Social Work in Cancer


Cancer is too hard to manage alone. We can help. Oncology social workers provide counseling and other services to empower you and your family and to reduce your stress through all phases of your cancer treatment.

The Oncology Social Work Group can help you:

  • Access information to better understand your diagnosis and treatment.
  • Cope with the many intense feelings that accompany a cancer diagnosis.
  • Consider issues related to your family, your work, and other important parts of your life.
  • Plan how to best talk with your children, other family members, work colleagues, and friends about your cancer .
  • Connect you with others who have been through similar treatments and situations.
  • Join a support group either at BIDMC or in the community.
  • Understand social security benefits, disability benefits, insurance coverage, other financial entitlements and programs.
  • Apply for programs that offer financial assistance.
We offer:
  • Individual, couples, and family counseling
  • Referrals to therapists in the community who are familiar with psychosocial issues related to cancer care
  • Support groups
  • Educational programs
  • Assistance with financial, transportation, home care, insurance, and other needs

We can teach you about:

  • Communicating with your doctors and nurses, how best to express your needs
  • Talking with your children, family, friends, and colleagues
  • Coping with your emotions-sadness, anger, worry, and fears
  • Reducing stress and using relaxation techniques
  • How cancer affects sexuality, intimacy, fertility
  • Considering clinical trials
  • Living with cancer both now and going forward
  • Planning for your future with advanced directives
  • Issues of cancer survivorship

We can help you find:

  • Transportation
  • Temporary housing
  • Home health care and hospice care
  • Medical equipment such as a cane, walker, wig, or prosthesis
  • Affordable medical insurance and prescription drug coverage
  • Financial programs and resources to help with your expenses

Support Programs