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Nurse Navigators

Navigating the complexities of cancer care can be overwhelming, especially for patients facing language or cultural barriers. Nurse navigators provide essential support, acting as a point of contact to help patients communicate with their healthcare providers and overcome non-clinical obstacles. Nurse navigators assist with logistics, transportation, lodging, and financial concerns, while offering emotional support and advocacy. They work closely with social workers, financial counselors, and educators to ensure patients receive the comprehensive care and guidance they need throughout their cancer journey.

We can help you with:

  • Providing you with understandable educational materials to aid in decision making.
  • Assisting with timely coordination of your care.
  • Making sure your needs are met from the time of diagnosis through treatment and beyond.
  • Support groups and educational programs.
  • One-on-one assistance for you and your caregiver.
  • Financial assistance.
  • Help in finding transportation.
  • Accessing Oncology Social Workers.
  • Oncology Dietitian appointments.
  • Resources to meet your changing needs.

Feeding the Fight: The Essential Role of Nutrition in Cancer Care

Seeing a dietitian before, during, and after cancer treatment is crucial for optimizing health and improving outcomes. Proper nutrition can empower patients, giving them a sense of control over their disease. A dietitian can guide patients in adopting a lowfat, whole food plant-based diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and colorful fruits, which is essential not only for cancer prevention but also for enhancing treatment tolerance, reducing side effects, and promoting faster recovery. This approach can improve overall quality of life, lower the risk of secondary cancers, and support long-term health. Whether a patient is fighting cancer or navigating survivorship, professional dietary guidance is an invaluable component of comprehensive cancer care.


  • Nutrition before, during, and after treatment
  • Eating well while managing the side effects of treatment
  • Weight gain when you have had an unintentional weight loss
  • Beneficial weight loss
  • Safe and reliable nutrition strategies
  • Use of supplements
  • Healthful eating for long term wellness

Supportive Care: Comfort and Quality of Life

Our interdisciplinary Supportive Care team offers compassionate, high-quality comfort care aimed at enhancing the lives of individuals coping with serious illness and their loved ones. Supportive Care, also known as Palliative Care, is specialized medical care designed to improve the quality of life for patients and their families by addressing symptoms and alleviating stress associated with serious illness. Our team collaborates closely with patients and families to coordinate care, plan for future needs, and assist with decision-making processes. Supportive Care is appropriate for individuals of any age and at any stage of illness, complementing ongoing treatment without precluding other medical interventions. Our dedicated team includes physicians, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, chaplains, and other specialists who work together to provide comprehensive support tailored to meet individual needs and preferences.

In order to help you achieve comfort and quality of life, various aspects of your care plan can be addressed.

These may include:

  • Identifying your needs and goals
  • Addressing your worries and fears
  • Insuring you and your family understand as much about your illness as you would like
  • Defining what quality of life means to you and discussing how those things that bring enjoyment and meaning can be maximized
  • Understanding how your beliefs can impact decisions about care
  • Deciding what type of care you would like as time goes on
  • Controlling symptoms associated with your illness that interfere with enjoying your life

Social Work: Here for you, every step of the way.

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis is an incredibly challenging and uncertain time, affecting not just patients but also their loved ones. At the Phelps Cancer Center, our oncology social workers are compassionate professionals dedicated to supporting you and your family through every aspect of your journey. They provide expert counseling, emotional support, and advocacy services tailored to your needs. Whether you need help adjusting to the diagnosis, communicating with family and doctors, or navigating practical challenges like insurance or transportation, our team is here for you. A social worker who can provide confidential support, referrals to community resources, and guidance on accessing additional mental health or complementary care services.


Services available include dealing with cancer by:

  • Exploring financial resources
  • Teaching about coping with feelings, worries, emotions
  • Providing support and counseling
  • Education about resources
  • Connection with others who can help
  • Guidance with making decisions about work, life and family issues

Resources For Cancer Costs: Support for Managing Expenses

Cancer treatment can lead to significant financial challenges, often referred to as financial toxicity or distress. These challenges stem from the high costs of medical care, including copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance, which can strain household finances. Studies indicate that cancer patients and survivors are more likely to experience financial difficulties than those without cancer, impacting their ability to work and pay bills. Factors such as the type of cancer, treatment received, and household income levels influence the severity of financial toxicity. If you or a loved one are facing financial hardship due to cancer treatment, seek help through nurse navigators or social workers, and explore insurance options to mitigate these burdens. Remember, you are not alone, and support is available to help manage these financial stresses.


Understanding how cancer impacts financial distress can help provide the necessary support and resources:

  • Reduced work hours due to doctor’s appointments or treatments
  • Illness related expenses: co-pays, deductibles, and other out of pocket expenses
  • Inability to work
  • Childcare

Connect, Celebrate & Create: Inner Strength Through Creative Expression

Intuitive painting can be a profoundly therapeutic activity for people, offering a unique way to relieve stress and elevate mood. This creative method provides a safe space where emotions can be freely expressed without fear of judgment, allowing patients to release their feelings and achieve greater relaxation and peace of mind. By envisioning and expressing positive inner imagery, patients can shifts emotion and restore internal balance. The process is simple and accessible to everyone, regardless of artistic experience. Through the exploration of acrylic paints and various art materials, intuitive painting classes guide participants in relaxing their minds, reigniting their innate healing power, and building confidence. This encouraging environment helps patients find peace within and strengthens their emotional resilience, ultimately enhancing their ability to cope with the challenges of cancer.


This creative method allows you to look at and express the world within by painting or drawing pictures. The class walks you through a simple three step process to:

  • Relax your mind and restore your internal balance
  • Reignite your innate healing power
  • No artistic experience needed; the journey is what’s important.
  • Exploring acrylic paint and various art materials as instruments of self expression
  • Class offers the opportunity to elevate mood, strengthen trust, and build confidence
  • The safe and encouraging environment help find peace and quiet within

Building A Healthier Community

Phelps Cancer Center 2024 Spring Appeal
Your gift to the Phelps Cancer Center Integrative Health Fund will help us ensure patients have free access to our classes, groups, and services.


Phelps Cancer Center
A Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative member
Hours by appointment
165 Tor Court
Pittsfield, MA 01201
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