Should you find you need additional resources, see an array of other services available at Medical City Hospital and other local and national providers.
Cancer genetic testing looks for the presence of an inherited gene mutation or alteration that increases the risk of developing cancer. Results from genetic testing are most effective when shared with both physicians and family members. Sharing genetic information with physicians helps to insure appropriate management. Positive test results confirm high-risk status and give family members the opportunity to be proactive in reducing cancer risk.
Sheryl Walker of Clinical Cancer Genetics at Medical City Dallas Hospital, provides genetic counseling and testing for hereditary cancer families. This testing can help high-risk individuals and families before cancer occurs.
For more information on clinical cancer genetic testing, click HERE or contact the Clinical Cancer Genetics center at Medical City Hospital.
Clinical Cancer Genetics
7777 Forest Lane
Building A, Suite 204
Dallas, TX 75230
Cancer survivorship is a monumental and joyous time. That joy is oftentimes coupled with uncertainty stemming from the emotional and physical results of cancer treatment. Many survivors find comfort in discussing these topics with other survivors. If you are interested in a survivorship group, please consider the groups below.
This nonprofit provides special support groups for survivors in treatment, with metastatic disease and after treatment. There are three locations in the Dallas metroplex and many locations nationally that you can connect with to talk to your peers who are also experiencing cancer in a warm, helpful enviroment.
The national organization of Cancer Support Community provides an online support program called The Living Room where you can join others going through a similar experience.
Local Cancer Support Community website: www.CancerSupportTexas.org
National Cancer Support Communtiy website: www.CancerSupportCommunity.org
Toll free helpline: 888-793-9355
Cancer treatment is complex and often difficult to navigate. Patient advocacy groups help direct patients, their families and caregivers through the cancer journey. Their focus is to establish understanding of the journey while ensuring patients receive proper care, education and financial assistance needed. Please see the links below for more information on advocacy groups,
- Research Advocacy Group
- The Advocacy Connector
- Cancer.net – Being a Cancer Advocate
- Lazarex Cancer Foundation - This nonprofit strives to help you navigate participating in a clinical trial from location of a trial to financial assistance with a clinical trial.
The Medical City Cancer Resource Center, which is staffed with highly trained specialists, is dedicated to providing essential information, emotional support and education to each person touched by cancer Click to Read More
For more information, please call 972-566-5444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Medical City Cancer Resource Center is located at Medical City in the Building A atrium.
It is open Mon - Fri: 9:00am - 4:00pm.
Advanced Directives and a Medical Power of Attorney are legal documents that all individuals should complete. The documents are similar but distinct from one another:
- A Medical Power of Attorney allows a patient to select trusted family member(s) or friend(s) to make critical medical decisions on their behalf if/when they become unable to communicate.
- Advanced Directives are written statement(s) of a patient’s instructions regarding the type of medical treatment to be carried out if/when they cannot communicate their wishes to a physician.
It is important to complete both of these documents. In addition, it is vital that a patient’s designated decision maker(s) and physicians are familiar with their health care preferences.
Each state offers its own version of Advanced Directives and Medical Power of Attorney; therefore, it is advisable to obtain them from the patient’s state of residency. Both documents are available at no cost from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, www.caringinfo.org or 1-800-658-8898. Social Workers and Chaplains affiliated with hospitals, home health care companies and hospice groups will typically assist in the completion of these important documents. Additionally, the Social Worker on staff at Mary Crowley Cancer Research is available to assist patients and their families.
Patients sometimes inquire about Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Complementary therapy refers to methods that are used in addition to traditional therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation to improve well-being and alleviate symptoms; complementary methods DO NOT claim to “cure” disease. Examples include:
- Chiropractic Evaluation
- Music Therapy
- Nutrition Counseling
Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are implemented in place of traditional therapies. These methods are promoted as “cures” but are not scientifically proven to be effective. As alternative treatments are generally not administered under FDA regulation and without the oversight of Scientific Review and Internal Review Boards, they may actually produce harmful side-effects.
Innovative clinical trials implemented with the strict requirements of the FDA are the core of what we do at Mary Crowley, and as such, we do not offer complementary or alternative treatments.
Before using any type of Complementary or Alternative Medicine, you are encouraged to discuss these methods with your primary physician and Mary Crowley Physician Investigator. Please contact our Social Worker if you would like additional information.
Choosing the best type of service can be confusing when you or a loved one faces cancer. Many healthcare experts can help with this decision when your cancer journey requires special care.
Homecare services are performed by a nurse who comes to your home to assist with medical needs (i.e., dressing changes) that require the assistance of a trained medical professional. Homecare can include equipment, physical therapy or social services to help with special needs. A homecare aide might also assist with bathing on a limited basis. Patients at any stage of illness can be eligible for homecare services. The patient’s healthcare team will help determine when homecare is appropriate and will help place an order. Typically insurance will cover most of the costs related to this type of service.
Hospice is a wonderful service that begins when active cancer treatment has stopped and the cancer patient needs help managing pain and making the most of each day. Generally patients who are considered to be terminal or within six months of death are eligible for hospice services. Hospice can deliver medications directly to the patient’s home at no additional cost and help with equipment needs. Hospice can also provide an aide to help with bathing when necessary. Most patients having a cancer diagnosis are typically covered by the insurance company at no cost to the patient. Many wonderful professionals are available to help during this time including nurses, chaplains, aides and social workers.
Caregivers play a critical role in the overall success of a cancer patient’s journey. Many cancer survivors attribute their continued good health to the assistance of capable and caring helpers, usually family members or close friends. Some of the important roles of caregivers include:
Many cancer survivors enter treatment fully able to manage their own medications. Sometimes, however, the treatment can have an effect on their memory and ability to successfully take their medications. It is common for cancer patients to juggle multiple medications with complicated dosage schedules and requirements. Even under the best circumstances a large number of medications can be difficult to manage, so an additional person to watch and assist can make all the difference with successful medication management.
Communicating with the Health Care Team
Cancer patients who participate in clinical trials undergo many types of diagnostic tests (i.e., scans, eye exams, etc.) in order to monitor any side effects. Patients have multiple appointments and conversations with various types of health care professionals who each have their own language. It is essential that survivors and their caregivers understand the recommended treatment regimen and requirements so they can implement them properly at home. Likewise, it is important for the healthcare team to understand even small changes in the health status of the patient. Therefore, it is especially helpful to have a second person attending each appointment to ask pertinent questions, clarify and remember physician comments and communicate the patients’ needs. Input from a caregiver who understands the particular needs of the survivor leads to the best possible outcome. Keeping a diary of symptoms and a log of each appointment is an excellent tool, both for the survivor and the health care team.
Caring for the Cancer Survivor
It goes without saying that the most difficult challenge for the caregiver is the actual 24 hour care for the cancer survivor. The caregiver becomes the person who encourages the cancer survivor when the journey becomes too difficult for them to navigate alone. Help with meals, bathing, and pain management becomes critical. Caregivers must allow the healthcare team to support them as well as the patient. Do not hesitate to let the Mary Crowley team know when these functions are too challenging to perform alone. Remember there are others who can help!
Caring for Yourself
The people closest to the survivor must learn to manage the stress of caregiving by never forgetting to take care of themselves. This may mean small breaks from the everyday chores of caregiving. It may mean taking a moment to reflect on spiritual or inspirational readings that will provide refreshment in the midst of the journey. Allowing friends and family to take part in the joy of performing chores is also important. These breaks will boost mental and physical health and allow family members to deal with the stresses of caregiving.
Other Resources for Caregivers: