Coping with a cancer diagnosis can be difficult for people with cancer and their family members. It is normal to experience many different emotions at this time. Worried thoughts, feelings of uncertainty, and changes in one’s health can bring on much added stress. Counsellors with backgrounds in social work and psychology are available to help you adjust to living with cancer and develop strategies for managing your own reactions and the responses of those around you.
Good nutrition is important to help you stay strong, give you energy, help you recover from treatment side effects, and prevent complications related to poor nutrition. A registered dietitian is available to help you find ways to get the nutrition you need, despite some of the eating challenges you may face before, during, or after treatment.
Supportive Care Services at Regional Cancer Care Northwest provides free, confidential services to cancer patients and their family members. Counselling services are available in-person or regionally using the Telemedicine system.
The Supportive Care Services staff can assist cancer patients and their families to:
- Cope with stress and worry when there is illness in the family
- Access counsellor-led support group sessions provided in person or using the Internet
- Access patient information and services
- Learn how to stay well nourished, deal with side effects which make eating difficult, and decide if you need nutrition supplements
- Learn about specific foods to eat more or less of to help reduce your risk of cancer recurrence or progression
- Quit smoking and tobacco use
- Access interpretive services
- Arrange medical travel and access relevant financial resources
- Apply for income replacement
- Claim medical expenses as a tax credit on your income tax
- Manage an array of other concerns and issues
- Deal with past losses and grief
- Access bereavement counselling for family members
- Access accommodations at Tbaytel Tamarack House for patients from Northwestern Ontario staying in Thunder Bay for cancer treatment
How to Access Supportive Care Services
If you have a cancer diagnosis or are undergoing testing for the possibility of cancer, you and your family members are eligible to access the services described above. No referral is needed. Simply call (807) 684-7310 or toll free at (877) 696-7223 ext. 7310 for more information or to set up an appointment.