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Support Resources

American Cancer Society Resources

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a source of support and information to Karmanos patients. Additional programs coordinated through the ACS provide helpful services to receive support during treatment such as Road to Recovery, where ACS volunteers provide patient transportation to and from treatment; Reach for Recovery mentoring and support program, and the Look Good Feel Better beauty and emotional healing program.

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Cancer Care Conferences

A multidisciplinary team of cancer specialists, including doctors, residents (doctors-in-training), nurses and other health care professionals involved, gathers weekly to discuss patient care to ensure that a comprehensive evaluation of treatment options takes place.

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Cancer Rehabilitation

Cancer Rehabilitation Program

We are committed to bringing you the highest level of survivorship services

McLaren Greater Lansing is proud to offer our Cancer Rehabilitation Program. The program focuses on helping survivors to heal physically and emotionally as well as possible. The Cancer Rehabilitation Program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach in which caregivers from different specialties team up to help patients increase strength and energy, alleviate pain, and improve daily function and well-being.

We offer comprehensive care that is covered by health insurance

We are uniquely qualified to offer premium cancer rehabilitation services to cancer survivors undergoing treatment or living with its aftermath. Our program has been created to help survivors physically and emotionally heal from the side-effects of treatments. We provide our patients with the most comprehensive cancer rehabilitation care available and all of our services are reimbursable by health insurance providers.

We offer our patients a personalized rehab plan with an interdisciplinary approach

After undergoing a thorough evaluation by a physician, our team of medical specialists will be assigned to each patient according to his or her individual needs. Our healthcare team consists of specialists in the following areas: physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and oncology nurses. Each team member provides his or her expert medical guidance, training, encouragement and support, for the duration of the program.

Outcomes of the Program Include:

  • Reduced fatigue
  • Having more energy to do the things you enjoy
  • Increased endurance for daily tasks
  • Ability to walk further distances
  • Reduced musculoskeletal pain and joint stiffness
  • Improved balance
  • Increased strength
  • Reduced long term effects of chemotherapy
  • Improved swallowing function (for certain cancers)
  • Improved communication
  • Better memory
  • Reduced limb swelling

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Lymphedema Treatment

Therapy and Treatment for Lymphedema

What is Lymphedema?

lymphedma rehab

Lymphedema is an accumulation of fluids that occurs when your lymphatic system is impaired. Lymphatic vessels, which assist in fluid discharge, can become impaired as a result of the removal of lymph nodes, from chemotherapy, or from radiation treatments. When breast cancer related lymphedema occurs, there is a swelling or change in tissue texture occurring in the arm and upper torso.

Treatment Options:

  • Manual Lymph Drainage: A manual technique is performed to open lymphatic pathways and move fluid to areas where it can be reabsorbed into the system
  • Multi-Layer Bandaging: Short stretch compression bandages are used to create a gradient of pressure to move fluid and decrease swelling
  • Patient Education: Regarding skin care, precautions and prevention
  • Therapeutic Exercises: Exercises specific to the needs of each individual patient
  • Facilitate referral for appropriate compression garment

Goals of our Program:

  • Reduce the size of limb
  • Decrease the risk for infection or hospitalization
  • Self management of lymphedema
  • Improve function and mobility of the limb
  • Decrease pain associated with excessive limb size

Relative Contraindications:

  • You may not be a candidate for lymphedema treatment if you have any of the following:
  • Acute viral/bacterial infection
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Kidney malfunction
  • Untreated malignancy

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Oncology Patient Navigator

Breast Cancer Patient Navigator Program

When someone diagnosed with cancer comes to Karmanos Cancer Institute, they will receive exceptional care from our entire team. Our Patient Navigator Program features a dedicated registered oncology nurse who works to guide patients through the health care system, ensuring they receive seamless, coordinated care, along with any other necessary support services. The patient navigator is a constant, a familiar face that is always there to answer questions, reinforce patient education, ease anxiety and eliminate any barriers that might impede care. What's more, the patient navigator will communicate with the primary care physician, ensuring they receive up-to-date information about their patients' progress.

Specifically, the patient navigator seeks to:

  • Address your questions and concerns
  • Link you to resources regarding insurance and payment assistance
  • Refer you to transportation services, if needed
  • Direct you to further health care services
  • Identify helpful local resources and support services
  • Help you track appointments
  • Act as a resource for helpful health care information for you and your family

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Social Work & Case Management Services

Acting as an integral part of our multidisciplinary teams at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, our oncology social workers and case managers are available to patients and their families throughout all phases of the cancer journey to help adapt to the stresses related to your diagnosis.

For patients with a new cancer diagnosis, an oncology social worker can:

  • Provide emotional support in dealing with a new diagnosis
  • Help with decision making and advance care planning
  • Make referrals to community resources
  • Present suggestions for helping patients and their families achieve and regain a sense of control in their lives.

For patients with advanced disease, the oncology social worker can:

  • Help provide decision making around end-of-life issues
  • Provide ongoing support, comfort and resources for patients and their families

Social work services include:

  • Adjustment to illness/crisis counseling and support
  • Support groups/educational workshops
  • Information and referrals to community resources and programs (i.e., transportation, housing, financial, legal, Medicaid/Medicare, SSI/SSD)
  • Assistance with decision making and problem solving (i.e., advance care planning, guardianship, placements)
  • Advocacy

Care management services include:

Care Management Specialists (CMS) are registered nurses (RNs) who work hand-in-hand with patients, their families, caregivers, medical staff and the community. A CMS makes certain that an appropriate plan of care is developed to meet the homecare needs of Karmanos patients. Most times, a CMS works with a social worker to address complex patient care needs. 

  • Communicating and collaborating with your multidisciplinary team to address specialized and/or complicated patient care needs
  • Coordinating and facilitating home care, IV infusion and durable medical equipment needs of patients when referred by a member of the multidisciplinary team
  • Working with insurance companies to solidify plans to meet the patient’s homecare needs
  • Educating patients, families and caregivers regarding the importance of following the plan of care

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Support Groups, Screenings, and Programs

For a list of our support groups, screenings, and special programs located around McLaren Greater Lansing hospitals, click here.

For Karmanos Detroit or Farmington Hills locations, please click these links: support groups, cancer screening information, special programs and education

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