Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

Oncology Social Work

Adjusting to and living with a diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming and confusing for many people. Living with cancer can mean that patients have to deal with added emotional, practical, and financial stressors. 

The oncology social workers at the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center are available to help patients find their way through the new challenges that cancer presents. These caring professionals specialize in being advocates and helping patients mobilize their internal and external resources to face whatever lies ahead.

 An oncology social worker provides:

  • Psychosocial assessment and treatment
  • Collaboration with the health care team
  • Information and education
  • Supportive counseling for patients and family
  • Transitions of care planning

When to Contact an Oncology Social Worker

Patients and their family members can speak with an oncology social worker anytime throughout the cancer experience. A referral from a doctor is not needed. Social workers are part of the cancer care team and are available to help before, during, and after the course of treatment.

If any of the following topics are of concern, feel free to call us:

  • Accessing community resources for respite, home health care, medical equipment, or hospice
  • Needing information about Social Security disability, Medicaid, Medicare D, COBRA, or family medical leave
  • Considering joining a support group
  • Exploring resources available for information, support, and financial assistance
  • Feeling overwhelmed, needing support, or just wanting to talk about it with someone who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and patient
  • Finding solutions for transitions of care needs, such as skilled nursing, long-term care, assisted living, or hospice services
  • Keeping others updated about the cancer experience without becoming overwhelmed
  • Managing caregiver stress
  • Planning and preparing for the experience of cancer treatment
  • Talking about cancer to others, such as children, friends, or co-workers
  • Thinking about advance directives such as a living will, medical durable power of attorney, and out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate orders
  • Understanding workplace rights for people who have cancer 

For more information, please contact Alex Huffman, LCSW, at 214-645-2742.