Frequently Asked Questions About Cancer Social Work Services

Find out how our social workers at UPMC CancerCenter can help you and your loved ones cope with cancer.

Oncology social workers have special training to assist you and your loved ones with practical and emotional issues related to a diagnosis of cancer.

We have knowledge about the usual course of cancer, its treatment, and side effects. And, we know how hard the experience can be for you and your family.

At UPMC CancerCenter, our social workers offer a broad range of services, particularly in the areas of:

  • Support
  • Cancer education and resources
  • Discharge planning
  • Advocacy

We want you to know that our concern is not only caring for your disease but also caring for your emotional and social well-being.

An oncology social worker can meet with you and your loved ones to explore ways in which we can help.

We can often match your personal concerns with the right community resources and assist you with:

  • Transportation arrangements
  • Financial and insurance concerns
  • Disability applications
  • Employment issues

We also provide individual, family, and group counseling.

At UPMC CancerCenter, our social workers can help you and your loved ones in areas such as:

  • Adjusting to a cancer diagnosis
  • Adjusting to changes in self-image and sexuality
  • Advanced directives (living will/durable power of attorney)
  • Assessments of caregiver assistance at home
  • Talking with children about cancer
  • Community resources, support services, and cancer support groups
  • Coping strategies and stress management
  • Disability applications
  • Education and decision-making
  • Employment concerns
  • Extended care in a nursing home or rehab facility
  • Grief counseling
  • Health insurance and billing
  • Mental health referrals
  • Negotiation of the medical care system
  • Peer support referrals
  • Prescription assistance programs
  • Role changes and family adjustment
  • Temporary housing
  • Transportation needs

You or your family can request the help of a UPMC CancerCenter social worker by calling 412-623-2306. Likewise, doctors, nurses, and other members of your health care team can make referrals to Social Work Services.

All interactions with the oncology social worker are confidential and all services are free.