In the battle against cancer, it’s important to have a solid support system, including family, friends, and a care team. The UMMC Cancer Institute can also help by connecting patients to information and services before, during, and after treatment.
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. Our social workers can 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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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.
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.
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 or, if one is not available, help establish a new one.
Some online resources include:
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 is 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.
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 otherwise having trouble can find someone who will listen. Our psychologists can provide counseling to individuals and families, and psychiatrists can also provide counseling and medication, when needed. Our staff works together to be sure patients see the person who can best help with emotional needs.
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.
UMMC provides free translation and interpretive services for patients who do not speak English as their first language. We can provide access to a Spanish interpreter or a Choctaw liaison. For other languages, we can connect to interpreters through a language line phone service. These 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.
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 can help sort through the billing maze.
Contact your cancer care coordinator or social worker for a list of area hotels offering discounted rates for adult patients. Sometimes, they can also find free rooms for adult patients at Hope House, a privately-run home for adults undergoing medical treatment in Jackson.