Support - Touro Infirmary
Cancer Care

Cancer Support in New Orleans

Fighting with you and supporting you – every step of the way.

Supportive care is an important part of the cancer program at Touro. Our comprehensive program provides mental, emotional, spiritual, and social support from cancer diagnosis through treatment and beyond. At Touro, we take an approach that focuses on the whole person, not just the disease.

Selecting the services you need helps you to strengthen your mind and body and empowers you to fight cancer and recover from treatment. The supportive programs and services we offer are available to our patients and their family members at no cost.

Supportive counseling

Supportive counseling – also referred to as psychotherapy or “talk therapy” – is offered to all patients and their families who are experiencing difficulty coping with the psychological and emotional impact of cancer and cancer treatment. Individual, couple, and family counseling sessions are free to Touro patients and their family members. The one-hour sessions – conducted by a licensed professional counselor (LPC) – are held in a private setting where confidentiality can be maintained.

Common reasons people ask for and receive counseling include:

  • Learning how to cope with cancer
  • Adjusting to cancer treatment
  • Recognizing thoughts and emotions
  • Understanding psychosocial distress
  • Overcoming depression and anxiety
  • Expressing feelings
  • Communicating with family and friends
  • Questioning spiritual faith
  • Coping with physical changes
  • Adjusting to life following cancer treatment

How to cope

Coping with the diagnosis of cancer can be difficult. “Normal” coping strategies may not be sufficient to maintain proper psychological and emotional well-being. As such, it becomes important to recognize your needs and seek out assistance to help you meet the many challenges you will likely face. Because each patient is unique, there is no one way to cope with cancer. Instead, it is incumbent upon every person with cancer to develop his or her own coping strategy.

To effectively cope with cancer, your strategy should include the “four A’s”:

  • Be AWARE of all your needs
  • ASSESS your ability to cope with cancer
  • ACKNOWLEDGE when you need help
  • ACCEPT the help that is offered

Physical support

Cancer and cancer treatment changes your body. These changes in how your body looks, feels, and performs can impact your body image – how you perceive your body and feel about your appearance.

Some physical changes that result from cancer treatments may be temporary, while others are permanent. Some affect your physical appearance, while others affect how your body feels and functions.

Just as each person reacts differently to the diagnosis of cancer, the way in which a person reacts to physical changes is unique. Some people are not affected much by body changes, while others may have difficulty accepting even small changes. Touro is committed to helping you cope with the physical effects of cancer treatment by providing you with information, resources, and support.

Spiritual support

At Touro, we are also committed to providing care for your spiritual needs. Studies have shown that spirituality is very important to the quality of life for some people with cancer.

Although research has not supported claims that spirituality can cure cancer or any other disease, the psychological benefits of praying may include:

  • Reduction of stress and anxiety associated with illness
  • Promotion of a more positive frame of mind
  • Strengthening of the will to live
  • Comfort during illness

Many cancer patients rely on spiritual and/or religious beliefs and practices to help them cope with their disease – this is called “spiritual coping.” Spirituality can be a great source of strength, connection, hope, and meaning as you and your family look for ways to cope with cancer and its impact on your lives. Learn more about Pastoral Care at Touro.