At Genesis Medical Center, we know the support of caring professionals helps cancer patients and their families find an extra measure of strength to face the challenges cancer brings.
That's why support is a vital part of our cancer care. Educational programs, information resources, counseling and a host of other services and amenities help cancer patients and their loved ones learn to adapt to the changes in their lives.
Cancer Nurse Navigators
You've been told you have cancer. You hardly have time to digest the news before it feels like you've been swept up in a whirlwind of tests, treatments, unfamiliar technology and multiple health care providers.
You fear the unknown. Your family wants answers. If you had a personalized map to guide you through the cancer treatment maze, you would buy it.
Instead, the Genesis Cancer Care Institute has something better: three nurse navigators, Wendy Ballou, Melissa Frantz and Amy Fitzgibbon, who can be a compassionate compass and provide directions to patients during their cancer journey.
When people learn they have cancer, they are scared and anxious. They are listening but not really hearing what is being said. It is very easy for them to get confused or misinterpret what they have been told by their physicians. Their questions usually come after the appointment is over and they are at home pondering the uncertain future they face.
If patients have questions after they talk to their physicians, they can now call a nurse navigator who can reiterate what the physicians have said and instruct them again. They are that one-on-one contact person, resource and guide. They can educate and communicate so that patients and families understand their treatment options or what their treatments, tests or procedures mean.
Cancer nurse navigators can be particularly helpful because cancer treatment usually requires an entire interdisciplinary team.
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Social Services (Counseling Services)
The diagnosis and treatment of cancer causes major life changes. These changes are never easy, but support from family and friends, as well as your health care team, helps to relieve both emotional and physical stress.
Genesis Medical Social Services is an intricate member of this health care team offering assistance in the following ways:
- Social Workers on staff are available to speak with you and your family throughout your treatment process;
- Offering emotional support and assistance in coping with treatment;
- Guiding you to available cancer support and education groups;
- Helping you understand and talk with your numerous doctors, nurses and health care providers;
- Assisting with insurance and other financial issues
Please call Ruth Laabs-Wilcox, Oncology Social Worker, at 563-421-1082 or toll free 800-446-6088 for more information.
The Genesis Cancer Care Institute offers a variety of programs and services that are complementary in nature and may be used in conjunction with your medical treatment plan.
Meditation, T'ai Chi and Gentle Yoga are offered at Genesis Medical Center in conjunction with the Satva Center. Meditation is an ancient practice that brings inner peace. It quiets the mind by using the breath and directing our awareness inside.
T'ai Chi is a Chinese ancient system of rounded, fluid movements that enhance joining mobility, body flexibility, balance and circulation. It also strengthens the body and centers the mind as a meditation in motion.
Gentle Yoga is a series of body postures held in silence combined with breathing techniques that relax, stretch and add strength and flexibility to the body while calming the mind.
Reiki, the name used to describe universal energy flow from one person to another, speeds the body's own ability to rejuvenate and in some cases, regenerate healthy cells, by increasing and enhancing the positive energy flow through a person's energy body. For more information contact 563-421-1935 or visit the Foundations of Light Web site.
Wigs and Other Head Coverings
The Genesis Cancer Care Institute in partnership with the American Cancer Society accept donations of wigs and other head coverings that are new or gently used. Wigs are on display in the Resource Center and are available for women at no cost. All donated head coverings/scarves are displayed throughout the Cancer Center and are available on a first come, first served basis. We are very grateful for the many generous donations that we receive. For information about this service call 563-421-1907.
Music for Care and Healing
The healing effects of music are available throughout our Cancer Program. The Inpatient Oncology Unit has a large selection of tapes and CD's with players to use in patient rooms.
Hospice care emphasizes the quality, not the quantity of life remaining by focusing on the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual comfort needs of both the individual and his or her family. The goal of Hospice is to help the individual make the most of each hour of each day of remaining life. In-home hospice services are provided in both Iowa and Illinois. For more information on Hospice care, contact Hospice Care of VNA at 563-421-5400 or visit the National Hospice Organization.
Nutritional Support Services
Proper nutrition is essential for all cancer patients to help fight fatigue, minimize weight loss and gain, and improve treatment outcomes. It is estimated that 40-80% of cancer patients develop some degree of malnutrition during their illness. Malnutrition can lead to weight loss, increased complications during treatment, and delayed healing. As you go through treatments your nutritional needs change, and it is crucial for you to keep up with those changes.
