Psychosocial Support Services
Social workers are available to counsel and support patients and their caregivers from diagnosis through treatment, as well as in crisis situations.
Our Oncology Social Workers also help patients with practical matters, such as referral for temporary housing near the Cancer Center.
For a referral to a UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center oncology social worker:
Ask your doctor, nurse or other healthcare provider for a referral for a social worker to contact you or call (916) 734-5198 or (916) 734-5914 and ask to speak to a social worker.
Social workers are available from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
We can help you:
- Cope with your diagnosis of cancer and the many emotions that you may be experiencing
- Access information to help you better understand your diagnosis, supportive community, and how to be active in your healing
- Consider decisions about treatment options as you think about your work, family and other aspects of your life
- Apply for community programs that offer limited financial assistance
We can teach you about:
- Communicating with your children, family, friends or co-workers
- Coping with your emotions — sadness, anger, worry and fear
- Talking effectively with your treatment team
- Reducing stress and using relaxation skills
- Living with cancer — issues commonly experienced and resources to help you long term
- Planning for your care with the use of advance directives and durable power of attorney for finances
- How cancer affects sex, intimacy, fertility, and how you feel about your body
- How to access supportive and educational resources
In addition to our social workers, we also have trained breast and prostate cancer survivors who serve as peer navigators (cancer coaches) to newly diagnosed breast and prostate cancer patients. Our WeCARE! Peer Navigators provide information, resources, share problem-solving and coping strategies and help patients prepare for doctor’s visits and treatments.
Cancer caregivers — family members caring for someone with cancer — can also participate in our WeCARE! Cancer Caregiver Telephone Support Group, which offers resources and assistance through toll-free conference calls.
Patients and family members are also invited to participate in our free classes such as Writing as Healing, Triumph fitness program and yoga. For more information, please call Patti Robinson at (916) 734-0823.
Reasons for hope
Fear, anxiety, sadness and loneliness may be common reactions to a cancer diagnosis, but so is a feeling of hope. There are many reasons to feel hopeful:
- Cancer treatment can be successful. Millions of Americans who have had cancer are alive today.
- People with cancer can lead active lives, even during treatment.
- The chances of living with — and living beyond — cancer are better now than they have ever been. People often live for many years after their cancer treatment is over.