Cancer Patient Education & Resources
Education plays a vital role in helping patients and their families become involved in their cancer treatment. PSCC offers access to free literature and books to help you learn more about your disease or treatment. Ask your nurse for assistance in identifying information and literature that will help you and your family.
We encourage you and your family to join a cancer support group or to participate in other type of support services. There are support groups offered by both Stevens Hospital and Northwest Hospital and also through other community resources. Your nurse can help with more details about dates and location.
The Internet provides a great source of information for patients. There are several general search engines and many oncology-related websites—too many to list here. We encourage you to learn more about your disease or treatment. Remember, your nurse is always available to answer questions and you should always tell your nurse or doctor if you have concerns that are not being addressed.
PSCC/American Cancer Society Resource Center
The American Cancer Society teams up with PSCC and Stevens Hospital to make navigating cancer care easier.
Finding out you have cancer is frightening enough. Then all the questions begin to roll through your mind. Knowing where to turn for answers is what the Cancer Resource Center is all about. In a collaboration between the American Cancer Society (ACS), Puget Sound Cancer Centers (PSCC) and Stevens Hospital, the Cancer Resource Center makes information easily accessible that's a quick visit or phone call away.
The ACS Cancer Resource Center is located on the Stevens Hospital campus on the 2nd floor of the Stevens Oncology Building at the entry of PSCC. It's staffed by well-trained volunteers who can help with everything from finding local cancer treatment doctors, lodging and transportation assistance to support groups, finance and insurance counseling–even referrals for prescription drug assistance.
The goal of the Center is to provide patients with free, comprehensive cancer information, patient assistance programs, emotional support and if necessary, referrals to other community organizations offering day-to-day guidance and assistance.
The Cancer Resource Center is located at 21605 76th Ave. West, Edmonds, on the east side of the Stevens Hospital campus. You may reach a staff person by calling 425-322-1114 or toll-free at 1-800-ACS-2345. Cancer information is also available at the ACS website at www.cancer.org.
Services are available to patients dealing with cancer. Often local utility companies offer special rates or negotiate with customers that are inhibited by cancer treatment or conditions. Contact your local phone, electric, water, etc. companies to inquire about these programs. Some organizations offer financial assistance to cancer patients and their families. The American Leukemia Society is one group that offers financial assistance.
Transportation to and from treatment sessions can be difficult for cancer patients. Several organizations offer aid. The American Cancer Society and the Leukemia Society of America are two groups that have programs to help patients reach and return from their treatments. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 to ask about the American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery volunteer transportation program. In addition, local or county government agencies often offer low-cost transportation (para-transit) to individuals unable to use public transportation. Contact these offices for more information and ask your cancer specialist for other local aid in transportation.
Cancer patients that are currently employed should contact a Human Resource representative regarding long- and short-term disability programs as well as information about the Family and Medical Leave Act. If a cancer patient is unemployed and disabled, contact the Social Security Administration regarding benefits and programs. All patients that are concerned with job security or their ability to be hired for employment should be familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). This act makes it unlawful to discriminate in employment against an individual with a disability who is qualified for the job. More information regarding this act as well as other rights can be found at the Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) websites.
If you need to find a new job because you can no longer do the type of work you did before cancer, you may meet the guidelines for job rehabilitation through the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
For more information go to http://www.eeoc.gov/
If a cancer patient faces a insurability issue after diagnosis, he should contact the state agency for insurance regulation. While insurance for cancer patients is a hot topic for patient advocacy, the patient has few rights. Insurability should not be intertwined with job security because an employer cannot legally dismiss an employee because of an increase in insurance premiums. For more on insurance/job security issues, please visit Facing Forward, a CancerNet guide for Cancer Survivors. If you feel that you have been treated unjustly by your insurance provider, you should contact your state's Insurance Commission.
Hospice care focuses on providing humane and compassionate care for persons in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortable as possible. Hospice affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death. Hospice care treats the person, and not the disease; and emphasizes quality, rather than length, of life. Hospice care is appropriate when the patient can no longer benefit from curative treatment. Hospice care may be provided in the patient's home or in a facility that offers hospice care. Together, the patient, family, and doctor determine the time when hospice services should begin and which program is best. For more information, go to:
Providence Hospice of Snohomish County
Providence Hospice of Seattle
Sexuality and Cancer
Sexuality is an important part of everyday life, but a healthy sex life can be difficult to maintain when there are so many physical and emotional factors involved. Feelings about sexuality affect our zest for living, our self-image, and our relationships with others. Yet patients and doctors often do not talk about the effects of cancer treatment on sexuality. You have a right to know how your treatment affects nutrition, pain, and your ability to return to work. You also have a right to know the facts about your sexual health. The first step to learning more about sexuality and cancer is to discuss the topic with your doctor or other members of the health care team. If you do not feel comfortable talking to your physician or nurse or if you simply want more information on sexuality and cancer, visit the American Cancer Society Website.
Diet and nutrition
People with cancer may find it difficult to keep healthy eating habits. Depressions, anxiety, emotional stress, and chemical changes caused by the cancer can lead to a loss of appetite. In addition, patients experiencing side effects from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may need special nutrition. Cancer patients can prevent weight loss and malnutrition by making an effort to eat the right amount of food rich in calories, protien, vitamins, and minerals. Your health care professional should be able to address any questions you have about nutrition and diet. Helpful cookbooks written especially for people with cancer offer dishes high in protein and calories and are available in most bookstores.