Cancer Support Services
The OSF Saint Anthony Center for Cancer Care provides patient navigators for those who have been diagnosed with breast, head, neck, prostate, lung and colon cancers. Navigators help patients through the difficult and sometimes confusing cancer journey by offering information, education and support.
The patient navigator program that is specifically designed for breast cancer patients is called Bridges and is offered as a free service to all women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The patient navigator for the Bridges program is a health care professional who uses her expert knowledge of the breast cancer experience to guide patients through the various phases of the treatment process.
The patient navigator is available for four sessions either by phone or in a face-to-face meeting in a private room, where concerns can be addressed in a confidential manner. During these times together, the patient navigator ensures that the patient has appropriate and accurate information to make treatment decisions based on his or her needs and beliefs.
Topics for discussion might include:
- Understanding the diagnosis and medical terminology
- Tips on communicating with physicians
- Managing treatment schedules
- Coping with treatment side-effects
- Finding balance in your life
- Insurance concerns
- Nutrition advice
- Complementary/alternative therapies
- Support groups
- Image enhancement programs
- Clinical/research trials available
- Importance of exercise
- Transportation programs
The Patricia D. Pepe Center for Cancer Care is now home to the American Cancer Society’s wig boutique. Cancer patients experiencing the effects of chemotherapy and radiation can be fitted at no cost with brand new wigs, hats and other headwear. Wig Boutique volunteers conduct fittings to make sure wigs and other headwear not only feel comfortable, but also match the patient’s lifestyle and personal taste. Once a wig is chosen, volunteer beauticians will cut and style the wig to suit the cancer patient, at no charge.
To make an appointment, please call the boutique at (815) 227-2618.
Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Support Group
The Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Support Group meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month in the Center for Cancer Care Library.
The meetings offer peer support and education for women experiencing breast cancer. This informal group brings together women who share a common bond and provides emotional and spiritual support for them. Speakers and topics of discussion are chosen by members of the group and often address challenges and concerns unique to breast cancer.
For more information, contact the Breast Health Navigator at (815) 227-2629.