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Behavioral Oncology Program

Cancer diagnosis and treatment takes a toll on your body. The physical effects of the disease and its treatment are unavoidable and expected. But it isn’t unusual for patients and their families to experience emotional, psychological and behavioral effects as well. Feelings of stress, anxiety and depression are common reactions when being treated for cancer or finding out that you or your loved one has cancer.

Norton Cancer Institute’s Behavioral Oncology Program is designed to provide supportive, emotional and psychological care for patients diagnosed with cancer and their families. Our team of psychiatrists and advanced practice registered nurses work closely with patients and families to develop a plan that helps alleviate some of the stress and distress that accompanies diagnosis and treatment of this disease. We work tirelessly to alleviate the fear and anxiety that comes with the fight against cancer.

Typical symptoms cancer-associated distress can include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed to the point of panic
  • Feeling so sad you cannot go through treatment
  • Increased irritability and anger
  • Inability to cope with pain, fatigue or nausea
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, uselessness, hopelessness or helplessness
  • Constant thoughts of cancer and/or death
  • Loss of enjoyment in activities

Ongoing follow-up and treatment services, as well as full diagnostic assessment, include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Couples and family therapy
  • Pharmacological management

Issues that may be addressed through the program include:

  • Anxiety and uncertainty about disease state and prognosis
  • Management of insomnia, fatigue and nausea
  • Dealing with mood changes
  • Coping with changes in body image and functioning
  • Communication with family members and others

If you or someone you know is coping with cancer and would like to know more about treatment for cancer-associated distress and related mental health issues, ask your physician about the Behavioral Oncology Program at Norton Cancer Institute, or call (502) 899-COPE (2673).

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