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Discussing Oncology Support Services at GBMC

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Laura Tenbus

March 16, 2018
Everyone is impacted by cancer at some point in their life. Whether you have been diagnosed, or you know someone who has, cancer seems to be everywhere. This is one of the reasons why GBMC has dedicated an entire department to Oncology Support Services (OSS). In this Facebook Live with Magic 95.9 multi-media personality April Watts, Brandon Costantino, Manager of Oncology Support Services for the Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute at GBMC, discusses resources for patients undergoing treatment for a cancer diagnosis.

The OSS department is committed to assisting patients before, during, and after their treatment and all of the services are provided free of charge. There are many costs that come with a cancer diagnosis, some of which may not be immediately obvious. "Having cancer is very expensive," says Brandon, "and it's easy for bills to pile up." This can be especially true for people whose insurance is limited. OSS has a patient navigator who is dedicated to removing cost barriers and making the experience of cancer treatment as easy as possible for each patient. This can include anything from arranging for transportation to finding community resources or creating a financial plan to pay off bills or debt.

There are also two certified social workers on staff who help patients through fear and anxiety, substance use issues, figuring out how to talk to your children about the diagnosis, and more. "Every hospital has some form of psychosocial assistance, but GBMC is unique in that it invests in having a full department devoted to these services," Brandon explains.

Oncology support services extend beyond treatments, too. OSS has a Survivorship Program, which provides patients with a personalized care plan and treatment summary. This gives them a comprehensive outline of the all the treatments they have received as well as the date of diagnosis, type of cancer, and any problems that occurred during treatment. They also receive information on lifestyle changes that they can make to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

"If you come to GBMC, we want to help you," says Brandon, "that's why we come to work every day. Your stories inspire us."
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