General Cancer Care FAQs

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  • Q: What cancer services are offered by OhioHealth?


    OhioHealth is a comprehensive cancer healthcare provider, with numerous campuses providing care throughout central Ohio, including:

    • State-of-the-art screening and detection
    • Advanced treatment options
    • Multidisciplinary collaboration among cancer experts
    • Radiation oncology services
    • Patient navigation services
    • Support services
    • Cancer genetic counseling
    • Cancer wellness program
    • Integrative medicine
    • Clinical trials
  • Q: Why should I choose OhioHealth for my cancer care?


    At OhioHealth we don’t just treat your cancer, we fight it right along with you. Our multidisciplinary approach to cancer care involves a collaboration of experts, including surgery, oncology, radiology, radiation therapy, nursing, palliative care and spiritual and emotional care. 

    Your cancer care will be based on the most up-to-date clinical research. We have access to leading-edge national research trials, as well as the newest drugs and treatment methods.

    OhioHealth exceeds the current standard of cancer care for many reasons, including our advanced technology and innovative programs. We use state-of-the-art diagnostics to precisely determine the location and extent of your cervical cancer.

    OhioHealth’s support program provides Patient Navigators so you have help every step of the way to successfully manage your care and overcome the challenges of living with cancer.

  • Q: What is a Patient Navigator and what can he or she do for me?


    Patient Navigators assist patients and their families in:

    • Communicating with healthcare professionals
    • Understanding a diagnosis
    • Understanding procedures and treatments
    • Finding helpful programs and services
    • Exercise and stress management
    • Counseling
    • Caregiver support
    • Genetic counseling
    • Clinical trials
    • Survivorship care
    • Getting information and support
    • Resources for prevention and early detection of cancer
    • Patient and family education (classes and support groups)
    • Developing skills to maintain control over their care

    To speak with a Cancer Care Nurse and get connected to cancer services and information, call CancerCall. 

    (614) 566.4321
    (800) 752.9119
    8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
    E-mail: [email protected]

  • Q: How do I get a Cancer Planner and how do I use it?


    The OhioHealth Cancer Planner is available in PDF for easy download and printing. Or, you can ask your Patient Navigator for a Planner. You’ll find it self-explanatory and easy to use, with sections where you can:

    • Record your medications
    • Take notes at your appointments
    • Get questions to ask your doctor
    • Record information about your treatments
  • Q: How do I navigate insurance issues?


    Your doctor’s office manager or administrator can also be a helpful resource. You can also call Patient Financial Services at one of the numbers below for answers to many insurance issues.

    Riverside: (614) 566.5059
    Grant: (614) 566.8689
    Doctors: (614) 544.2473
    Grady: (800) 837.2455
    Dublin: (614) 544.8330

    For information about insurance plans accepted by your doctor, please visit our physician directory and call your doctor’s office to verify insurance is accepted.

    Some helpful information about OhioHealth and insurance providers:

    • OhioHealth contracts with insurance plans on behalf of its hospitals, facilities and doctors. Use this listing to view the insurance plans for the location you are visiting.
    • All OhioHealth Neighborhood Care locations accept the same insurance plans as Riverside Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital and Dublin Methodist Hospital.
  • Q: How do I tell my family and friends?


    We rely on this helpful information from the American Cancer Society about how to talk about a new cancer diagnosis with family and friends. Their suggestions include:

    • Give some thought to how much you actually want to share about your diagnosis
    • Make a list of people you want to personally tell about your cancer in person
    • Make a second list so a family member or friend can tell others for you
    • When sharing the news with your friends and family, take notes so you can discuss their questions with your Cancer Care Team
  • Q: Where can I find support?


    At OhioHealth, we offer ongoing classes that use exercise, education and peer support to help cancer survivors improve their quality of life at any stage of treatment.

    We also offer a Cancer Support Groups which provide information, education and emotional support for cancer survivors in a warm, positive atmosphere.

