CancerCare Recognizes the Importance of Cognitive Behavior Therapy for People Affected by Cancer

March 24, 2014

CancerCare Social Work Staff and Training Instructors

CancerCare‘s staff of oncology social workers recently received in-depth training on the use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis. CBT is a therapeutic model that focuses on empowering the client to create coping mechanisms for life stressors and issues that otherwise compromise the quality of life.

“CBT is a model that fits the CancerCare counseling approach and is appropriate for the person with cancer, the caregiver and the bereaved,” said CancerCare Director of Clinical Services William Goeren, LCSW-R, ACSW, BCD.

One featured topic, “Body Image Issues after Cancer Treatment,” explored the multiple factors affecting body image and the outcomes of CBT and mindfulness interventions.

The training was lead by Szilvia Vas, health psychology researcher and member of the British Psychological Society; Andrea Ryder, Macmillan therapist; Ashley Yarwood, Macmillan therapist; and Jeanette McCarthy Macmillan director.

CancerCare provides free services for anyone affected by cancer. View all of CancerCare’s body image resources and learn more about our counseling services.

 


Free Yoga Workshop at Our NYC Office

August 23, 2012

CancerCare will hold a free yoga workshop at its national office in New York City on Wednesday, September 5 from 1:30-2:30pm. The workshop, “Gentle Yoga,” will be led by a certified yoga instructor and focus on meditative breathing, relaxation, and gentle movement.

Learn more about the workshop.

Relaxation techniques such as yoga and deep breathing exercises can help calm the mind and reduce stress. Some treatment centers have programs to teach people with cancer and caregivers the basics of relaxation or meditation. There are also a number of audio recordings and publications on this subject that provide step-by-step instructions, such as CancerCare’s free fact sheet on relaxation techniques and mind/body practices.

Leading experts in mind/body practices recently answered listeners’ questions during our Connect Education Workshop, “Using Mind/Body Techniques to Cope with the Stress of Survivorship.” Listen to the workshop.

Certified yoga instructor Marian Paglia will lead “Gentle Yoga.”

CancerCare’s “Gentle Yoga” workshop is free, although registration is required. Call 800‑813‑HOPE (4673) or email info@cancercare.org to register.

Don’t live in the New York City area? CancerCare’s professional oncology social workers can help you find a yoga workshop or mind/body program in your community. Call 800-813-HOPE (4673) to speak with a social worker.


Free Workshops and Wig and Prosthesis Clinics

July 25, 2012

CancerCare’s free, professional support services include face-to-face workshops and wig and prosthesis clinics at our New York City office. Our workshops taking place in August and September include:

We offer free wig clinics (August 10 and 24; September 14 and 21) and breast prosthesis clinics (August 8 and 22; September 12 and 19) by appointment.

CancerCare also provides free wigs by appointment in our Norwalk, CT, and Ridgewood, NJ offices.

View a full calendar of our upcoming community programs and clinics.

Registration is required for all of our programs; call 800-813-HOPE (4673) or visit www.cancercare.org/community_programs for more information.

Don’t live in the tri-state area of New York? We can help you locate resources in your community. Contact us at info@cancercare.org; or call 800‑813‑HOPE (4673) and a CancerCare oncology social worker can refer you to local resources.

 


CNN Profiles CancerCare Oncology Social Worker

July 12, 2012

CancerCare oncology social worker Richard “Rick” Dickens, LCSW-R, shares his story of coping with cancer in a new segment airing on CNN’s “Human Factor.” The program, which profiles extraordinary individuals who have overcome challenging odds, is narrated by CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Rick first came to CancerCare as a client after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and participated in a support group for young adults coping with cancer. Interacting with other support group members helped Rick realize he wasn’t alone in his journey. The group gave him emotional support as well as valuable insight into his diagnosis and life after treatment.

Rick joined the staff of CancerCare as a professional oncology social worker in 1997, moderating the support group he had previously attended. As CancerCare’s Mind/Body Project Coordinator, Rick incorporates practices such as visualization and meditation into his counseling to help people cope with difficult emotions and find a sense of peace.