There is currently so much information out there on food and nutrition. But what do you believe? Who can you trust? A registered dietitian is an expert in food and nutrition, and is available to assist you in making individualized nutrition-related decisions. The dietitian can assess your nutritional risks and needs and help reduce treatment side effects such as: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, sore mouth, difficulty swallowing, and loss of appetite.
Nutrition is just as important after treatments as it was during treatment. Nutrition plays a key role in helping to prevent cancer recurrence. In fact it is estimated that only 10% of cancers are due to genetics. The remaining 90% are due to lifestyle factors such as nutrition and physical activity. Dietary choices and physical activity are second only to tobacco use in determining cancer risk.
Eating right before, during, and after treatment is essential to helping you feel better and stay stronger! To set up a consultation with a dietitian call 1-800-446-6088 or 563-421-1953.
RECIPES for use during and after cancer treatments.
Physical Rehabilitation Services for Oncology Patients
As part of the Genesis Cancer Care Institute, Genesis Rehabilitation Services are committed to improving potential for survivorship and quality of life. The nurse, using a questionnaire about the patient's functional skills and home situation, will interview all patients at the Cancer Care Institute. This questionnaire will determine potential problem areas and trigger a referral from your physician for therapy as needed.
The purpose of cancer rehabilitation is to assist patients in resolving problems related to their disease and treatment in order to achieve the highest possible level of function. Multiple rehabilitation needs can now be addressed at one location. These services are available throughout all phases of your care.
- Recent arm/leg weakness
- Recent fall/balance problems
- Swelling of leg or arm (lymphedema)
- Unsteadiness or difficulty walking
- Problems swallowing
- Speech and thinking/memory changes
- Decreased endurance when performing daily activities
- Determine patient concerns through review of history and listening to patient
- Identify functional problems through tests and measures
- Select appropriate therapy treatments(s)
- Patient and therapist will work together to set achievable goals to improve function
- Make additional referrals to other services as needed
- Provide a comprehensive rehabilitation program that addresses patient concerns
- Provide an individualized home exercise program
- Provide family education to assist patient as needed
- Provide recommendations for environmental and home changes/equipment which will contribute to improved function
- Provide follow-up and referral resources within the community
What to Expect:
- Muscle strengthening
- Lymphedema management
- Pain management
- Gait and transfer training
- Skin and wound care
- Balance and coordination
- Lifting/Moving assessment
- Posture and positioning
- Self cares (bathing, dressing, grooming)
- Lymphedema management
- Upper extremity strengthening and coordination
- Energy conservation
- Manual therapy including massage to reduce pain and promote tissue health and circulation
- Assessment and treatment of changes in speech or thinking/memory skills
- Communication assistance
- Swallowing assessment and treatment
For more information about our program, please contact us at 563-421-1430 or 1-800-446-6088.
Spiritual Care Support
Staff chaplains of the Genesis Spiritual Care Department are available to personally minister to patients, families and friends. Hospital chaplains are trained and experienced in the health care field, and serve persons of all denominations and faiths. Chaplains are available to listen, helping you deal with fears, frustrations, questions and tough decisions. They can help by praying with you or responding to sacramental needs appropriate to your faith. They can be present with you in a crisis and can be of assistance in completing Advanced Directives. Chaplains visit the Cancer Care Institute to talk with patients and family members. The Spiritual Care Department is open during the week and at other times by a contact through your nurse. Call 563-421-7974.
Information and Resources
Oftentimes seeking information about a cancer diagnosis or treatments or symptom management is the first part of the initial stages of the cancer journey. Genesis offers a variety of services to provide you and your family with the information that you need.
- The Cancer Resource Center is a library of information on a multitude of topics, whether you are looking for recipes and nutrition information, facts about a particular kind of cancer or stories of others who have gone before, you can find it in the Cancer Resource Center. Open from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, there are books, brochures, newsletters, journals, and Internet resources available for use and circulation.
Smoking Cessation Support/Tobacco Free Living
Genesis Cancer Program and Genesis Pulmonary Services are committed to helping members of the community learn to develop healthy tobacco-free lifestyles. Smoking cessation programs are available on an individual or group basis for both adults and teens. Adult cessation sessions are offered in our Pulmonary Rehabilitation Gym, West Campus. Also available are programs that we can bring to your workplace for groups who want to quit smoking.
For information about our tobacco cessation programs, please contact Chris Pekios at 563-421-1769 for information.
For additional information on tobacco in the Quad City area, go to TobaccoFree QC's Web site. Genesis is an active member of this Quad City-wide coalition and shares the mission of the elimination of tobacco use in our society.