Supportive Services for Patients

At Providence, our care is highly personalized to fit your individual needs. In addition to the expert care you receive from your doctors and nurses, we offer key support services to help you and your loved ones through your cancer journey as comfortably as possible.

You’ll find the following support services available at several of our cancer clinics and hospitals. Please keep in mind that support offerings vary by location.

Beauty services for cancer patients help patients look – and feel – their best during and after treatment. Our beauty centers provide safe, comfortable spaces for cancer patients to receive grooming and beauty services and products, such as haircuts, wigs, head shaving and mastectomy bras – often free of charge.

Cancer rehabilitation helps ease some of the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment so patients can stay as active and independent as possible. Services include breast cancer rehabilitation, pelvic floor rehabilitation, personal physical therapy and strength classes.

Cancer survivorship programs help connect cancer survivors with care and resources to improve their quality of life after treatment. Programs may include support groups, referrals to services such as physical therapy and counseling, and resource support from nurse navigators.

Chaplain services provide our patients and their families with spiritual guidance and counseling.

Child care services offer a safe and fun place for children to be when their guardians have a health care appointment. In some Providence facilities, professional, fully licensed childcare is available for children ages 6 weeks to 10 months old.

Clinical research trials answer specific questions about the effectiveness and safety of new ways to prevent or treat cancer. Through hundreds of open clinical trials each year, our doctors find new ways to improve treatments and quality of life for patients.

Community health center partnerships work to increase access to health care and social services for underserved populations in local communities. Partnerships include telehealth, mobile health clinics, and low-cost or no-cost care.

Counseling gives patients guidance on personal or emotional issues. These services may include personal counseling, grief support, or marriage and family counseling with licensed marriage and family therapists.

The EMBERS program serves the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of cancer patients and their loved ones in Western Montana.

Financial coordinators work to ensure that all our patients receive equitable, quality cancer care, regardless of their financial status. Financial coordinators may help with financial advocacy, insurance forms or financial concerns.

Financial counselors help patients who need assistance paying their medical bills. We welcome all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. We aim to treat every patient equally and with dignity.

Genetic counseling can help determine patients’ inherited risk for developing cancer. Patients and family members meet with a trained genetics counselor who reviews medical and family histories to determine which genetic tests they need, as well as the pros and cons.

Genetic testing is a screening used to determine the risk of getting certain hereditary diseases, including types of cancer. Screenings are usually done with a blood or saliva sample. Genetic testing is also known as genetic screening, DNA testing and chromosomal testing.

Guest housing is available for some patients who are being treated far from home. Nurse navigators can help patients arrange an affordable “home away from home” near many of our locations, so they don’t need to travel as far for care.

Home health care helps patients with the more difficult aspects of care at home. This may include physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and even managing medications.

Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. Unlike other medical care, the focus of hospice care is not to cure a disease, but to provide comfort. Our goal is to support the best quality of life possible by embracing a holistic, compassionate approach to physical, emotional, social and spiritual care. We do this in a variety of settings, including in patients’ homes, skilled nursing homes and residential care facilities.

Integrative medicine combines conventional medicine with supportive therapies. Some integrative therapies that are often used to help patients with cancer are acupuncture, lifestyle counseling, therapeutic massage and therapeutic yoga.

Language translation services are available, in person or through video, to help make sure our patients understand their health needs and care. These services are free and available for patients who don’t speak English fluently or who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Lending libraries help patients and their families find accurate and up-to-date information about cancer conditions. Patients and family members can look up health information online, check out books and articles, and find free brochures and information about their diagnosis.

Lung (pulmonary) nodule clinics bring together medical experts who review lung cancer cases as a group. The goal is to treat lung cancer patients as quickly as possible after cancer is detected.

Lymphedema services help treat lymphedema, which is swelling of the legs, arms or chest wall caused by cancer treatments. Our certified lymphedema therapists can treat patients using manual lymphatic drainage, decongestive and strengthening exercises, bandaging, joint mobilization and custom compression garments.

Massage therapy is used to improve feelings of wellness. For cancer patients, massage can help ease the pain and stress they may feel due to their condition, both during and after treatment.

Naturopathic care uses natural therapies and drugs to care for a patient’s mind, body and spirit. These treatments complement conventional medical therapies and may include nutrition, exercise, vitamin and mineral supplementation, homeopathy, massage or meditation.

Oncofertility focuses on preserving the ability of individuals who are undergoing cancer treatment to have children in the future.

Oncology nurse navigators help patients understand their diagnosis and treatment plan. The compassionate guidance of nurse navigators has been shown to improve treatment outcomes for patients. Some Providence locations have dedicated nurse navigators who specialize in specific cancer types.

Oncology nutrition is important during cancer treatment and recovery because eating well helps patients feel better, stay stronger and have more energy. Our registered dietitians specialize in cancer nutrition and work closely with patients to set and meet nutrition goals.

Oncology social workers help patients coordinate care and cope with the emotional stresses often associated with cancer. These trained counselors work at no charge with patients and their families and care partners.

Palliative care focuses on improving patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual well-being during cancer treatment. It gives special attention to relieving pain through inpatient and outpatient care.

Patient navigators help patients access cancer care and navigate the health care system. Navigators help patients make informed decisions about treatment options and care. They also help patients by assisting with travel and lodging and finding community support resources. Many of these services are provided at no charge.

Peer support is offered by trained volunteers who provide a one-on-one connection for patients and their loved ones. This is an opportunity to engage with someone who understands the cancer journey, because they’ve been there too.

Pharmacotherapy services provide patients with a clinical pharmacist who specializes in cancer care and can help them manage medication therapies. Some Providence locations have a dedicated pharmacotherapy clinic.

Screenings and prevention help detect cancer early, before it has spread. Early detection is known to lead to better outcomes for patients.

Skilled nursing is compassionate, around-the-clock care provided in a patient’s home to help them with daily activities and to provide them with comfort and support.

Support groups are led by our professional staff and are offered as a free service to any person with cancer. These groups include both new patients and cancer survivors, and they provide helpful education and community after a cancer diagnosis. Cancer support groups may be general, or they may be specialized, such as men’s groups, women’s breast cancer support groups and prostate cancer support groups.

Transplant support is available to patients who have received an organ transplant, along with their loved ones. It includes dedicated transplant physicians, help coordinating transplantation services and regional support.

Transportation assistance helps patients get safely to and from their cancer treatment appointments via patient shuttles, transportation grants and patient transportation resource guides.

Wellness classes provide virtual or in-person education on a variety of topics for patients, caregivers and friends. They may include cancer education classes, support groups, exercise classes or one-on-one patient education sessions for treatments.

Women’s health services provide individualized care for the hormonal, physical and emotional needs women have throughout their entire lives. These services can include family planning, pregnancy, labor and birth care (obstetrics), menopause care and well-woman visits.

If you’re a Providence patient and have questions about the support services available to you, check with your nurse navigator.