Swedish News Blog

Resources and social support for dealing with cancer

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Navigator

Here at the Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI), we understand that individuals cope in their own unique ways, and that receiving personalized education and support is important in the healing process. For this reason, the SCI is devoted to providing complementary supportive services for newly diagnosed patients, those undergoing treatment, and those who have completed treatment, as well as their caregivers.

The SCI offers programs that promote education, hope, and healing. Many of these programs are offered free of charge, while others are offered on a sliding scale. These integrated care programs include:

  • American Cancer Society Patient Navigation: The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator helps patients find resources related to financial assistance, transportation, access to wigs and prosthetics, and much more.
  • Art Therapy: Art therapy is a confidential, supportive, and individualized experience for examining health issues through visual and verbal self-exploration.
  • Cancer Rehabilitation: Cancer rehabilitation integrates medical management of cancer treatment-related side effects with a variety of exercise therapies.
  • Health Education: The Swedish Cancer Education Centers offer complementary educational materials, innovative learning opportunities, and patient education classes.
  • Genetic Counseling and Testing: Genetic testing is available for individuals to determine their risk for developing certain cancers.
  • Massage Therapy: Massage therapy may help with cancer-related pain, fatigue and nausea.
  • Naturopathic Medicine: Combining modern science with natural remedies, naturopathic doctors are available for consultation and treat¬ment through coordination with the patient’s oncologist.
  • Nutrition Care Services: Nutritionists are available to help patients and caregivers make healthy dietary choices during cancer treatment.
  • Psychiatry: Psychiatrists help patients and caregivers maintain the emotional and mental well-being needed to cope with stresses of cancer.
  • Oncology Social Work: Licensed oncology social workers provide patients and caregivers ongoing counseling and assistance.
  • Support Groups: Support groups for patients and caregivers are offered weekly, creating an environment for people to share their feelings with others going through similar experiences. 

Patients often hear that it’s important to find a strong support system during and after treatment; this may include a partner, sibling, parent, child or close friend. These are ...

Cancer control and survivorship

Dan Labriola, ND

I recently attended the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) meeting, a consortium of research institutions doing clinical trials on cancer. The conference highlighted how new research will remarkably affect cancer survivorship, quality of life (QOL), integrative care and our ability to predict and provide needed services more accurately and with greater cost effectiveness for cancer survivors. The tools for implementing cancer control are evolving quickly.

Here are some highlights from the meeting:

  • Biomarkers, which are any human characteristics that are measurable including everything from gene expression (or over-expression) to pain surveys, can potentially predict long term survival as well as the specific services that will most benefit patients.
  • Symptoms that are increasingly predictable by biomarker assays include fatigue, insomnia, pain, anorexia, nausea, depression and others. This means that we will soon be able to better predict the patients who will be affected by these problems and deliver interventions much earlier and more effectively.
  • Patient satisfaction is frequently not related to treatment outcome. Factors such as QOL and survivorship are important.
  • Lung cancer patients suffer inordinately high, long-term QOL deficits. Many of these respond well to interventions but interventions are frequently not provided to patients with lung cancer.
  • Symptom clusters ...

Oncology social workers help patients with cancer

Tricia Matteson, MSW, LSWAIC

Tricia Matteson, MSW, LSWAIC
Oncology Social Worker

“What happens if my insurance won’t pay for all of this treatment?”
“How do I tell my young daughter about my cancer?”
“My spouse is really struggling, but I don’t know how to help him.” 
“How will I get to radiation every day if I can’t drive?”
“My friends and family call a lot, but I don’t feel like talking to them”
“I’m scared.”   “I’m angry”   “I’m sad”    “I’m confused”
“What’s a power of attorney…and do I need one?”
“Where can I find out about a support group? ”
“I wish I knew where to turn.”