Watch the CNN segment and read his blog:

Read more about Rick’s journey as a cancer survivor.

Rick recently answered questions about using mind/body practices to cope with cancer as an “Ask CancerCare” featured expert.

Learn more about CancerCare’s resources on mind/body and relaxation practices.

 


Cancer Pain Can Be Managed

March 22, 2012

Cancer pain can be physically and emotionally exhausting, but it is possible to manage, writes CancerCare CEO Helen H. Miller, LCSW, ACSW, in the latest edition of Oncology Nurse Advisor.

Along with advances in pain medication treatments, emotional and practical support have been shown to help patients better manage their pain and experience a better quality of life, notes Miller. Also beneficial are “skill-based interventions” such as learning meditation techniques or yoga.

Miller’s article cites the results of a recent study that found patients were able to better control their pain after learning about pain management techniques from their health care team members, or from reading educational materials.

Read the article.

CancerCare provides pain-management information in our free publications, Controlling Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know to Get Relief, and “Opening the Door to Effective Pain Management.” Leading medical experts also addressed pain-management techniques during CancerCare’s Connect Education Workshop, “Coping with Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know.”

Learn more about CancerCare’s free resources about pain management.

Read about mind/body and relaxation techniques in our free fact sheet, “Relaxation Techniques and Mind/Body Practices.”

CancerCare also offers in-person mind/body workshops at our national office in New York City, led by a professional oncology social worker.

Register for these upcoming free workshops:


March Workshops Offer Face-to-face Services for the Mind and Body

March 1, 2012

CancerCare‘s free, professional support services include face-to-face workshops and clinics in the communities where CancerCare’s offices are located: New York City, New Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut.

CancerCare offers wig and prostheses fittings, art workshops, meditation and other mind/body exercises, and other therapeutic activities for patients, survivors, caregivers and children throughout the year.

This month, our in-person workshops include:

  • wig clinics (March 2 and 23)
  • breast prostheses clinics (March 7, 21, and 28)
  • art workshops (March 16)
  • meditation workshops (March 22)

We also offer free wigs by appointment in our Norwalk, CT, Long Island, NY, and Ridgewood, NJ offices.

View a full calendar of our upcoming community programs.

Registration is required for all of our programs; call 800-813-HOPE (4673) or visit www.cancercare.org/community_programs for more information.

Don’t live in the tri-state area of New York? We can help you locate resources in your community. Contact us at info@cancercare.org; or call 800‑813‑HOPE (4673) and a CancerCare oncology social worker can refer you to local resources.


Get Help Managing Cancer-Related Pain

February 6, 2012

A new study found that many patients coping with cancer reported better managing their cancer-related pain after receiving emotional and/or practical support. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, also found that education about pain management helped patients learn to better control their pain.

Read more about the study.

Pain is a symptom of cancer and its treatments that can—and should—be controlled. CancerCare’s professional oncology social workers work with people coping with cancer to develop strategies for managing cancer-related pain. It is important for patients to discuss any pain they are experiencing with their health care team, which can include doctors, nurses, social workers, or pain specialists.

CancerCare provides pain-management information in our free publications, Controlling Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know to Get Relief, and “Opening the Door to Effective Pain Management.” Leading medical experts also addressed pain-management techniques during CancerCare’s Connect Education Workshop, “Coping with Cancer Pain: What You Need to Know.”

Learn more about CancerCare’s free resources about pain management.


CancerCare Social Workers Share Expertise on Coping with Cancer at AOSW’s Annual Conference

May 13, 2011

Several of CancerCare’s professional oncology social workers shared their clinical expertise with social workers from around the country during last weekend’s Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO, May 4-6. 

Erin Columbus, LMSW spoke about effectively moderating support groups in an online environment.

Nicole DiMartino, MSW offered solutions for managing and coping with the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis in adolescents.

Richard R. Dickens, LCSW-R spoke about the cancer experience in older adults, and how relaxation and mind/body techniques can help people cope with the emotional and physical challenges of cancer and treatment side effects.

