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Patient ringing the bell after chemo treatment is completed

Supportive care or palliative care helps patients with the associated symptoms and side effects of cancer. At Moffitt, our Supportive Care Medicine Program is focused on cancer pain management and aims to improve the overall quality of life of our patients. Read below for some frequently asked questions.

  • What is the Supportive Care Medicine Program?

    Supportive care is an important part of your cancer treatment plan. The Supportive Care Medicine Program focuses on the needs and goals of patients and their families throughout illness and during cancer treatment. The services provided range from pain management to mental health counseling.

    The program includes:

  • What is supportive care medicine (palliative care)?

    Palliative care, also known as supportive care medicine, is specialized medical care provided by an expert team for symptom management, emotional and spiritual. This care is available at any age or stage of illness, together with other treatments. It can even begin soon after learning you have cancer.

  • What kind of symptoms does the program treat? Can it help with pain management?

    Supportive Care Medicine Program treats the following symptoms:

    • Cancer pains (pains related to illness or cancer treatment)
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Decreased appetite/weight loss
    • Fatigue
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Difficulty sleeping
  • Is supportive care (palliative care) the same as hospice?

    No, you can have palliative care at the same time as you undergo treatment for your disease. Hospice is for terminally ill patients who only have months to live, typically less than six months. People who receive hospice are no longer receiving curative treatment. These patients may be seeking stage 4 pain management or emotional support.

  • What is Behavioral Medicine?

    The Supportive Care Medicine Program psychiatrists and psychologists work one–on–one with our patients to teach new tools to reduce and manage stress, cope with anxiety, depression, sleep issues and the overall emotional toll of coping with a cancer diagnosis. Our team provides medication management, therapy and counseling.

  • What is Integrative Medicine?

    Integrative medicine provides complementary therapies for stress reduction, relaxation and pain relief, such as:

  • What is AYA?

    AYA, an acronym for Adolescent & Young Adult, refers to someone diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15-39. Moffitt’s AYA Program exists to help young adult patients and their families:

    • Manage the emotional toll of their cancer
    • Receive access to cutting-edge clinical trials and state-of-the-art care
    • Discuss and understand the cancer treatment and its fertility risks and options.
    • Connect with others who are also facing cancer and coping with similar issues
  • How do I get an appointment with the Supportive Care Medicine Clinic?

    If you are a patient at Moffitt Cancer Center, please ask your oncologist for a referral to our Behavioral and Supportive Care Medicine Clinic.

Supportive Care Medicine