    The American Cancer Society provides information on support groups available for your type of cancer and your age group, such as the Man to Man program, which helps men cope with prostate cancer. 

    Call the Columbus area American Cancer Society (below) to get this and other helpful support information, or search on The American Cancer Society website

    Information and Referral Services
    American Cancer Society Ohio Patient Service Center
    5555 Frantz Rd.
    Dublin, OH 43017
    (888) 227.6446

  • Q: Are there any support groups/classes I can join to help me cope?


    Of course. At OhioHealth, we offer ongoing classes that use exercise, education and peer support to help cancer survivors improve their quality of life at any stage of treatment.

    We also offer a Cancer Support Groups which provide information, education and emotional support for cancer survivors in a warm, positive atmosphere. 

    Another way to find support is through a local chapter of the American Cancer Society. You can search by your location for a chapter nearest you on their website. Or, simply call their toll free number and ask about support information: (800) 227.2345. 

  • Q: Are research and clinical trials available at OhioHealth?

    A: Yes. Your doctor will suggest any clinical trials for which you may be eligible. If you are enrolled in a clinical trial, an oncology research nurse provides support to you throughout your treatment. You can also visit the National Cancer Institute’s website to learn more about clinical trials and have a more informed discussion with your doctor.
  • Q: Do I need to hire someone to take care of me?


    Every patient’s reaction to treatment is different. Your reaction, health condition, living circumstances and availability of friends and family should be a good indicator for you as to whether or not you need to hire someone to help you during this time.

    The American Cancer Society provides a list of tasks (PDF) patients can use to help organize their lives and their support during their cancer experience. This list also suggests different roles people can take in helping patients in their cancer experience. It may offer help in making your decisions.

  • Q: What is chemotherapy? What do I need to know about it?


    Chemotherapy uses medicines or drugs to treat cancer throughout the body. It can kill cancer cells that have spread beyond the original tumor to other areas of the body. There are many chemo drugs that are often used in combinations.

    Chemotherapy is a highly individualized treatment your OhioHealth cancer care team approaches with a compassionate and focused multidisciplinary effort. You can read more about chemotherapy at OhioHealth on our chemotherapy treatment page. 

    For a detailed explanation of chemotherapy, you may refer to the National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society websites.

    American Cancer Society
    Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families

    National Cancer Institute
    Chemotherapy and You: Support for People with Cancer


  • Q: Will I have side effects from chemotherapy?


    Everyone has different reactions to their chemotherapy treatments; however, most do have some side effects. It all depends on the type and amount of medications you’re given and your reaction to them. Ask your medical oncologist whether or not you should expect to experience side effects and which ones.

    To read more about side effects from chemotherapy, visit the National Cancer Institute’s information on the topic.

  • Q: What is radiation therapy? What do I need to know about it?


    Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. It can also damage healthy cells and so the treatment must be carefully planned and administered to minimize the effect on surrounding healthy cells.

    At OhioHealth, we offer you the choice of four locations for radiation treatment. Using integrated, state-of-the-art computer technology and advanced medical equipment, our facilities are set up so you can receive care wherever it’s most convenient for you.

    The National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society websites offer a comprehensive overview of radiation therapy.

  • Q: Should I expect chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy?

    A: This is a question to ask your doctor. Whether chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy will be considered part of your treatment depends on your individual cancer condition. Your doctor, as well as others on your Cancer Care Team, will work closely with you to help determine treatment options best for you.
  • Q: If there are side effects of treatment, what are they?


    Side effects you’ll experience during treatment are determined by the kind of treatment you receive. For example, radiation side effects depend on the amount of radiation you receive and where in your body you receive it. Side effects from chemotherapy depend on the types of drugs involved and the dose you receive.

    Talk to your doctor and your OhioHealth Cancer Care Team about what side effects you might expect during and after treatment. They can help you understand and cope with them.

  • Q: What is palliative care and what can it do for me?


