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Cancer Survivorship & Supportive Services

Living with cancer can be challenging. At the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, our purpose is to advance healing and reduce suffering - even after cancer remission. It’s our promise to you.

Call for more information.

513-585-UCCC

Many cancer patients and survivors face a unique set of challenges. The primary treatments for cancer (surgery, radiation and chemotherapy) have significant treatment-related effects. At the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, we understand the experiences our cancer patients go through and strive to enhance the quality of life and level of wellness through personalized care beginning at diagnosis. 

Support Groups

CANCER SURVIVORSHIP SUPPORT GROUPS

Find Support & Make Connections

We offer groups to all cancer patients, family members, caregivers and survivors to connect and share experiences with others who are on similar journeys with cancer.

Research

ACTIVE AND VIBRANT RESEARCH

We Are Committed To Advancing Medical Options.

The best medical programs in the world are part of leading-edge research aimed at improving public health and developing new medical treatments. As the Region’s only adult academic medical center, we house vibrant research programs that include ongoing clinical trials, actively initiating studies to bring new therapies and diagnostic tests to patients in Greater Cincinnati and around the world.

We Actively Seek Medical Discoveries.

Nationally and internationally recognized for its research efforts, the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and UC Health has a long and distinguished history of medical discoveries. Our premier surgeon-scientists and postdoctoral researchers pursue innovative and exciting research, focused on applying their discoveries directly to the bedside to advance patient care.

Referrals

REFERRING A PATIENT

Our Teams Build Strong Collaborative Partnerships With Referring Providers.

We are committed to providing optimal care to your patient and open communication with you. As a referring physician, we understand that you need to be kept informed of your patient’s progress. That’s why we set up a toolbox to share detailed information about your patient’s health with you.

To refer a patient, call 513-585-UCCC

Supportive Services for Cancer Patients & Survivors

Our team is here to provide personalized care encompassing evidence-based interventions, disease surveillance, healthy lifestyle promotion, support and resources for patients, survivors, family and caregivers. Patients work with our oncology providers and specialists to experience programs such as counseling and emotional support, cancer exercise wellness and integrative health to provide the highest level of care and outcomes.

Cancer survivors face a unique set of challenges during and after treatment. Getting back to “life as normal” can sometimes be hard. Upon completion of treatment for cancer, patients are seen for a dedicated survivorship visit addressing treatment-related effects, cancer surveillance, routine cancer screening and overall health promotion through diet, exercise and smoking cessation. Common treatment-related effects include fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, “chemo brain” and mental health concerns.

We believe that survivorship begins at the time of diagnosis. As such, we offer supportive service visits during active treatment to address common issues such as nausea/vomiting, fatigue and peripheral neuropathy.

The Cancer Wellness Clinic is a collaboration between the Cancer Survivorship Program and the Integrative Medicine Program at UC Health. The clinic is the first in the region to offer a range of services for cancer patients, including acupuncture, oncology massage therapy, cancer exercise, nutrition, oncology primary care, cancer survivorship and lifestyle medicine physician consultations. This clinic uses universally accepted recommendations to expand comprehensive cancer treatment with the goal of promoting overall long-term health and wellness.

Lifestyle Medicine uses evidence-based complementary therapies that focus on environment and sleep, stress reduction and relaxation, and guidance for nutrition and physical activity. Rather than relying on medicine, Lifestyle Medicine encourages natural-based treatments. This unique service helps improve patients’ overall quality of life.

The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center opened the region’s first and only primary care clinic dedicated to patients with cancer.

The majority of people living with cancer have multiple chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. When a patient is going through cancer treatment, these conditions are sometimes overlooked and left untreated, leading to poorer outcomes and a decreased quality of life.

The UC Health Oncology Care Clinic gives patients the opportunity to receive primary care services by a physician experienced in cancer survivorship care.

At the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, we have a specialized, oncology-trained dietician who works with our patients to create a nutrition plan that takes into consideration specific treatment-related effects.

Physical medicine and rehabilitation physiatrists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders related to the nerves, muscles, bones and brain that may lead to temporary or permanent impairment. They treat common issues that our cancer survivors face, including chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and musculoskeletal and functional impairments.

Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care has certified lymphedema physical therapists that use a technique called complete decongestive therapy (CDT), which is considered the gold standard of care for people with lymphedema. This approach combines a gentle massage called manual lymph drainage with skin and nail care, home exercise, and compression bandages to effectively manage the edema (swelling). These techniques can increase mobility and function, aid in wound healing and allow for long-term management of this condition.

Our physical therapy (PT) program is one of the largest, most comprehensive skilled PT programs in the Tristate. Our physical therapists develop individualized treatment plans to address strength and flexibility, pain relief, postsurgical recovery, functional mobility, balance and endurance.

Our occupational therapists (OTs) work with survivors to address their unique fatigue symptoms using energy conservation, pacing, adaptive equipment, activity management, use of proper body mechanics and fall prevention, while still maintaining their self-integrity. OTs assess a patient’s physical skills, cognitive abilities, psychosocial skills and sensory perception deficits to develop a treatment plan to maintain and increase their roles, work skills, social skills, community reintegration and to be in control of their lifestyle choices. Through guided treatment and routine building, OTs work with each patient to achieve the goals most important to them to be successful.

Our speech and language pathologists (SLPs) at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center help cancer survivors with speech concerns, communication, swallowing, problem-solving and memory skills both during and after treatment. Individualized treatment plans help our patients become more successful in daily living and help them return to previous responsibilities at home and work.

Radiation therapy and pelvic surgery can have detrimental effects on pelvic floor musculature and function. Pelvic floor rehabilitation, provided by our physical therapists, can help vaginal pain and dryness, anal fissures and urinary incontinence.

The Prehabilitation Program is designed to help patients better prepare both physically and mentally before surgery by addressing nutrition, physical activity, wellness, chronic pulmonary conditions and smoking. This program takes place during chemotherapy or radiation therapy in preparation for surgery. Patients and their caregivers will meet with appropriate specialists in physical therapy and other programs to develop an individualized plan to promote overall wellness during the cancer journey.

The UC Health Wellness Program is the only program of its kind in the region to provide individualized plans in the same location for cancer patients and patients recovering from cardiac- or lung-related illnesses.

Physicians, registered nurses, exercise physiologists, respiratory therapists and dietitians work together to deliver personalized programs for patients. Those with all levels of exercise abilities can participate. Our exercise care team monitors patient sessions to ensure a safe environment.

Acupuncture is a well-known practice in traditional Chinese medicine and is based on restoring the flow of energy throughout the body. This energy is known as the life force and is referred to as qi or chi (pronounced “chee”).

Acupuncture sessions encourage the body to naturally heal itself by rebalancing qi, the life force that enlivens body, mind and spirit. Fine needles are placed in points to restore balance and nourish the essential functions of the organs. Research has shown it to be helpful for cancer treatment-related side effects such as dry mouth, nausea/vomiting, pain, fatigue, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and stress/mood concerns.

Massage therapy uses touch to promote relaxation for physical and psychological healing. A client-specific, customized massage session is designed to safely meet the unique and changing needs of someone in active treatment to those in recovery or survivorship. A safe massage plan generally revolves around the side effects (both short and long term) of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, while nurturing the body, mind and spirit.

Research shows massage to be helpful with stress, nausea, fatigue, pain and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. Our licensed massage therapist works one-on-one with our patients to manipulate muscles and tissues of the body to aid in healing and recovery. Specializing in neuromuscular release and myofascial release, our therapists are experienced in working closely with our patients’ other UC Health providers to create a seamless interdisciplinary approach to improving your health.

Worry, anxiety and stress can be more than distractions. Constantly replaying daily problems and fears in your mind can affect your mental and physical health. Classes and videos are offered to learn the positive power of mindfulness, which is associated with decreased stress.

The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center offers yoga and tai chi especially designed for cancer survivors. Our instructors can provide guidance to patients at all levels of physical abilities. Benefits of movement-based therapies include improved coping with cancer symptoms and treatment, improved well-being and appreciation of self and body, improved balance and decreased falls, higher energy levels, decreased muscle and joint pain, increased calm and improved breathing.

