Cancer Patient Support Program

Recognizing the unique need for a patient and family support program, the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Comprehensive Cancer Center provides different programs to enhance the quality of life for patients and family members while they navigate the complexities of cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

The Cancer Patient Support Program (CPSP) is staffed by our team members and volunteers. We help patients navigate the Cancer Center, provide counseling in the hospital and in the outpatient clinic and manage educational programs and support meetings. A Resource Center is also available for patients and family members, and volunteers offer appearance consultations and help with hospitality rooms.

We are all here to help. The key element in our program is the healing relationship that develops when one person cares for another.

The CPSP offers a number of services to help patients through what can be a very difficult time. These include:

Cancer Rehabilitation

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department offers a service designed specifically to help cancer patients achieve optimal quality of life.

Adrienne Hill, DO, is a physiatrist (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation physician) who has training in cancer rehabilitation.

If you (or your patient) have any of the following problems or needs, consider utilizing the cancer rehabilitation services.

  • Difficulty walking, balance issues, frequent falls
  • Memory problems, "chemo brain"
  • Malaise, depression, adjustment problems
  • Difficulty doing things you could do prior to cancer treatments
  • Fatigue, insomnia, poor endurance
  • Pain in your extremities
  • Weakness
  • Incontinence issues, chronic constipation
  • Stiffness, dystonia
  • Joint or musculoskeletal pain
  • Speech or swallowing problems
  • Lymphedema
  • Radiation fibrosis syndrome, scar adhesions
  • Sensory and balance problems
  • Difficulty with activities of daily living
  • Driver's evaluation, home safety evaluation, adaptive equipment or assistive device assessment, return to work evaluation

To schedule a consultation or appointment, please call 336-716-1585.

Counseling and Social Work

Cancer treatment is a very stressful time and severe illness can bring up many topics and issues for both the patient and their loved ones. We offer individual counseling; support groups and social work support that can help patients explore their feelings, find like-minded support and manage the daily activities that seem so overwhelming during a difficult time.

Individual Counseling

The Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Patient Support Programs provide individual counseling in the inpatient and outpatient setting. Licensed professionals are available to discuss ways of coping with diagnosis, treatment and survivorship. Outpatient appointments are scheduled at the patient's convenience in conjunction with medical appointments when possible. Please call 336-716-7980 to set up an appointment.

Support Groups

Learn more about our support groups.

Social Work

Our social worker, Sally Benfield can assist with finding financial resources, coping with illness, caregiver stress, working with the medical team to set up and coordinate home care, ordering medical equipment, as well as general information and referral. Sally is located on the third floor of the Outpatient Cancer Center. You can contact her at 336-713-5419; email at sbenfiel@wakehealth.edu.

Pastoral Care

Chaplaincy exists to support patients spiritually, offering comfort, hope, and healing. Our counselors support people of all faiths.

How Chaplaincy Can Help

Chaplains at the Medical Center serve as members of the health care team, providing support to patients, families and staff. Counselors are available for individual consultation and help with advanced directives planning on an appointment basis.

Services

Additionally, services are held in the Davis Chapel on Sunday at 10 am and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon. The Davis Chapel is located adjacent to Watlington Hall on Hawthorne Road.

For more information, please contact: 336-716-4745.

Support Groups

The Cancer Care Coalition has compiled a list of support groups and programs for individuals, families and/or caregivers going through a cancer experience. Learn more about these groups.

Nutrition Services

Our nutritionist, Wendy Watson, RD, CSO, LDN is available to help manage treatment related nutrition side effects such as:

  • Weight loss due to treatment
  • Nausea
  • Sore or dry mouth
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Taste changes
  • Difficult/painful swallowing and/or need for feeding tube

Feel free to call for an appointment before symptoms become a problem as dietary changes can help to minimize them. Please call for an appointment or ask your doctor for a referral. Wendy’s office is located on the third floor of the Outpatient Cancer Center.

You can contact Wendy at 336-713-6919 or email: wwatson@wakehealth.edu for general questions or to schedule an appointment.

Therapeutic Programs

Cancer treatment can cause many side effects. The goal of many of our cancer support programs and services is to help minimize those side effects and keep you functioning.

  • Occupational therapy can improve specific movements and tasks
  • Physical therapy rehabilitates gross motor skills.
  • Lymphedema management helps reduce enlargement, fullness and achiness following a breast lumpectomy

For an appointment, call 336-716-8400.

Recreation Therapy

Recreation Therapy can offer a variety of services & recreational opportunities to assist with an individual’s daily structure and coping ability during their hospitalization. Services may include: group or 1-1 activities, socialization opportunities, pet therapy, psycho-emotional support and sensory/environmental stimulation activities.

Integrative Medicine

There is no doubt that complementary medicines can help cancer patients. At the Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are proud to offer a variety of integrative medicine programs that our cancer patients participate in on a regular basis.

Resource Center

Navigating through the maze of available cancer and treatment information can be exhausting. Our Resource Center is designed to help make this process easier for patients and their families.

The Resource Center is located on the second floor of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Brochures, pamphlets and information covering a variety of health and cancer related topics are available at no cost to patients. In addition, books and videotapes are also available for use while in the Resource Center. More detailed information can often be located by using the bookmarked websites on Resource Center computers.

Financial Services

Staff in the Financial Counseling Department can evaluate patients/families for the purpose of determining eligibility for financial assistance to help with payment of charges associated with health care services. Additional services offered by the Financial Counseling department are:

  • Establish payment plans
  • Pursue financial assistance from Medicaid and State Agency Programs
  • Assist with the application process for Community Benefits (Charity Care) and other discounts
  • Provide quotes/estimates for prospective services

The Financial Counseling Department is located on the Main Floor, Reynolds Tower in the Discharge Office. The phone number is 336-716-0681.

Palliative Care

Palliative care helps patients gain the strength to carry on with daily life, and improves their ability to tolerate medical treatments. It can also help them better understand their choices for care. Overall, palliative care offers patients the best possible quality of life during their illness. Care also encompasses recognition that comfort and psycho-social/emotional support of the patient and their family are essential. Learn more about Palliative Care.