If you are faced with a diagnosis of cancer, you may be asking similar questions and wondering where to turn for answers.  A good place to start is with an oncology social worker.  Oncology social workers assist with the non-medical issues that often arise when someone is diagnosed with cancer.  We have master’s degrees in social work, and are specially trained to provide counseling and assistance with services that can reduce stress for you and your family through all phases of your cancer diagnosis and treatment.  Social work services are available at the Swedish Cancer Institute at our First Hill, Edmonds, and Issaquah campuses, and are provided at no cost to our patients. 

We can help you:

The Race Continues…19th Annual SummeRun & Walk Raises $558,000 for Ovarian Cancer Research

Swedish News

SEATTLE — August 12, 2013 — More than 3,500 enthusiastic patients, survivors and supporters gathered in Seattle last month to participate in the 19th annual Swedish presents SummeRun & Walk for ovarian cancer. Thanks to energized and proactive participants, this year’s event raised more than $558,000 in support of ovarian cancer research.


The SummeRun & Walk celebrates and remembers the lives of those who have been impacted by ovarian cancer. It is the Northwest’s largest community event to raise awareness and vital funds for ovarian cancer. Since its inception, the SummeRun has raised more than $6 million for medical research into the treatment, early detection, and prevention of this disease.

Swedish Presents SummeRun & Walk for Ovarian Cancer

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Navigator

Although ovarian cancer comprises only 3% of all women’s cancers, it is the fifth leading cause of women’s cancer deaths. Women who are diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer have a long-term survival rate of only 10%.

When detected in its earliest stages, ovarian cancer survival rates can be as high as 90%. However, early stage symptoms are usually difficult to diagnose, are often misdiagnosed, or go undetected, which leads to nearly 75% of all ovarian cancer patients being diagnosed in advanced stages.

Through innovative research and scientific community collaboration, we can work together to reduce and prevent this disease that disproportionately affects women. We are working to support ovarian cancer research in honor of our wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.

The Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research has been working to save lives and reduce suffering through the prevention of ovarian cancer, early detection, and improved treatment. Through community donations, the Marsha Rivkin Center works to advance research related to ovarian cancer nationwide, and improve outcomes for women facing ovarian cancer. The annual SummeRun, presented by Swedish, is a particularly unique community event and fundraising opportunity that supports ovarian cancer research and the Marsha Rivkin Center’s mission.

 

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SummeRun 2013 Race Details

Thrive Through Cancer Presents Chemo-Con at Swedish Cancer Institute

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES

Brian Aylward, BS, CHES
Health Navigator

Thrive Through Cancer is a non-profit organization that helps young adults with cancer and their caregivers find hope and thrive. Through support groups, social events and community forums, Thrive Through Cancer aims to engage young adult community members by providing support and resources during their fight against cancer.

On June 20, 2013 Thrive Through Cancer will host a social event for young adults, their families, friends and caregivers at the Swedish Cancer Institute: Chemo-Con!

Come meet Rose Egge, founder of Thrive Through Cancer, and join us for two educational and interactive workshops focused on issues commonly experienced by young adults affected by cancer.

  • Join Registered Dietician Julie Herbst for a conversation about healthy eating, maximizing nutritional intake and managing symptoms with foods. Recipe and sampling provided.
  • Jacci Thompson-Dodd, MA, MSSS will host a discussion about intimacy and cancer, and can help answer any questions you may have. 

You will also have the opportunity to learn more about community partners, resources and services available in areas near you from the following organizations:

Swedish Celebrates Dr. Saul Rivkin’s Long, Impressive Career as a Devoted, Accomplished Medical Oncologist and Researcher in Fight Against Ovarian Cancer

Swedish News



SEATTLE, June 6, 2013 – Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) announced today that Saul Rivkin, M.D., medical oncologist, as well as founder and board chair of the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, will retire from his clinical practice at SCI on July 1, 2013. The highly respected and revered physician, who is 77 years old and has five daughters and seven grandchildren, Dr. Rivkin is best known for his committed, tenacious approach to fighting cancer and the personal connection he has established with the thousands of patients he has cared for over the years.

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