Music impacts different regions of the brain, including those involved in hearing/listening, movement, attention, language, emotion, memory and thinking skills. Listening to and making music can help us change our emotional state, improve our moods, and even help us manage stress. Music is truly one of the only mediums that gives our brain a full workout. It requires us to be present with ourselves while encouraging us to be in relationships with others—both key components of healthy lifestyles and wellness.

UC Health offers music therapy sessions where patients can experience the power of creating music with others. No prior musical experience is necessary.

At the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, social workers assess the impact of cancer and its treatment on a person’s life and assist in creating a supportive plan to address ongoing challenges. Social workers collaborate with the entire mental health team in providing emotional support. In addition, they can provide practical guidance and logistical resources in such areas as financial challenges, transportation assistance and the impact of cancer on your job. They look for opportunities to link patients to community cancer resources including cancer-focused support groups.

Cancer survivors have an increased risk of anxiety and depression. Management of psychological issues using a combination of medications and therapy has been shown to improve the overall quality of life and treatment outcomes in cancer patients. Our specialized providers partner with the supportive services program to create a comprehensive plan of care.

The Cognitive Cancer Clinic was developed to provide efficient and comprehensive evaluations, treatments and monitoring for cancer patients with cognitive concerns. A comprehensive intake is performed, evaluating the possible effects of mental health status, sleep and medication side effects on cognition. During their clinic visit, patients receive cognitive testing and a neurological exam, and consult with a cognitive neurologist to form a plan of care. Wellness topics such as sleep, exercise, nutrition and social interactions are addressed to promote overall brain health. The clinic partners with speech therapists to create an individualized cognitive therapy plan.

Improved survival rates for both pediatric and adult cancers, coupled with advanced therapies including chemotherapy, external beam radiation therapy and bone marrow transplantation have uncovered cardiovascular toxicities, ranging from accelerated, early-onset coronary artery disease to systemic hypertension, pericardial disease, cardiomyopathies and vasculopathies involving the proximal aorta and carotid arteries. The UC Health Cardio-Oncology team helps to ensure you complete your cancer treatment without developing heart disease and helps make sure that your cancer treatment isn’t interrupted.

Sexual health is an important aspect of life and an area of concern consistently identified by women after treatment of cancer. Discussing sexual health should become a routine part of conversations with patients before, during and especially after cancer treatment.

Each year, more than 140,000 people are diagnosed with cancer during their childbearing years. While modern medicine gives young adults a better chance at surviving cancer and other serious diseases than ever before, treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can sometimes hinder reproduction.

The UC Health Center for Reproductive Health is the only comprehensive patient care and research center focused on fertility in Greater Cincinnati. Our mission is to provide advanced reproductive, endocrine and infertility care in a supportive, compassionate and patient-centered environment. At the Center for Reproductive Health, we tailor the fertility-sparing treatment for each individual, which can include:

  • Semen banking.
  • Embryo banking.
  • Oocyte (egg) banking.
  • Ovarian tissue banking.
  • Surgical transposition.
  • Medical suppression.

Fertility preservation, however, is not limited to cancer patients. Patients who require bone marrow, stem cell transplants and even some with rheumatic diseases may face the decision of the fertility sparing options.

Our Unique Approach

Your Care Team at Work

The University of Cincinnati Cancer Center Survivorship team of physicians, nurse practitioners, physical and occupational therapists, dieticians, exercise physiologists, mental health care providers and other specialists all work together to improve your wellness by providing personalized care that serves as a road map to a healthy future.

Cincinnati’s No. 1 preferred cancer care provider
One of the Commission on Cancer’s (CoC) 5 oldest programs
The region’s largest cancer survivorship program

AUTHORING BREAKTHROUGHS

We raise the level of care throughout the region in every way that we can.

HOW YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE

Donations from people like you make the difference.

By advancing medicine, our life-changing research and treatments help countless patients here and around the world. Please donate today.

Cancer Survivorship News

Region’s First Oncology Primary Care Clinic

Regular primary care visits, both during and after cancer treatment, can improve cancer patients’ overall health and wellness. That’s why UC Health opened the region’s first oncology primary care clinic for patients with a history of cancer.

Contact Us

At the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, we lead the region in scientific discoveries and embrace a spirit of purpose – offering our patients and their families something beyond everyday healthcare. At the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center, we offer hope.