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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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Genetic Counseling

A family history of cancer can increase your own risk for developing the disease. While most cancers occur by chance, it is estimated that about 5-10% of cancer cases run in families (hereditary). 

The Cancer Genetic Counseling Service can help you learn about the impact your personal and family history has on your chance of developing cancer, as well as the risk to other family members. It can also help you understand your options for prevention, early detection, and treatment. 

Should you consider genetic counseling?

The Cancer Genetic Counseling Service is helpful to anyone who has anxiety and/or concern about their risk of cancer. This service is useful if you have any of the following:
  • Several relatives with cancer
  • A personal or family history of a rare or unusual cancer, such as male breast cancer
  • A relative with more than one type of cancer
  • A personal or family history of cancer under the age of 50

What can you expect during an appointment?

  • Complete evaluation of your family history by a genetic counselor and doctor who specialize in cancer genetics
  • Risk assessment  
  • An estimation of your chance to develop specific cancers based on your family history and other risk factors
  • An estimated chance that cancer might be passed along through the genes in your family
  • Discussion of genetic testing options. If you pursue testing, results are shared with you during a return visit
  • Information about ways to lower your risk of getting cancer and ways to find it early when it is most easily treated

What difference can cancer genetic counseling make?

An evaluation with the Cancer Genetic Counseling Service could save your life. The information gained during your appointments will help by informing you of your own cancer risk and ways to reduce this risk. It will also allow your doctor to develop a management program unique to you. 

Finally, this information will help your family members who may be at an increased risk of developing certain cancers and might benefit from frequent cancer screening. Family members who may not be at an increased risk of developing cancer and may not need unnecessary cancer screening will also benefit from this services. 

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Massage for Cancer Patients

For patients in our inpatient Oncology unit or undergoing cancer treatment at the Wismer Outpatient Health Center, Compassionate Touch massage services are provided at no cost. Talk with your nurse about scheduling this free service.

Oncology Massage is the modification of existing massage therapy techniques used to safely work with cancer patients and survivors. Our Trained massage therapist provides modified, light touch massage to promote relaxation and stress management through caring and supportive touch

For those experiencing the effects of Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN), a modified massage can help ease the side effects of this condition. During the 15-minute session, the certified therapist focuses on hands, feet or shoulders with focused attention, intentional touch and sensitive massage with compassionate communication..

Benefits of Oncology Massage

Evidence shows that massage can benefit cancer patients, both physically and emotionally. These benefits include reduction in anxiety and stress, improve sleep, reduce pain and fatigue and promote a sense of well being. Services

Modified massage services for Oncology patients are also available in our Women’s Wellness Place before or after scheduled medical visits.

For patients in our In Patient infusion center and inpatient Oncology Unit, compassionate touch massage services provided are hand, foot or neck massages at no cost.

Meet our Therapist, Kim Older

Kim Older, Licensed Massage Therapist

Kim is a licensed massage therapist, board certified in therapeutic massage and body work with additional training and certification in Oncology massage and is a member of the Society for Oncology Massage. Services are provided in the safe setting of McLaren Port Huron's Women's Wellness Place, Kim can help you find the right technique for you and your needs. With more than 15 years of experience in massage therapy, you can relax knowing you are in good hands.

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Nutrition Counseling

The Karmanos Cancer Institute offers assistance with patients in need of nutritional instruction. Our goal is to provide patients and their family members with accurate, helpful nutritional counseling.

Your nutritional needs vary depending on your disease, treatment and metabolism. All patients do not have difficulty with nutrition. For information, or to discuss any nutritional topic such as special diets, herbal medicines and dealing with eating difficulties, please contact our registered dietitian at info@karmanos.org or call 1-800-KARMANOS.

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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 Port Huron 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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Wig Bank

McLaren Port Huron's Women's Wellness Place offers free wigs to women currently undergoing cancer treatment.

McLaren Port Huron is proud to supply wigs to women undergoing cancer treatment from the generous public donations made through the Donna Niester Breast Cancer Fund. Women may receive a complementary wig at a Look Good, Feel Better program or with a private consultation. For more information, call (810) 989-3121, option 3.

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