Supportive Care services at Regional Cancer Care provide care for patients and their families during and after cancer treatment. These services are designed to support patients and families throughout the cancer journey. Supportive Care services are provided in four general areas:
- Drug Access Navigators help you access the most appropriate prescription drug coverage
- Indigenous Patient Navigators are available to Indigenous patients and families who are unfamiliar with medical systems, do not speak English, and/or have travelled a long distance for treatment
- Registered Dietitians help people living with cancer maintain good nutrition and manage problems that can occur due to cancer or the effects of cancer treatments
- Social Work and Psychologists provide free and confidential services to cancer patients and their family members at no cost
Information on each of these areas is provided below.
Drug Access Navigator
Prescription drug access is an important part of your cancer treatment. The Drug Access Navigator will help you to access the most appropriate prescription drug coverage, whether through government programs, your insurance company or through a compassionate program.
The Drug Access Navigator can help:
- if you are not sure your medication is covered
- if you do not have insurance
- if you cannot afford your medications
- if you have questions about prescription drug coverage
For help to obtain drug coverage, please phone (807) 684-7269 or toll-free 1-877-696-7223 ext 7269 to speak with the Drug Access Navigator.
Indigenous Patient Navigator
The Indigenous Patient Navigator is available for guidance and support when you and your family are unfamiliar with medical systems, do not speak English, and/or have travelled a long distance for treatment.
- Translation and interpretive services in Cree, Oji-Cree and Ojibwe
- Support before, during, and after medical appointments
- Linking patients and families to helpful community resources
- Providing information and education in a culturally sensitive way
- Liaising or advocating for you and your family with your health care team
Good nutrition is important to give you energy, keep you strong, and support your immune system during and after treatment. Sometimes, nutrition-related problems can occur due to the cancer itself or the effects of treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. This makes it difficult to maintain good nutrition.
The Registered Dietitian has unique skills and training to help you manage nutrition-related problems, and answer questions about your diet and nutritional needs. Registered Dietitians, who are regulated by the College of Dietitians of Ontario, work closely with doctors, nurses and other members of your health care team.
The Registered Dietitian provides evidence-based nutritional care for people who:
- have difficulty eating due to decrease in appetite, nausea, vomiting, difficult or painful swallowing, taste changes, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea, or other symptoms
- are losing or gaining weight unintentionally
- need to change their diet to manage side effects of treatment
- require tube feeding
- have questions about diet and nutrition recommendations for specific types of cancer or cancer treatments
For more information on nutrition and cancer, please click on the links below.
Eating Guidelines After a Cancer Diagnosis
Eating Guidelines After a Cancer Diagnosis: The Immune System
Guidelines After a Cancer Diagnosis: Dietary Supplements
Eating Guidelines for Cancer Survivors
Social Work and Psychology
Counsellors with specialties in social work and psychology provide free and confidential services for cancer patients and their families. Counsellors can help you and your family to:
- cope with stress and worry when there is illness in the family
- access cancer support groups locally or online such as www.cancerchatcanada.ca
- cope with loss, grief and bereavement
- quit smoking or reduce tobacco use
- access financial resources and income replacement if you are off work
- access travel and lodging resources if you are required to travel to a medical appointment
For information or to make an appointment with one of the counsellors or the Registered Dietitian, please phone (807) 684-7310 or toll-free 1-877-696-7223 ext 7310.
To contact the Indigenous Patient Navigator, please phone the directly at (807) 684-4324 or toll-free 1-877-696-7223 ext 4324.