Maimonides—supporting you and your family
Cancer is stressful for patients and loved ones. Our goal is to support you and your family, every step of the way, by providing a variety of cancer services and programs. At Maimonides, our team of expert cancer specialists works collectively to develop the most effective treatment plan for each patient. From diagnosis, to treatment, to recovery—we’re committed to providing exceptional cancer care, close to home.
On-site cancer resource center
Our on-site cancer resource center provides information to promote cancer awareness and prevention. Here, you can gain valuable information about relevant issues, including treatment options, side effects, clinical trials, and new developments.
Information and Services
This free service is offered to cancer patients and meets weekly at the cancer center. An attorney from New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is available for those with a cancer diagnosis to provide legal counseling and advocacy for patients confronting everything from denial of insurance coverage and employment discrimination to wills, debtor issues, immigration, trust and estates, custody/guardianship, and durable powers of attorney. If you are unable to travel, phone consultations may be arranged.
Modern Image Post-Mastectomy Boutique
Once per week, a consultant from the Post-Mastectomy Boutique assists with post-mastectomy bras, prosthesis, wigs, and other related products covered by most insurance companies.
Our free monthly support groups focus on living with cancer and the changes created by the disease and its treatment. Participants discuss with others facing similar challenges their concerns, issues, and individual roles in the cancer treatment process.
- Asian Support Group – This monthly support group is for Chinese-speaking patients. Please call (718) 765-2500 for details
- Colorectal Support Group – This monthly support group is for patients with colorectal cancer. Please call (718) 765-2500 for details
- Coping Together Support Group – This monthly support group is for individuals with cancer and their families and friends. Please call (718) 765-2500 for details
- Prostate Cancer Support Group – This monthly support group is for men with prostate cancer. Please call (718) 765-2500 for more information
Look Good Feel Better Program
A volunteer cosmetologist teaches patients how to improve their confidence using make-up techniques. The volunteer uses complimentary products donated by a co-sponsored cosmetic brand. We also help patients address hair loss issues.
What do social workers do?
Oncology social workers can help inform, counsel, and empower patients and families through all phases of the cancer journey. This includes individual counseling and support groups to help patients from diagnosis, ongoing illness, and treatment to end-of-life issues.
How can a social worker help me?
Social workers can help with a variety of practical issues such as:
- Accessing affordable medical care
- Connecting to legal services for the on-site attorney (NYLAG)
- Finding post-mastectomy bras and prostheses
- Getting wigs
- Helping with applications to programs offering financial and practical assistance
- Obtaining lymphedema supplies
- Obtaining medical supplies and equipment
- Referrals for home healthcare and hospice care
- Understanding and obtaining social security benefits, disability benefits, and insurance coverage
Can social workers provide educational and emotional support?
Social workers can help with education and emotional support by providing counseling for patients and family members on issues such as:
- Clinical trials
- Complementary (also called alternative or integrative) medicine
- Coping with emotions
- Effective communication with treatment team members
- Information on how to access community resources
- Living as a cancer survivor
- Long term planning with the use of advanced directives
- On-site support groups and educational programs
- Reducing stress and using relaxation skills
- Talking with children, family, friends, or co-workers
- The impact of cancer on sex, intimacy, fertility, and feeling good about one’s body
About genetic counseling at Maimonides
The Maimonides Cancer Center established a genetic counseling program to provide Brooklyn’s diverse population with an added measure of prevention. Individuals identified as high-risk for developing cancer can adopt tailored medical management plans to detect cancers at early stages or prevent their occurrence entirely. The genetics program works toward this goal through clinical research and by providing counseling, testing, and information.
What is genetic counseling?
Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to genetic contributions to cancer that might affect you and your family. There are types of cancer that are genetically passed down from parent to child. Genetic counseling evaluates the patient’s family health history and risks and provides tailored direction for screening, prevention, and treatment options.
What are the benefits of genetic counseling for someone already diagnosed with cancer?
Cancer patients and survivors who have a hereditary susceptibility to developing cancer are more likely to develop a second cancer, and therefore this information can influence treatment decisions. Genetic counseling can also provide information about cancer risks and screening recommendations for family members.
If I know that I am at an increased risk for cancer, what can I do?
Every person should undergo regular cancer screening, but for individuals with a higher risk of developing cancer, it is of particular importance. These individuals should discuss their medical management plan with their physician or with a specialist.
Mental health and wellness
Stress and anxiety from a cancer diagnosis can impact patients and their loved ones throughout their cancer journey. These emotions can even impact someone post-treatment as they enter survivorship. Studies show that mental health support can lead to improvements in mood, as well as coping, energy levels, and pain. Maimonides Cancer Center provides patients and their families with comprehensive and compassionate care during this difficult time.
Patients may be referred for evaluation by a psychiatrist experienced in treating the psychological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral problems commonly experienced during cancer.
Cancer and its treatment can have detrimental effects on a patient’s nutritional status. That’s why nutrition is an integral part of comprehensive and personal cancer care. The Maimonides Cancer Center nutrition program works toward the goal of providing early nutrition intervention and identifying problems that affect the success of anticancer therapy. Early nutritional guidance may help patients gain or maintain weight, maintain energy and strength, lessen side effects, improve the response to therapy, and reduce complications of treatment.
Nutrition counseling can provide oncology patients with information to:
- Aid in post-treatment recovery
- Aid in weight control
- Clarify confusing health claims
- Maintain strength and energy
- Manage the interactions between certain foods and certain drugs
- Prevent or treat malnutrition which can cause weakness, and decrease resistance to infections
- Promote food safety for patients with decreased immunity
- Reduce the side effects of treatment which can interfere with eating
Our Palliative Care team works closely with Maimonides Cancer Center’s support services team of social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and registered dieticians. We collaborate proactively with your primary cancer care team to manage symptoms that can be associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Our goal is to maximize our patients’ quality of life, from diagnosis through treatment and afterward.
Nutrition tips for cancer patients and survivors
Prevention and screening programs
Each year, the Maimonides Cancer Committee offers cancer screening programs for various types of cancer. These programs are designed to find cancer in its early stages in people who are at high risk for the disease, based on genetics, family history, and/or the environment.