CARES helps patients through every step of their cancer journey, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond, and provides guidance and support that is tailored to the recovery needs of each individual patient.

Components of the CARES program include:

  • Symptom management
  • Support for caregivers – both individually and in a group setting
  • Referrals for oncology rehabilitation and integrative medicine
  • Assistance in obtaining a primary care provider for patients who do not have one
  • Coordinating with primary care providers and specialists, including scheduling appointments and facilitating information sharing regarding treatment plans and progress
  • Guidance regarding optimal nutrition and exercise
  • Education and community outreach
  • Referrals for psychosocial and/or spiritual support
  • Referral for Palliative Care, if appropriate

Through CARES, each patient's cancer recovery and survivorship begins once their treatment plan is established. The oncology nurse navigator collaborates with a multidisciplinary team, whose goal is to direct patients to earlier intervention and/or strategies to prevent or reduce side effects of their cancer treatments. These strategies include referrals to physical therapy, complementary therapies, support groups and education, as well as other resources available to promote healthier living.

At the conclusion of treatment, every patient receives a Survivorship Care Plan. This plan is a record of the cancer diagnosis and treatment history, as well as any checkups or follow-up tests that will be needed in the future. It may also list possible long-term effects of treatments, ideas for staying healthy and recommendations for appropriate screenings, reliable websites specific to diagnosis and various resources within the Cancer Program and on the internet.

For more information, call the Cancer Center's Oncology Nurse Navigator, weekdays during normal business hours, 410-822-1000.