Cancer Support Services

Patient Support Services

In the battle against cancer, it’s important to have a solid support system standing with you, including your family, friends, and care team. The UMMC Cancer Institute also can help by connecting you to information and services before, during, and after treatment.  

Support Services We Offer:

Social Services

Our cancer care teams include social workers to help connect patients to support groups and emotional counseling. Our social workers can help arrange transportation to and from treatments for those living in the Jackson metro area, or help find free or low-cost lodging for out of town patients. They will help find services to make all treatments and appointments as convenient as possible.  

Some patients require special services or equipment at home after treatment, and we can help with that as well. Our social workers have lists of equipment suppliers, home health agencies, and other local services. Along with our patient care advocates, they can help patients apply for financial assistance to offset the cost of treatment and treatment-related prescriptions. 

Ask your cancer care coordinator to refer you to a social worker, if needed.  

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Appearance Room

The UMMC Cancer Institute has a special room for patients who have lost their hair while undergoing cancer treatments. The Appearance Room allows patients to gather privately, or with others, to select wigs, turbans, scarves, and other fashion items free of charge. Contact a Cancer Institute social worker for information.  

  • Groups wanting to donate accessories or wigs can contact us at (601) 815-3572. Tax receipts are available upon request through the Cancer Institute Support Fund. 

The Appearance Room also features artwork done in a painting classes to brighten the walls and commemorate the seasons. Some patients may choose to participate, too, sharing their paintings with others for a few weeks. 

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Support Groups

Many patients find help and comfort from other survivors at local support groups or online groups. Whether face-to-face or through the internet, support groups can provide information, encouragement, and answers to everyday questions. Many of the groups are run by cancer survivors who intimately know the problems patients may encounter. UMMC Cancer Institute social workers can help find a local group and, if one is not available, help establish a new one.  

Some online resources include:

  • American Cancer Society offers many support groups, programs, and resources for cancer survivors. Call the ACS Mississippi office at (800) 227-2345 or visit the ACS website for more information. The ACS also has an online cancer survivors network.  
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Mississippi/Louisiana chapter offers programs for adults and children battling blood cancers. Call (877) 538-5364 toll free, (601) 956-7447 locally, or see the list of patient support programs online.  
  • American Lung Association in Mississippi offers programs for patients with respiratory problems or lung cancer. Patients share stories, experiences, how they manage their disease, and new products and medical advances which have helped them. Contact the Jackson office of Mississippi ALA at (601) 206-5810 or view ALA online resources.  

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Patient Resource Center

Patients have access to free books, brochures, pamphlets, DVDs, computers, and other materials on cancer and cancer-related topics thanks to a gift from the Diane Powell family. The Patient Resource Center is near the main waiting room in the Cancer Institute Outpatient Clinic in Jackson Medical Mall. 

The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Enjoy quiet time between appointments, or come in with family or friends to learn more about cancer and treatment options. Two computers are also available for research and staff on hand to assist, if needed. 

The American Cancer Society also has information specialists available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer questions. They will help find local resources and information on cancer. Call the ACS Cancer Helpline at (800) 227-2345, or visit cancer.org to chat with an online representative.   

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Counseling Services

Cancer can be an emotional time for patients and families and the UMMC Cancer Institute offers several layers of help. From social workers and clergy with experience in counseling to psychologists and psychiatrists with experience in cancer care, those who are depressed, anxious, or having trouble can find someone who will listen. Our psychologists can provide counseling to individuals and families, while psychiatrists can provide counseling and medication, when needed. Our staff works together to be sure patients see the person who can best help with emotional needs.

  • Ask a Cancer Institute doctor or social worker for a referral, or call the UMMC Access Center at (601) 815-2005 and request counseling services.  

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Faith-based Services

UMMC chaplains are available to meet with patients and family at University Hospital or the Jackson Medical Mall upon request. Our interfaith pastoral care offices, chapel, and quiet room are located in University Hospital. Interfaith chaplains can pray with families, provide counseling, and help with sacraments, religious rites and rituals, end of life issues, and grief care and support. Our chaplains can also connect patients to interfaith leaders and clergy in the community.

  • Ask a cancer care team member about speaking with a chaplain, or call the pastoral care office at (601) 815-2112. 

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Interpreters

UMMC provides interpreters free for patients who do not speak English well. We also can provide access to a Spanish interpreter or can call a Choctaw liaison. For other languages, we can connect to interpreters through a language line phone service. Those interpreters, credentialed and skilled in medical terminology, speak 204 languages. Arrangements can be made for an interpreter for the deaf, use of a TTD, or other materials for the hearing-impaired. We also have materials in Braille for the blind. Please request an interpreter, if needed, when scheduling appointments. 

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Billing and Insurance Support

We have staff on hand to discuss questions about billing and insurance. For those receiving treatment at the Jackson Medical Mall, Cancer Institute staff members are on hand to help sort through the billing maze.

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Lodging

Contact your cancer care coordinator or social worker for a list of area hotels offering discounted rates for adult patients. Sometimes, they also can find free rooms for adult patients at Hope House, a privately-run home for adults undergoing medical treatment.

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