    Palliative care is comfort care that helps relieve pain and other symptoms associated with advanced illnesses. Its goal is to manage symptoms as well as address emotional and spiritual needs so patients can have a better quality of life.

    Palliative care works together with medical treatment and usually is provided by a palliative care specialist. It can help you through difficult side effects from chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments and assist you in dealing with the stresses of your cancer experience.

  • Q: What are my palliative care options?


    Palliative care services include:

    • Pain and symptom management
    • Spiritual care
    • Psychosocial issues, coping, anxiety, fear, financial
    • Advance care planning
    • Support for decision making
    • Ensuring the patient and family wishes are honored

    Ask your doctor to request a palliative care consultation for you at one of our hospitals.

  • Q: What happens if I can’t afford the treatment? Who should I talk to?


    OhioHealth does offer financial assistance to patients with limited resources and inadequate medical insurance coverage. For more information about charity care and medical financial assistance, please contact customer service at 800.837.2455 or contact a financial counselor using the phone numbers listed below:

    • Riverside Methodist Patient Financial Services at (614) 566.5059
    • Grant Patient Financial Services at (614) 566.8689
    • Doctors Hospital Patient Financial Services at (614) 544.2473
    • Grady Memorial Patient Financial Services at (800) 837.2455
    • Dublin Methodist Patient Financial Services at (614) 544.8330
  • Q: What is hospice?

    A: Hospice is a patient- and family-centered care program that addresses pain management and offers social, emotional and spiritual support. When a patient is no longer receiving curative treatment measures, hospice will focus on symptom management and enhanced quality of life to help the patient live life to the fullest with dignity.
  • Q: What do I do now that I am a cancer survivor?


    First and foremost, keep your body healthy so you may enjoy the years ahead as a cancer survivor. Exercise, eat a balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, avoid tobacco and limit the amount of alcohol you drink. 

     The American Cancer Society offers helpful nutrition information for cancer survivors.

  • Q: How can I help others in my position?

    A: Join the many cancer survivors who become involved in programs to help each other. Share your experience to help others cope with their cancer condition and fight the battle, offering your guidance and what you’ve learned from your personal experience. The American Cancer Society discussion boards are a place to start. Also, the National Cancer Institute provides many resources and information about ways you can make a difference.
  • Q: How do I approach my loved one who has cancer?


    The American Cancer Society has this to say: 

     Try to involve your loved one as much as possible in your approach to their care, so they know they are doing their part to get better and not be a burden to you. 

    Some things you can try to do to keep your loved one involved are to let them know you are available, but don't press issues. Take your cues from them. Some people are very private while others will talk more about what they are going through. Respect their need to share, or their need to remain quiet. 

    Caregivers who are realistic, but positive; careful, but creative; and focused, but flexible are sources of strength and security for cancer patients. Good communication with the person you are caring for is the most important part of your role.

  • Q: How do I manage the stress of caregiving, when added to an already full life?


    We understand that caregivers can experience stress and exhaustion in a way that’s very different from the stress of everyday life. That’s because the role can sometimes become overwhelming and isolating, resulting in feelings of selfishness or guilt from wanting relief from all that’s involved. It’s important to seek help if the weight of your caregiving responsibility becomes too heavy. Start by asking our Patient Navigators for helpful information, resources and support groups. 

     Here are some additional online resources that may help: 

     What about my needs and feelings? 

     Caring for your mind, body and spirit

  • Q: How does a caregiver fit into the cancer care team?


    The caregiver is an important part of a patient’s cancer care team. He or she helps their loved one prepare for medical visits, absorb and react to medical information and advice, communicate with physicians and clinicians and much more. 

    The National Cancer Institute offers helpful information on their web page about talking with the healthcare team.

  • Q: If we have children, how do we go about telling them about the cancer?

