Mesothelioma Support Services at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Comprehensive Care of Mesothelioma Patients

Among the many impressive mesothelioma treatment institutions is Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a treatment center that believes “treating the whole person, not just the disease, is the best approach.” Sloan-Kettering has a team of specialists, including surgeons, scientists, medical oncologist, pathologists and radiation oncologists who aim to provide “experienced, up-to-date, and thoughtful care” of mesothelioma patients.

In addition to great medical care, Sloan-Kettering offers its patients and their families a wide base of support. Sloan-Kettering understands that the emotional toll mesothelioma can have on patients and their family members can be as traumatic as the disease itself.

Support Services at Sloan-Kettering

Sloan-Kettering offers a significant array of support for its patients. The following are some services that are provided for mesothelioma patients at Sloan-Kettering:

  • Inpatient Counseling & Support GroupsSloan-Kettering understands that there is no “one-size-fits-all coping style” when it comes to dealing with cancer. Therefore, there are experienced counselors at Sloan-Kettering that are made available to all patients to help them handle any distress they may develop.A social worker is assigned to each patient floor and is available to patients and their friends and family. They can assist with transportation, financial concerns, communication with friends and family, and the effects of cancer treatment on employment.

    Support groups, led by health care professionals such as nurses and social workers, convene on a regular basis in various locations. These groups provide patients with an opportunity to converse with others who may have a similar diagnosis or treatment regimens.

  • Outpatient CounselingOutpatient counseling at Sloan-Kettering is offered to cancer patients regardless of whether or not they are receiving care at Sloan-Kettering.Outpatient counseling helps patients and their families cope with the emotional distress they may experience, and it aims to help alleviate the side effects of treatment, such as pain, fatigue and poor sleeping patterns, by treating symptoms like anxiety or depression that can make the side effects of treatment worse.
  • NutritionWhen undergoing treatment, patients often become concerned with weight management and proper diet, and some patients may even experience a change in taste and appetite.At Sloan-Kettering you can request to meet with a certified dietitian-nutritionist who can help you assess certain diets and who can help you eat properly while undergoing treatment. If loss of appetite is a problem, the dietitian can make suggestions of foods necessary for nourishment and energy.
  • Ethics Consultation ServicesThe Ethics Committee at Sloan-Kettering can provide patients and their families with a multidisciplinary forum to help resolve ethical issues that may arise in the treatment and care of patients.
  • Sexual HealthSexuality of both men and women can often be affected by cancer and cancer treatments. Sloan-Kettering has a dedicated staff of nurses, social workers, physicians and psychologists who are very familiar with sexual health problems that cancer and cancer treatments can cause.
  • Fertility and ParenthoodSometimes, cancer treatments can affect a person’s ability to have children in the future. However, there may be things that can be done to preserve your ability to have children before undergoing treatment. Sloan-Kettering provides services to help preserve fertility.
  • Symptom Management and SupportSloan-Kettering is dedicated to ensuring that all its patients do not suffer from avoidable discomfort. If a patient is experiencing pain or other symptoms from treatment, Sloan-Kettering has created a Pain and Palliative Care Service that offers help with physical symptoms such as shortness of breath or nausea but also non-physical symptoms such as sadness, anxiety or depression that can lead to pain.
  • Extra Help At HomeSloan-Kettering recognizes that after a patient is released, they may need further assistance or they may need certain equipment at home. Therefore, Sloan-Kettering has case managers who are available on each floor that will help patients get the care and supplies they need. Although insurance may not cover certain things, the case managers at Sloan-Kettering may be able to recommend other creative solutions for obtaining what you need.
  • Complementary TherapiesTherapists in the Integrated Medicine Service create services that complement your treatment and are targeted to help the spirit, mind, and body. The therapists have a variety of approaches to accomplishing this including, meditation, yoga, music therapy, massage and acupuncture.
  • Look Good . . . Feel BetterWe all know that a person’s physical appearance can have a big role in how a person feels. People may be affected by the physical changes that treatments often create. Professional make-up artists at Sloan-Kettering teach patients about skin and nail care, head-covering options and make-up techniques to help compensate for those side affects of treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.
  • Patient-to-Patient VolunteersSometimes nothing can be more comforting to a mesothelioma patient than talking with someone who has been through what you are currently experiencing. Sloan-Kettering attempts to match patients with other patients who have been through a similar experience. This allows a treating patient to speak with someone who can offer them guidance and hope.
  • Patient Recreation Pavilion & LibraryWe know how stressful a diagnosis of mesothelioma can be, and we know that sometimes you need to break away from treatment centers and hospitals. Sloan-Kettering offers a pavilion and library with arts and crafts, scheduled entertainment and an outdoor terrace for its patients. This is where patients go to read a book, meet with friends and family, or just sit back and enjoy the view.
  • Patient RepresentativesPatient Representatives are available at Sloan-Kettering. They can help you with any complaints or concerns you may have. They act as your advocate to ensure that your rights are respected and any concerns you may have are addressed.