We know that patients treated in a caring and supportive environment respond more successfully to treatment. This is why the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute offers comprehensive services to help patients and their families deal with the impact of cancer:
American Cancer Society Patient Navigator
While Maine Medical Center's Cancer Institute Clinical Patient Navigator helps guide patients through the clinical decision-making process, we also have an American Cancer Society (ACS) Patient Navigator who is available to help patients navigate the myriad community support resources available as part of the cancer care process. This is the first oncology position of its kind in Maine.
Trained through a special ACS program, the Patient Navigator helps guide patients through the cancer care system and links them to appropriate programs and resources. Typical issues the navigator might address include:
Language or cultural barriers
Lack of financial resources
Access to support groups or classes
Links to home health, respite care, or hospice
This ACS Patient Navigator is based out of the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute in Scarborough.
For more information or to make a referral, please contact: Heather Ciccarelli, MSW, at 207.396.8335.
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Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic
Maine Medical Center's Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic is an outpatient service that gives primary care physicians and patients access to state-of-the-art risk assessment resources, particularly for familial/hereditary risk and preventive strategies. Through risk assessment, genetic counseling, and genetic testing, we help identify those at increased risk and provide guidance to help physicians care for their patients. View more information about the Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic.
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Clinical Oncology Social Work
Helping patients and families cope with the stress related to a cancer
diagnosis is one of the most important services our oncology social workers can provide. The Cancer Institute's social workers are Masters-level, trained, and licensed clinical social workers who specialize in working with people with cancer. A dedicated social worker to support the unique needs of breast cancer patients is also available. Our social workers are available to all patients receiving outpatient care and are available to patients and families throughout all phases of the cancer experience. From prevention to diagnosis, treatment to survivorship - we're here to help.
Services provided by the oncology social worker include:
Psychosocial needs assessments to assist the person with cancer and his/her family members' psychosocial and emotional needs and to plan interventions accordingly.
Counseling for patients and family members to promote optimal emotional health and coping. Counseling can address issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, and effects on family and relationships.
Teaching patients how to work with the mind/body/spirit connection. For example, teaching stress management and relaxation techniques, guided imagery, and meditation.
Support and education for parents of children or grandchildren. Support children when a parent/grandparent has cancer, connecting with community resources for children.
For more information or to make a referral, call Trisha Warren-VanHorn, LCSW, MSW, OSW-C at 207.396.8565.
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Physicians and staff from Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute sponsor free screening programs to meet pressing community health needs.
For more information about free screening programs, please call
1-877-831-2129 or visit our MaineHealth Website.
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Maintaining good nutritional status during cancer treatment is essential to
a positive outcome. Cancer treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can cause side effects that may impact a patient's ability to eat.The right nutrition plan helps patients better cope with side effects by minimizing treatment breaks and enhancing their quality of life. Since each patient is different, the Maine Medical Center Cancer Institute has dedicated a registered dietitian to work with each patient to meet their individual needs.A registered dietitian is a healthcare professional licensed by the state to offer counseling on achieving and maintaining optimal nutrition and to better withstand the rigors of cancer treatment. A registered dietitian must complete a comprehensive educational curriculum approved by the American Dietetic Association.
For more information about these services, please contact MMC Cancer Institute Clinical Oncology Dietitian, Karen Schilling, MS, RD, LD, CSO at 207.396.8524.
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MaineHealth Learning Resource Center
The MaineHealth Learning Resource Center (LRC) offers an array of community health education programs, classes, and seminars to patients and families. There are four LRC locations in the greater Portland area, as well as a location at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, ME, and each center has an extensive library of books, periodicals, videos, and DVDs on a wide variety of healthcare topics. Computers with Internet access are also available, along with hands-on orientation to research health information. In addition, professional health educators are available to assist patients with their health information needs. For more information, please call toll-free 1.866.609.5183 or visit www.mainehealth.org/LRC.
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Home and Hospice Care
When dealing with cancer, many patients prefer comfortable and familiar surroundings of their own home. The home healthcare agencies of MaineHealth (Maine Medical Center's parent organization) offer a full range of services to assist patients and their families, including skilled and supportive nursing services, rehabilitation and social work therapies, community education, parent and child health support, and hospice care.
For home health and hospice care in York, Cumberland, Oxford, Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties, please contact:
HomeHealth - Visiting Nurses of Southern Maine
15 Industrial Park Road
Saco, ME 04072
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Maine Medical Center's Cancer Institute partners with the Cancer Community Center to offer a variety of support and networking groups, lectures, workshops and social events each month to address the concerns of patients, families and caregivers dealing with specific types of cancer. Together we offer a comfortable, friendly place where all can gather to build social and emotional support as a complement to regular medical care. All events are free of charge. For more information, contact the Cancer Community Center at 207.774.2200 or visit the MaineHealth Cancer Resource Website.
For some patients undergoing cancer treatment, getting to and from appointments can pose a real hardship. The Cancer Institute's American Cancer Society (ACS) Patient Navigator can provide information about and assistance with all patient transportation needs, such as taxis, bus service, and other options.
The ACS Patient Navigator can explain such community resources as Regional Transportation Program (RTP) in the Portland area, or its equivalent in other counties; the Zoom shuttle bus; the ACS Road to Recovery service program; and the Independent Transportation Network (ITN). In addition, MaineCare patients have transportation benefits, and York County Community Action provides transportation to patients with cancer residing in York County regardless of MaineCare status.
For more information, please contact our Patient Navigator, Heather Ciccarelli, MSW, at 207.396.8335.
For patients who do not speak English, MMC offers free interpreter services. Medical interpreters are available at all times to help ensure that patients and families get all their questions answered and information is understood. For more information, call 207.662.4983.
Palliative care eases the suffering of the advanced illness, providing treatment for a patient's symptoms even when the underlying disease cannot be cured. MMC's Palliative Care team is made up of experts in care related to symptom management, the team works with physicians and primary care providers to help meet patients' needs while they are under inpatient care at MMC, or in our Outpatient Palliative Care Clinic in Scarborough. View more information about palliative care.
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