurse and home care services.We can help you arrange for these services through the Baystate Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice or other local agencies.

When curing the disease is no longer a realistic goal, we work closely with you to maintain comfort, independence, and dignity through hospice services from the Baystate Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice or other local agencies.

Hospice does not hasten or postpone death, but helps you live fully, prepare for death, and maintain personal control over your life for as long as possible. Pain and symptom management are emphasized with the goal of improving the quality of living during this final stage of life.

Palliative Care

Palliative care strives to relieve the symptoms and challenges that may come with a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

For example, you might feel tired, depressed, and nauseated from your disease and the chemotherapy. Palliative care specialists will work with your care team to address these issues and improve your quality of life during treatment.

For others, it may mean symptom management and assistance with nutritional or other issues associated with long-term cancer. Our experts will work with you to address your specific needs and concerns.