Carolyn Messner, DSW presented on global health issues and how to improve the sharing of knowledge and expertise with colleagues at home and abroad.

Kristy Case, LMSW presented on the importance of post-treatment care for breast cancer survivors.

“For many people, the emotional impact and stress of a cancer diagnosis doesn’t end once they’ve finished with their treatment,” noted Case.  “It’s important for patients and their families to work with their health care team before their treatment ends to ensure that their emotional and practical needs are addressed and to create a smoother transition into post-treatment.”

CancerCare CEO Helen H. Miller, LCSW wrote about the importance of post-treatment care in a recent issue of Oncology Nurse Advisor magazine.  Read the article.

Upcoming CancerCare Connect® Education Workshops will address issues for patients and caregivers following the end of treatment, as part of its 9th Annual Series on Cancer Survivorship, featuring cancer experts from around the country in a live one-hour conference that can be listened to over the telephone or via live stream from CancerCare‘s website.

The next workshop, Stress Management for Caregivers: Taking Care of Yourself Physically and Emotionally, will take place Tuesday, June 14. Pre-registration for these free workshops is required.  To register, and to learn more, visit www.cancercare.org/connect.

CancerCare offers specialized services for post-treatment survivors and their loved ones, including support groups, counseling, and free publications. Learn more.


On the Other Side of Sick: The Journey of a Cancer Survivor/Thriver

April 6, 2011

This week (April 3-9) is Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week and we’ve invited guest blogger Michelle Malavet to share her thoughts  on Copelink. Michelle, who is a writer and visual artist in New York City, came to CancerCare for support after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009.

Michelle has just published her first book, Cancerland and The Other Side of Sick, a quick and inspiring read about the journey from “diagnosis to empowerment.” Michelle has donated copies of the book for free distribution to CancerCare clients as a way of giving back for the help she received from our specialized services for young adults.

Read Michelle’s post below, and check out her book at www.othersideofsick.org

Want to be a guest blogger on Copelink? Please email jbarnett@cancercare.org.

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My Little Red Dictionary

by Michelle Malavet

Living on The Other Side of Sick, my life is full of wonderment. I carry a little red dictionary most everywhere I go. I love words, especially words that rhyme, like “ignite” and “light,”  or “cancer” and “answer.”

Whenever I have a question in my life, my pocket-sized companion offers clarity and distinction. It has provided answers to many questions along my cancer survivor/thriver journey, including, Why me? Why did I get cancer?”

My little red dictionary defines these words as:

why, adv. for what cause.

me, pron. objective case of I.

get, v., acquire; capture; achieve power over.

cancer, n. potentially unlimited growth that expands.

So whenever you ask, “Why me? Why did I get cancer?” consider that you are actually asking:

“For what cause am I? For what cause did I acquire potentially unlimited growth that expands?” 

These are very powerful questions.

Continually answering them has helped me express who I am as a cancer survivor/thriver. One can say that these questions are my journey.

Everyday, I am on a mission to inspire anyone living with cancer to fully express themselves. That is my “why.” That is my cause.

Today I woke up wondering, “What is a miracle?” What to know the definition in my little red dictionary? Please write to me, and share what you discover: mm@othersideofsick.org.


Online Support Groups Now Recruiting Participants

February 3, 2011

CancerCare is currently recruiting participants for its online support groups.

Support groups connect people in similar situations and provide an environment in which they can share their feelings and build a community of support.

CancerCare‘s online support groups enable individual participants to communicate via a password-protected message board that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each support group is active for a 14-week period and each is moderated by a professional oncology social worker, who provides guidance, resources and reliable information to the participants.

CancerCare currently offers 25 different support groups online. Each is targeted to a specific population, such as people undergoing treatment for cancer, cancer survivors, caregivers and the bereaved.  Groups now recruiting include:

  • Triple negative breast cancer patients
  • Caregivers of loved ones with lung cancer
  • Men with cancer
  • Young adult caregivers of spouses and partners

 All support groups are completely free of charge, but registration is requiredLearn more.