Our top priority is helping improve your quality of life throughout your cancer journey by addressing pain and other symptoms, nutritional problems, social and emotional challenges, and your overall well-being.
Among the Best in the U.S. for Cancer Care
U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center among the best in the nation for cancer care.
The Rush Approach to Cancer Supportive Care
When you have cancer, all aspects of your life get more complicated. At Rush, we are committed to providing you with the social, emotional and physical support you need to address your new — and often overwhelming — needs.
We understand that there are many different ways a cancer diagnosis, treatment and long-term effects can affect your life. We'll work with you to determine the factors that contribute to your distress — which will help us connect you to the appropriate services. Our goal is to help you improve your day-to-day life during and after cancer treatment.
Rush Excellence in Cancer Supportive Care
- Distress screening: Your cancer care team will continuously check in with you about your overall well-being. Each time you come to the Cancer Center we'll ask you about any social or emotional concerns or other challenges that may be making it difficult for you to cope with your diagnosis and/or treatment. We'll then use this information to connect you to the resources you want and need.
- Psychological support: Patients often come to us for help managing stress, worries, depression and anxiety, or difficulty coping with cancer. Our team of psychologists specialize in psychosocial oncology and provide compassionate care to guide you through these difficult times. Our on-site psychiatrist is also available to help you manage medications that may provide another layer of psychological support.
- Immediate support when you need it: We understand that when you're in distress, you may need supportive care right away. So if you need supportive care during an appointment with your cancer team, your primary cancer provider can page a member of our team to see you during your appointment. We'll address your immediate needs and then help coordinate any follow-up visits.
- Evidence-based integrative therapies: Our highly experienced Chinese medicine provider offers acupuncture to complement traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy. Many studies have found that acupuncture helps relieve pain, decrease nausea, reduce hot flashes and improve fatigue associated with cancer and cancer treatments.
- Nutritional support specifically for cancer: Our registered dietitians specialize in providing nutritional support and counseling to people undergoing cancer treatment. They will provide you with comprehensive nutrition care to help address your symptoms and side effects of treatment, such as nausea, diarrhea, swallowing difficulties and excessive weight loss. They'll review your dietary patterns and challenges to develop personalized recommendations to help you through your treatment. They also have specialized training to support patients who need feeding tubes during or after their treatment.
- Speech therapy support: Speech-language pathology services are an integral part of your care plan for certain cancers, such as head and neck cancers. Our expert speech-language pathologists specialize in managing and treating difficulties related to speech, voice and swallowing. We work with you before you begin treatment to get a baseline assessment of your speech and swallowing function, and we help you understand how these functions may be affected by treatment. During and after treatment, we provide comprehensive therapy and support to help you maintain and/or return to normal function.
- Spiritual support: A cancer diagnosis may cause you or your loved ones to question your spirituality or experience other challenges related to faith. Our on-site non-denominational chaplain offers one-on-one support to help you work through questions of faith.
- Caring for anyone affected by cancer: Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center offers a wide range of free services and supportive care for anyone affected by cancer, including patients and their loved ones. This includes support groups, a salon and spa with a wig boutique, and mindfulness, meditation and relaxation classes. Our supportive oncology team also has connections with a variety of community cancer support organizations and can help provide information about resources that best meet your needs close to where you live.