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Patient Support Services

A cancer diagnosis is a frightening time for anyone.  It can be filled with emotional distress, anxiety and many unanswered questions, as well as physical discomfort and alienation.  Family, friends and caregivers may also find that supporting a cancer patient is a challenging time and they may be seeking support services as well. 

The University of Illinois Cancer Center offers a variety of services to assist patients and their families to help navigate the challenges that are presented by a cancer diagnosis, cancer survivorship, the risk of inherited cancer and other cancer-related situations.  As well, the Cancer Center is connected to several community, cultural and faith-based organizations that enable us to make our comprehensive cancer services more accessible to the community.


ACS Patient Navigation


The ACS Patient Navigator Center is made possible through an initiative of the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and a private donor.  The ACS Patient Navigator Center is a complimentary service that enhances the comprehensive oncology support provided by healthcare providers within the Cancer Center.  The patient navigator provides cancer patients and their families with personalized coordination of resources to help remove roadblocks to treatment and to improve their quality of life.  Such roadblocks may include access to transportation, proper nutrition, information about various cancer diagnoses, understanding the multitude of financial and medical insurance questions, employment situations and professional support.  Our ACS patient navigator is Neriza Dumayas, LCSW, and she can be reached at 312-355-4596



Group Support - offered through UI Health

Survivorship Empowerment Network - This group is for survivors of all cancers, who are no longer in active treatment. Meetings are the last Wednesday of each month, from 5:30 - 7:00PM. Interested individuals can RSVP to 312-996-7695.

Cancer Support - This group is for patients current undergoing active treatment, and all cancer diagnoses are welcome.  This group runs from September through April, and meeting times will be determined closer to September.


Pain Management 

Cancer treatment and side effects are often unpleasant and sometimes come with a degree of discomfort and pain. It is our responsibility as health practitioners to provide our cancer patients with every manner of comfort and care as they withstand this journey.  Our pain specialists are trained to develop a course of action that is less interventional and most beneficial. 


Palliative and Supportive Care 

Also known as supportive care, palliative care can assist in providing services to make decisions about long-term care, treatment options and prognosis.  This may help reduce anxiety in patients and family members, as a plan of care can be established and a team of physician, nurse, social worker and, often, chaplain, are involved in continuing treatment.  In addition to providing comfort for the patient, palliative care is also an opportunity to deal with the physical and emotional changes that come with prolonged illness, and to provide an outlet to express this with the patients’ best interests at heart.


Pastoral and Visitor Services

Pastoral Care Services are available as a service to patients and their families.  They are provided on a volunteer basis to meet spiritual needs and to listen, read holy scriptures, pray and provide comfort.