Supportive Care

Whether you need information about preventing certain types of cancer or you’re looking for expert guidance, resources and compassionate care when you receive a diagnosis, you can rely on the Supportive Care program at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City.

Supportive Care Services Close to Home

Take advantage of the highly trained healthcare professionals at Stephenson Cancer Center who work together in an interdisciplinary team to help you minimize symptoms, manage pain and prevent secondary health issues created by cancer. You benefit from comprehensive Supportive Care services such as:

  • Advance care planning – Information and conversations to help you and your family understand and document your immediate and future care decisions
  • American Indian navigation services – Culturally sensitive bridge to providers, services, referrals, authorizations and appointments
  • Cancer education workshops – What to expect during chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Cancer genetics – Comprehensive evaluation, testing and counseling for inherited risk of certain cancers
  • Cancer navigation services – Coordination of care throughout your cancer journey from diagnosis through survivorship
  • Cancer rehabilitation – Ways to recover function after cancer treatments through physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Cancer support groups – Options for sharing your journey, even while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Guidance for managing cancer symptoms, pain and distressLearn to care for yourself and your loved ones during times of stress and uncertainty
  • Oncology nutrition – Healthy eating information to ensure you get proper nutrition that supports your body throughout cancer treatment
  • Oncology social work services – Assistance to keep the rest of your life on track with resources for emotional, financial, logistical or other unexpected issues
  • Palliative and comfort care – Help with identifying goals of care and managing cancer-related symptoms
  • Psycho-oncology – Counseling services as you navigate a cancer diagnosis and treatment
  • Tobacco cessation – Cancer prevention information and free help to quit

Compassionate Care for Common Symptoms

At Stephenson Cancer Center, you’ll find compassionate care and support to help you and your loved ones cope with the diagnosis and, especially, when experiencing common symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety, depression, panic, worry
  • Balance issues, especially loss of balance
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Cognitive problems – Attention, memory, or thinking
  • Constipation, diarrhea
  • Difficulty staying or falling asleep
  • Gait disturbance – Changes in the way you walk
  • Lack of energy; fatigue
  • Lymphedema – Swelling in hands, arms, legs, feet
  • Nausea
  • Numbness or tingling, especially in the feet
  • Pain anywhere in your body or pain
  • Trouble breathing

Cancer Genetics

Because your family’s health history plays a large role in the development of certain cancers, you may benefit from discussing your situation with experts in the Cancer Genetics program at Stephenson Cancer Center. Screening for high-risk cancers helps identify these conditions in the early stages when they’re much more treatable.

If you qualify for the Cancer Genetics program, you’ll work with highly trained genetic counselors who review your family’s history, assess your risk for specific types of cancer and help you and your family understand the diagnosis, treatment and management of a genetic disorder. In addition, you and your family get the comprehensive information and support you need to evaluate the emotional, psychological and medical implications of proceeding with any testing.

Should I Consider Genetic Testing?

Genetic testing is not right for everyone. An initial visit helps you and your family understand your best options and make an informed decision on next steps. You may qualify for genetic services if you or a close family member has had cancer:

  • Under the age of 50
  • In multiple family members

Oncology Nutrition

To ensure your cancer treatments remain as effective as possible, you need the nutrients from healthy eating that help fight disease, rebuild tissue and boost your immune system.

When you choose OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center for your care, you gain access to expert oncology nutrition services – at no cost to you – through our Supportive Care program. You and your cancer care team work closely with registered dietitians (RD), licensed by the Oklahoma State Medical Board, who answer your questions about diet, eating and related concerns and help create a personalized plan that ensures you get the proper nutrients throughout your treatment.

Get the medical nutrition assistance you need to help manage:

  • Changes in your appetite or food tastes
  • Unexpected weight changes or weight loss
  • Difficulty with chewing and swallowing
  • Side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea
  • Tube feeding and intravenous (IV) nutrition
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
  • Wound healing after surgery

Ask your cancer care team for a referral or contact OU Health’s Shirley Bowman Nutrition Services to talk with us during your next appointment at Stephenson Cancer Center. Call (405) 271-2665.

Oncology Palliative Care

At any stage of your journey, you or your loved ones may need relief from symptoms or an extra layer of support for living with cancer. When you and your cancer care team work with the Palliative Care team at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, you receive the help you need from specially trained doctors, nurses, advanced practice providers and pharmacists to improve quality of life through a variety of methods including:

  • Medications
  • Alternative and complementary therapies
  • Referrals to other Supportive Care services
  • Communication between care teams

Ask your cancer care team for a referral to Supportive Care or visit us on the 2nd floor of Stephenson Cancer Center to schedule an appointment for help with:

  • Cancer pain
  • Caregiver burden
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Dyspnea – Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia – Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea
  • Neuropathy – Numbness or tingling
  • Stress, anxiety, depression

Learn more about pain management services at OU Health.

Cancer Rehabilitation

As you participate in cancer treatment, you may experience many challenges and changes in your lifestyle. Whether you’re a recently diagnosed cancer survivor, one who’s 20+ years beyond treatment or anywhere in between, you can benefit from cancer rehabilitation services through Supportive Care at Stephenson Cancer Center.

You’ll work with oncology-trained physical therapists who can help reduce side effects of cancer and its treatment, set up an exercise program or prospective surveillance (watchful waiting), or assist with pre-rehabilitation measures to better prepare you for treatment. Get a wide range of rehabilitation support for common symptoms such as:

  • Balance disorders and falls
  • Cancer-related pain, weakness and fatigue
  • Gait dysfunction – Changes in the way you walk
  • Incontinence
  • Lymphedema – Swelling in hands, arms, legs, feet
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Peripheral neuropathy – Nerve-related issues, including numbness or tingling in fingers or toes

You benefit from collaborating with Stephenson Cancer Center rehabilitation team experts, many with advanced certifications in lymphedema therapy, who use the latest findings about cancer rehabilitation to help you recover from post-treatment symptoms.

Oncology Social Work

To better manage the stresses involved in cancer diagnosis, care and treatment, you and your caregivers can benefit from confidential consultations with oncology social workers at Stephenson Cancer Center.

Whether you need help with finances, family matters, disability services or unexpected issues that may arise, you can take advantage of the knowledgeable and compassionate oncology social workers at OU Health who can assist you with:

  • Advance directives
  • Coping with stress and anxiety
  • Financial aid information
  • Insurance questions
  • Lodging options for yourself or your loved ones during treatment away from home
  • Sexual health and fertility concerns
  • Support groups for you and your caregivers
  • Transportation and lodging assistance

Your Expert Supportive Care Team

Throughout your journey at Stephenson Cancer Center, you can depend on your Supportive Care team to walk with you every step of the way. You’ll work with experts from many healthcare disciplines, including palliative care providers, psychologists, psychiatrists, genetic counselors, clinical social workers, case managers, oncology dietitians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, American Indian navigators and tobacco cessation counselors, as well as other helpful clinicians and support staff.

Request an Appointment

Ask your doctor or care team for a referral to services from Supportive Care at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City.

Call (405) 271-4385.
man and girl painting a wall
Explore Supportive Care services for your cancer journey Learn More
Find out how you may qualify to enroll in a cancer clinical trial Learn More
Find out you’re at risk for diabetes Learn More
See what our commitment to ending diabetes in this century means for you Learn More