Total Patient Care

total patient care art therapy

After a short rendition of the Nutcracker, performed in the Yawkey lobby, the Sugar Plum Fairy lets a star struck spectator wear her crown.

At Dana-Farber, delivering compassionate care means addressing the full spectrum of needs – physical, emotional, and psychological – that our patients and families may face.

When patients come to Dana-Farber, they have access to a multidisciplinary team of doctors and caregivers.

Medical and surgical oncologists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, radiation oncologists, pathologists, nurse practitioners, social workers, and physician's assistants work closely together to evaluate and treat patients.

Guiding our ability to offer this special brand of care is the unique partnership we have developed with our patients. In a traditional picture of health care, clinicians are on one team and patients on the other.

A Constellation of Support

  • At Dana-Farber, treating cancer means delivering not just physical care, but also emotional support to patients and their families — because these facets are intertwined. We offer numerous support groups, including disease-specific offerings as well as assistance for partners and family members.
  • Pediatric families are assigned a psychosocial clinician who is available during their child's inpatient and outpatient stays. Children and families can also benefit from play therapy and school consultations.
  • Volunteers are valuable resources for patients and families, from escorting them to appointments to greeting them at reception desks.
  • Parents with cancer who are seeking guidance on how to talk about their illness with their children can find resources through our Family Connections program. For newly diagnosed adult patients, our One-to-One program can offer telephone conversations with a volunteer who has experienced a similar challenge and has wisdom to share.
  • Spirituality can be a great source of hope and meaning for those dealing with cancer, and staff in our Spiritual Care department are available any time of day to provide counseling and support.

Integrative Therapies

acupuncture at the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies

Weidong Lu, LIC. AC., practices acupuncture on Susan Keir

Research has shown that integrative therapies, when used in conjunction with traditional oncology care, can help ease cancer-related symptoms and improve quality of life. These therapies are offered to Dana-Farber patients through the Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies.

Integrative therapies, also known as complementary therapies, include acupuncture, massage, nutritional guidance, music therapy, and other modalities. They are viewed by many health care professionals as an effective complement to surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Pediatric and adult patients treated at the Zakim Center often credit integrative therapies with easing nausea, improving circulation, and reducing pain, stress, fatigue, and anxiety.

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