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Who else can offer support

Know who else you can add to your team based on your care needs

Who Else Can Offer Cancer Support?

Support may come from other health care providers, from people close to you, and even from others in the cancer community. Your needs may change during the course of your treatment journey, and you may want to add people to your care team. It’s common for hospitals and clinics to refer you to a variety of support specialists before, during, and after treatment.

Use the list below to help decide who else can help support you.

Providers who help coordinate care and understand finances

These providers may be able to help with day-to-day parts of your care, such as scheduling appointments, finding support services, and answering questions about health insurance and costs.

  • Patient navigators can help you and your family before, during, and after treatment. They can connect you to support services, schedule your doctor visits and tests, and also help guide you to successfully complete your treatment
  • Oncology social workers can give emotional support, help you understand costs, and can refer you to helpful resources for your day-to-day needs such as childcare or transportation
  • Financial navigators may be able to help you understand the costs of your care
  • Home health aides are trained professionals who may be able to help you with personal and household chores
  • Case managers can coordinate your care throughout your cancer journey, which often includes working with insurance companies. They can also connect you and your family to helpful resources

Specialists and counselors

These providers may be able to help if you have needs related to certain types of cancer diagnoses and treatment.

  • Plastic surgeons are surgeons with special training to rebuild or replace parts of the body that may have changed from cancer
  • Hematologists specialize in blood disorders, including cancers that form in the blood or blood-forming tissues
  • Urologists specialize in diseases of the urinary system, including bladder and kidney cancer. They are also trained to treat reproductive conditions in men, including prostate cancer
  • Genetic counselors may help you understand how your genes and family history may play a part in your cancer
  • Fertility specialists explain how a cancer treatment may change your ability to have children and may give advice about preserving fertility
  • Nurse practitioners have advanced degrees and special certifications so they can help diagnose and guide your care alongside a doctor. Their advanced training allows them to work in specialized areas of nursing such as oncology
  • Palliative care specialists give care to help manage the symptoms and stress caused by cancer

Mental health providers

These types of providers may be able to help you manage the emotional side of cancer and give support throughout your journey.

  • Psychiatrists are doctors who prescribe medicine and give counseling for mental and emotional issues
  • Psychologists can provide counseling and may help you and your family deal with the mental and emotional challenges of cancer
  • Social workers can refer you to support groups and other helpful resources
  • Clergy or religious advisors can offer counseling for you and your family

Professionals who can help with daily nutrition, activity, and movement

These providers may help with daily life activities your cancer or cancer treatment may affect.

  • Dietitians may be able to help create a specific meal plan based on your needs
  • Occupational therapists can create a plan to help you with your daily activities and may support you with any limitations caused by cancer
  • Physical therapists may be able to help you get back a range of motion that may have been changed by your cancer treatment

Family, friends, and community support

The support system you build at home can also help you during treatment. Ask your friends, family, and loved ones to help with daily needs or just be someone to talk to.

Finding a support group

From Harvard Health Publishing

Even if your family and friends are hugely empathetic, a cancer-specific support group may give you even more freedom to discuss your concerns.


To get connected with others who are going through or have gone through cancer, try these online resources or organizations in your community:

Cancer Hope Network

Gives 1-on-1 support for cancer patients and caregivers by matching with trained volunteers who have been through similar experiences


Speak with an oncology social worker, join a support group, view educational resources and much more


A free communications platform for sharing health news with all of your family and friends at once

Imerman Angels

Matches you with a “Mentor Angel,” a patient or caregiver who has also had the challenges of cancer, for 1-on-1 support


A vital online community of patients, caregivers, and partners that offers a safe place to support and connect with others

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