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Cancer Symptom Management

The Symptom Management Service (SMS) provides treatment and counseling to improve the quality of life and care of patients at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Services for physical and emotional symptoms of cancer include treatments for pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety and spiritual distress as well as advanced care planning. Integrated medical, psychological, social work and spiritual approaches are offered along with your regular cancer care. All care is coordinated with your cancer treatments and with the support of your cancer doctor.

Our team works directly with your cancer specialist to keep him or her informed of your medication and symptom management needs that you discuss with us. If you go to the emergency department or become hospitalized, please let us know so we can help. We do not, however, have after-hours or emergency on-call service.

Patients, who are referred to SMS by their cancer doctors, will be seen by one or more of the members of the team. Our team includes doctors, nurses, dietitians, social workers and a service coordinator.

Our doctors are:

  • Dr. Michael Rabow, internist and director of the Symptom Management Service
  • Dr. BJ Miller, hospice and palliative care specialist
  • Dr. Thomas Reid, hospice and palliative care specialist

  • Hear an interview with Dr. Michael Rabow, who discusses cancer symptom management to improve quality of life and help people live longer.

The team also includes "fellows" who are doctors undergoing specialty training.

Other team members include:

  • Allison Kestenbaum, chaplain
  • Gayle Kojimoto, program manager
  • Nancy Shepart Lopez, assistant director and nurse practitioner
  • Greta Macaire, dietitian
  • Kerri Morris, social worker
  • Tiffany Raffino, social worker
  • Sarah Rapp, social worker
  • Mimi Roth, practice manager
  • Sarah Schneider, social worker
  • Judy Patt Smoker, social worker
  • Danphne Stuart, social worker

Related Information

How to Reach Us

Symptom Management Service
Phone: (415) 885-7671
Fax: (415) 353-9522

Hours: Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.,
except holidays

Our service is located in San Francisco at:

Special Programs

Related Conditions