St. Vincent’s Survivorship Cancer Programs
At St. Vincent’s Elizabeth M. Pfriem SWIM Center for Cancer Care you are considered a survivor the moment you are diagnosed and beyond when treatment ends. Our Survivorship Cancer Program is designed so you, your loved ones and family members can optimize health and achieve well-being by engaging in a wide-range of therapies, support groups, and classes.
Cancer survivors face long-term challenges as a result of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Our programs help you to reduce the stress and side effects of your cancer treatment, strengthen your immune system, while encouraging you to discover new ways to cope with your overall cancer experience.
Strengthening Mind, Body and Spirit
Our programs strengthen mind, body, and spirit. They include:
- Nutrition: Good nutrition during and after your cancer treatment is vital to survivorship. At the Cancer Center we assess your nutritional state throughout your cancer care. Our registered dieticians help you and your loved ones to improve nutritional status, manage side effects, and maintain your weight and strength. Nutritional counseling and education is available through our one-on-one sessions or at our many cancer-prevention healthy eating/cooking classes. Several of our programs are designed especially for family members, and include support groups, nutrition counseling, and cancer-prevention cooking classes.
- Yoga: Yoga is a mind-body practice that guides you or your loved ones through a series of breathing exercises, stretching, positions and simple movements. The practice of yoga allows boosts and strengthens your immune system. Whatever stage you are at in your cancer journey, we offer a yoga class to match your fitness level, including chair yoga, gentle yoga, restorative yoga and mat yoga.
- Qigong (Chee-gong): This Chinese dynamic meditation, dating back more than five-thousand years old, combines slow graceful movements with mental concentration.
- Aquatics Therapy: Being physically active goes a long way in helping you cope with cancer-related fatigue and perform the activities of daily living. Our weekly aquatics class is very popular with our cancer patients and is based on the premise that exercising in water not only increases your cardiovascular health but greatly helps with healing, too.
- Education: At St. Vincent’s, we hold educational lectures and programs year-round that are open to the public. Recent topics included a survivorship symposium on genetics and a hereditary risk discussion that focused on the importance of knowing family medical history. Our Men’s Health program focuses on PSA testing, testosterone, erectile dysfunction and exercise.
- Exercise: Side effects from cancer treatment can influence your body in different ways, and exercise is one of the best ways to maintain your energy, strength and mobility. After consulting with your doctor, you can be evaluated by our STAR (Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation) certified therapist who will design a personalized exercise program to fit your specific needs.
- Music Therapy: If you are an inpatient with us receiving cancer treatment, we offer relaxing music therapy to create a calming environment, encourage self-expression and reduce stress. Music therapy has proven to be very effective at creating a healing environment, both for you and your family.
- Massage Therapy: To increase your relaxation, decrease your anxiety and help you cope with what you’re going through, we offer relaxing, beneficial massage therapy. Each session is custom-tailored to you and your maximum comfort. Massage treatments are offered in a variety of settings, including our Cancer Center Spa, our Ambulatory Infusion Center where you receive your treatments, and on the inpatient oncology unit.
- Acupuncture: A key component of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has been practiced for more than 2,500 years to promote the body’s natural healing abilities. It improves the immune system, aids the body’s recuperation from treatment, surgery or injury, and supports physical and emotional health. Using hair-thin needles applied beneath the skin at specific points, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment that helps with side effects of cancer, chronic pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, hot flashes and fatigue. We offer this service in our quiet and relaxing Cancer Center spa.
- Support Groups: To help you and your family cope with the many issues surrounding your cancer treatment, we offer a number of support groups, including: Breast Cancer, Men's Health, Newly Diagnosed and Look Good, Feel Better. Facilitated by members of our oncology team, all groups provide a safe, compassionate place where feelings and concerns can be shared in a caring and supportive environment.
Click here for an events calendar. For more information about any of our Survivorship Programs, please call (203) 576-6158.