Help for cancer patients and their loved ones

For cancer patients, their family and friends, and for those hoping to reduce their risk of cancer, the University of Pennsylvania Health System offers support and encouragement through workshops and educational programs.

The University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center runs eight patient education and support groups that help patients, families and friends cope with all stages of the disease, from discovery through treatment, and with the grief that accompanies losing a loved one to cancer. And Penn employees can participate in the Health System's Quit Smoking Program at a reduced rate.

Cancer education and support

  • The Cancer Center offers a general support group on "Coping with Chronic Medical Illness" that meets every Wednesday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Psychiatry Ambulatory Care Unit, 36th and Market streets. To register for this group, or for more information, contact Christine Simms, R.N., M.S.N., C.S. at 573-9563.

    The Cancer Center also offers general and specialty support groups for cancer patients, their families and friends:

  • CANCER SUPPORT GROUP: Open to all cancer patients, along with their families and friends. Meets every other Monday at 10 a.m. at Presbyterian Medical Center, 39th and Market streets.
  • YOUNG ADULTS WITH CANCER: Meets first Wednesday of every month from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the seventh-floor conference room of the Rhoads Pavilion, 36th St. and Hamilton Walk.
  • BRAIN TUMORS: Meets fourth Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the bridge level of the Penn Tower Hotel, 34th St. and Civic Center Blvd.
  • PROSTATE CANCER: Meets third Monday of every month from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the 10th-floor conference room of the Penn Tower Hotel.
  • BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT: Meets last Thursday of every month from 7 to 9 p.m. in the seventh-floor conference room of the Rhoads Pavilion.
  • INPATIENT SUPPORT GROUP: Meets every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon in the seventh-floor family lounge of the Rhoads Pavilion.
  • BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUP: Meets second Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Presbyterian Medical Center.

Meeting schedules are subject to change, and registration is suggested. To register, or for more information about these groups, call 349-8380.

Your chance to quit smoking

No single act does more to reduce the risk of lung cancer than quitting smoking, and the Penn Quit Smoking Program can help students, faculty and staff who want to quit. The seven-week program features all the latest ways to help people quit, including the nicotine patch, nicotine gum, nicotine nasal spray and medications to reduce the craving for nicotine. Health System physicians, advanced practice nurses and respiratory therapists lead the weekly group meetings and help participants create personalized plans for kicking the habit.

Penn employees and students may enroll in the program for $75, one-half of the regular program fee. Free informational sessions will be held on Monday, March 30, and Wednesday, April 29, at the Patient and Family Education Center, first floor, Silverstein Pavilion, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 34th and Spruce streets. An additional informational session will be held at the Penn Health System's Radnor facility on Tuesday, April 21, at 5:30 p.m. Interested participants may enroll in the program at the end of each session. Space for these sessions is limited; to register, call 1-800-789-PENN.

Originally published on March 19, 1998