Cancer is a complex disease process that can affect you physically, mentally, socially, and financially. At The Cancer and Hematology Centers (CHC), we strive to improve your health by focusing on the whole person. It’s part of our commitment to caring for you.
What Is Behavioral Oncology?
A cancer diagnosis can bring about psychological effects such as fatigue, insomnia, depression, or anxiety. Between the diagnosis, treatments, and follow-up care, your body and mind can become stressed and need extra attention. Many patients feel overwhelmed and fear they won’t be able to get through the treatment and healing process.
Behavioral oncology aims to help patients live with their diagnosis, care for their health, and engage with their families. A behavioral oncologist supports patients in dealing with the emotional challenges caused by cancer and its treatments. This is primarily done through counseling sessions with an experienced and specialized psychologist.
What Are the Psychological Effects of Cancer?
One of the most significant psychological effects of cancer is stress, which can have a direct physical effect on a patient. People with chronic stress can experience high blood pressure, digestive problems, and a weakened immune system. This can also weaken your immune system’s ability to fight cancer.
Cancer and specific treatment methods can also lead to mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, negative self-esteem and body image, and depression. This can affect your relationships with your spouse, family, friends, and colleagues.
Our Behavioral Oncologist
Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed or are checking in with your physician for follow-up appointments, our Behavioral Oncologist can help with every step. Dr. Jeffrey Porter’s approaches are supported by scientific research and years of experience. He also works closely with your care team to help you understand your disease and treatment and successfully manage associated changes.
At CHC, we believe that the more a person understands their illness, the better they can cope and make decisions about their life. Patients typically have less anxiety and a greater sense of well-being, which leads to better outcomes.
Dr. Porter provides counseling sessions with individual patients, as well as with their spouses and family members. He puts patients and their family members in touch with resources to help them with the wide range of challenges a cancer diagnosis can bring.
When patients are diagnosed with advanced-stage cancer, Dr. Porter ensures that they accurately understand their illness and prognosis. He discusses what they can expect and connects them with a social work team to discuss advance care planning. This allows patients to conduct advance care planning, including their future medical wishes.
Compassionate Care at CHC
It is rare for a community practice to have a behavioral oncology program for its patients. But helping patients deal with cancer’s mental and emotional effects is core to our approach to compassionate care. It is one of many resources available for our patients to help them through one of the most difficult periods in their life.
Each staff member practices compassionate care. They take the time to listen to our patients’ concerns and answer their questions. We have care coordinators to serve as personal guides by answering questions. Our coordinators ensure that the experience is as seamless and comfortable as possible.
Our Survivorship program focuses on long-term care that occurs after treatment has ended. It takes a complete approach to your well-being and connects patients to resources such as our Bone Health Clinic and Women’s Health Clinic.
Have Questions? Let Us Know
Are you interested in learning more about CHC’s behavioral oncology program? Give us a call at (800) 411-7999. If you’re a current patient experiencing changes such as insomnia, depression, or anxiety, talk to your provider about our behavioral oncology services.