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Resources and Support

Holistic Approach to Brain and Spinal Cord Cancer Care

The U-M Rogel Cancer Center Neuro-Oncology Program takes a holistic approach to brain and spinal cord tumor care. We offer extensive resources and support services to help control symptoms, manage treatment side effects, and provide educational support to answer your questions and help you understand what to expect. We’re here to assist patients and their families with any physical, mental, and spiritual health needs to maintain their quality of life.

Managing Symptoms and Side Effects

Fully integrated into each patient's multidisciplinary treatment plan may be a referral to the Rogel Cancer Center Patient & Family Support Services Program (PFSSP). The PFSSP enables patients to receive treatments to manage symptoms and side effects, such as:

Specifically, for brain and spinal cord tumors, we often treat symptoms such as headaches, seizures, symptoms caused by impairment of a specific brain or spinal cord region, and changes in mental function.

For example, a steroid called dexamethasone may be recommended to relieve symptoms or swelling caused by a brain tumor. Patients may also benefit from referral to other specialists such as hematology-oncologists, neuro-ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, or physical medicine and rehabilitation providers.

Healing Mental Health, Relationships, and Spiritual Care

The emotional aspects of dealing with a brain or spinal cord tumor can be overwhelming for patients and their families. We encourage patients and families to discuss these feelings with their neuro-oncologist or nurse, who can recommend Patient & Family Support Services Program assistance, including:

  • Complementary Therapies Program: Provides activities which offer a creative and/or physical outlet to reduce stress and anxiety. These include art therapy, guided imagery, and music therapy.
  • Community Support: In addition to support and education groups, the Rogel Cancer Center participates in programs such as the Cancer Support Community's Education resources.
  • Psych-oncology Program: Devoted to relieving the many negative social and psychological effects of the disease, the program is comprised of staff from a number of U-M departments who specialize in helping people face the emotional issues unique to cancer.
  • Spiritual Care: Anyone interested in spiritual support will find the staff of our Spiritual Care Department ready to support them.
  • Support Groups: Cancer support groups allow people with cancer, as well as those touched by it, to share feelings, experiences, tips, and advice.

Financial and Informational Resources

A cancer diagnosis plus the financial impact of that diagnosis and treatment can be a major source of stress for patients and their families. Yet cost should never be a reason a patient does not follow or complete a treatment plan.

A social worker may be able to help with issues related to disability, Social Security, insurance, medication expense, caring for patients in the home, and many others. The Rogel Cancer Center and Michigan Medicine offer educational resources on:

Ask a Question or Make an Appointment

To learn more about any of our neuro-oncology services, treatments or dedicated specialists, call the Rogel Cancer Center’s Cancer AnswerLine™ nurses at 800-865-1125 or to schedule an appointment call the Neuro-oncology Program coordinator at 734-647-8902.*

For location information, please visit the Neuro-oncology Clinic web page.

*Please note: 734-647-8906 and 800-865-1125are for non-emergencies. If you are having a medical emergency, please contact 911.

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