    A: According to the National Cancer Institute (PDF), children start to understand the world around them at a very young age. It is important to be honest with them. They need to know the truth about your loved one. Otherwise, they will think the worst. Let them know how you feel, too. For more tips on talking with kids, visit the National Cancer Institute’s website.
  • Q: What counseling is available for other family members (especially children)?


    Riverside Methodist Hospital offers KidShare, a program specifically focused on children of people with cancer. The program is designed to help children of cancer patients better understand and cope with their parent's cancer diagnosis and treatment. Funded by a grant from the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, this program helps families share feelings, concerns, worries, questions and understanding of how cancer will affect their family. KidShare also offers family-oriented special events outside the hospital setting, as well. For more information about KidShare, please contact CancerCall at 1-800-752-9119 or 614-566-3022 or [email protected]

    The local office of The American Cancer Society has its own Patient Navigator who can help you find family counseling resources and other important resources. Call (800) 227-2345. 

    Another resource:
    Kids Konnected (for children and teens who have a parent with cancer and for those who have lost a parent to cancer) Toll-free number: 1-800-899-2866 website:

  • Q: What emotional challenges does a caregiver face?


    Being a caregiver for a cancer patient is a demanding role, filled with many emotions for both the caregiver and the patient. The American Cancer Society lists some common situations that can be emotionally challenging:

    • Your spouse or partner may only feel comfortable with you as caregiver.
    • Your parent may have a hard time accepting help from you (their adult child) since she's always been used to caring for you.
    • Your adult child with cancer may not want to rely on his parents for care.
    • You may have health problems yourself, making it physically and emotionally more difficult to take care of someone else.

    While there are many more challenges facing caregivers, there are also many ways to cope with them. The American Cancer Society’s Adjusting to Being a Caregiver is a place to get tips and information.

    Also, the National Cancer Institute has a Caregiver’s Bill of Rights. It’s a helpful guide when faced with the challenges of caregiving.

  • Q: What if they are keeping information from me? How will I know and how do I go about asking?

    A: The American Cancer Society has a very insightful perspective on the challenges presented to caregivers, which OhioHealth shares.
  • Q: What is a caregiver?

    A: A caregiver is usually a spouse, partner or adult child who devotes time and assistance in the day-to-day care, support and decision-making for a loved one living with a serious health condition, such as cancer. Often helping communicate a patient’s needs to the medical team, providing feedback about symptoms, reactions or other possible issues of concern the patient experiences, a caregiver’s role is hugely important to the emotional and physical wellbeing of a cancer patient, especially as a source of strength and compassion.
  • Q: What responsibilities does a caregiver have with a cancer patient?

    A: Responsibilities for the caregiver vary, depending on the cancer patient’s condition. They can range from assisting with transportation and paperwork to feeding and bathing the patient. The American Cancer Society provides more information on their web page, What does a caregiver do?
  • Q: What support groups are available to caregivers?


    Breast Cancer Support Group
    Offers information and education for survivors and their support person
    Call Susan Bunevich, RN, Breast Health Nurse,
    (614) 566.9654 to register.
    Westerville Medical Campus: Free

    You can also contact the National Family Caregivers Association or your local chapter of the American Cancer Society for a list in your area. Be sure to find a group that fits your needs and situation. Support Groups often are set up by age groups and cancer types.

    The American Cancer Society has its own Patient Navigator who can help you find cancer care-giving resources and other important information:

    American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Office — Franklin County Area
    870 Michigan Ave.
    American Cancer Society Central Regional Office
    Columbus, OH 43215
    (800) 227.2345

  • Q: What websites and online resources do you recommend?


    As a cancer caregiver, you may have specific questions related to your essential and meaningful responsibilities. The following websites are invaluable resources when seeking caregiver information: 

     American Cancer Society

     National Cancer Institute Search Page

     National Family Caregivers Association

Patient Navigators

Guiding you through your Cancer Care Plan.

"You are a survivor from the beginning and everyone's journey is unique." - Casey Gallant, RN, OCN

Patient Navigator Casey Gallant