Cancer Support Services and Resources
Patients living with cancer have complex needs that go beyond medical treatment. Scripps offers broad-ranging expertise to help patients and families navigate the sometimes complex psychological, emotional, logistical and financial aspects of cancer care.
Located throughout the Scripps system, specially trained clinicians are available to help patients and families navigate their way through the often overwhelming maze of appointments, procedures and emotional feelings. They are available to explain all aspects of care, answer questions, help with scheduling and offer knowledgeable and friendly support during a difficult time.
Comprehensive cancer ancillary services
We offer a comprehensive range of support services and resources, all aimed at helping individuals cope with the disease and its treatment.
A number of our nursing staff members are oncology-certified: they have focused their nursing education on the most current treatment and care practices in the specialty. This means our nurses approach cancer care with the highest levels of expertise, compassion and sensitivity, and can address patients’ questions and concerns.
These specially trained professionals are available to work with you to identify appropriate community and medical resources, coordinate medical care, create a personalized plan of care, and navigate a complex array of services. In addition to counseling, assistance with transportation and housing, social workers can help patients and loved ones with arranging additional care after discharge from the hospital.
Home health care services
After patients have returned to the home after treatment, a skilled team of nurses, therapists and other staff may provide intermittent continuing care through our home health care services.
When cancer becomes life-limiting, patients and families can choose to manage physical symptoms without seeking curative treatments through hospice care — medical care delivered with compassion and dignity.
Inpatient palliative care program
The inpatient palliative care program program helps patients who are hospitalized address issues of life-limiting disease: pain management; symptoms control; advance directives; and emotional and spiritual health.
Cancer and cancer treatment can affect your appetite, nutritional needs and ability to eat healthfully. Registered dietitians at Scripps Center for Weight Management and Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine offer individualized support for patients with cancer whose ability to maintain their weight may be affected by the symptoms of cancer or side effects related to treatment.
Psychological and emotional care
Patients and families who need structured support as they adjust to living with a cancer diagnosis can receive referrals and professional care from experts in psychology, psychiatry and emotional health, including individual and family counseling.
After cancer treatment, many cancer patients need to work with physical rehabilitation and/or occupational therapy professionals to regain, re-learn, restore or adapt to changes in their bodies. We offer a full range of services that may be needed, including:
- Wound care
- Voice therapy and swallowing therapy
- Lymphedema therapy
- Balance and vestibular rehabilitation
- Lebed exercise
- Yoga for cancer patients
- Driving safety assessments for patients who have had surgery, which may have affected their ability to drive
Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine
Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine blends medical expertise with complementary therapies focused on healing the body and mind. The center can tailor a personalized cancer support program, including such services as acupuncture, herbal nutrition and massage therapy methods designed to complement or alleviate other treatments. Advanced imaging technology for early detection and diagnosis is also available.
Services available at the center include:
- Acupuncture, biofeedback, healing touch, massage and more
- Nutrition consultation
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program
- Fitness Center — offers yoga, aquacize, pilates, spin classes and more
- Integrative Cardiology and Healing Hearts Program
- Integrative cancer care
Non-denominational spiritual care is available at every Scripps hospital. In addition to providing comfort during a hospital stay, our chaplains can reach out to patients’ own clergy, rabbi or spiritual advisor to coordinate spiritual care in times of need.
Visiting patient services
If you are receiving cancer care at Scripps but do not live in San Diego, our Visiting Patient Services professionals can help with a wide variety of services from arranging appointments to providing information about short-term lodging in the area.
Classes and support groups
Offering safe, self-empowering environments in which cancer patients can exchange information, dedicated cancer support groups are settings provide the opportunity to exchange information and experience about living with cancer.
Community support and resources
Financial guidance and assistance
Our patient financial services professionals can work with patients and families in need to explore every appropriate available resource, including some forms of financial assistance for those who qualify.
MyScripps patient portal
A free, secure online service for our patients, MyScripps allows access to outpatient records at any time. It also facilitates correspondence, appointment requests and prescription renewals.
Patient participation in the decision-making process is a cornerstone of cancer care at Scripps, which makes education a critical component of that process. Extensive patient educational materials are readily available across the entire Scripps system. Staff can help patients understand all their treatment options, including potential benefits, risks and potential outcomes.