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Cancer Symptom Management

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(415) 885-7671

The UCSF Symptom Management Service (SMS) provides interdisciplinary treatment and counseling to improve the quality of life and care of patients at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Our team includes doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and service coordinators.

We use medical, psychological, social work, and spiritual approaches to address the physical and emotional symptoms that can occur due to cancer and cancer treatment. Our services include treatments for pain, digestive symptoms, fatigue, sleep problems, changes in mood health, and spiritual distress, among others. We also work with patients and their loved ones on advance care planning.

The SMS team collaborates closely with your cancer treatment team to ensure the treatments offered are safe and appropriate. We will keep your cancer doctor(s) informed of your symptom management needs and the treatments we are offering. If you have acute symptom management needs or are hospitalized, please reach out to us so we can help take care of you. For after-hours concerns (overnight and on the weekend), please call the 24-hour line provided by your cancer doctor.

A referral from your cancer doctor is required to see the SMS team. We look forward to supporting you and your loved ones.

Doctor referral required

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    U.S. News rankings

    • usnews-neurology

      Among the top hospitals in the nation

    • Best in Northern California for cancer care (tie)

    Accreditations & memberships

    • National Cancer Institute

      The National Cancer Institute has designated UCSF a comprehensive cancer center, its highest ranking. This designation is awarded to centers that demonstrate scientific excellence and the ability to conduct cancer research across many disciplines.

    • Commission on Cancer

      UCSF's cancer programs have been accredited by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer (CoC) since 1933. The CoC is a consortium of groups dedicated to improving cancer patients' survival and quality of life via research, education and better medical care.

    • National Comprehensive Cancer Network

      UCSF is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the world’s top cancer centers. The network brings together leaders in treatment and research to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of cancer care.

    Support services

    Support Group

    Art for Recovery

    Creativity can help people with serious illnesses cope, heal and express what they're going through. Find out about our program and how to join.

    Fitness

    Cancer Exercise Counseling

    Our one-on-one exercise training sessions, customized for your needs and abilities, can complement other cancer treatments and speed your recovery.

    Patient Resource

    Cancer Nutrition Counseling

    UCSF Health offers free nutrition counseling to our patients with cancer, as well as nutrition seminars that are open to anyone. Learn more.

    Support Group

    Cancer Support Groups

    These groups offered by the Ida and Joseph Friend Patient and Family Cancer Support Center are free and available to all patients, whether or not you get your health care at UCSF.

    Fitness

    Core & More Class for Cancer Patients

    A strong body helps you fight cancer and enjoy life. Join this class to stabilize your core, strengthen your muscles and improve overall fitness. For cancer patients and caregivers!

    Patient Resource

    Friend to Friend Specialty Shops

    A one-stop boutique for patients with cancer. Get professional help with wigs, prostheses, sun-protective clothing, makeup, skin care and more.

    Class

    Meditation & Guided Imagery for Cancer Patients

    Drop in for a free class designed to help you heal, relax and find balance during your treatment. UCSF and non-UCSF patients are welcome.

    Patient Resource

    Oncology Social Work

    Social workers offer support, problem-solving, help accessing UCSF cancer-related resources and more. Find out how to contact the social worker for your clinic.

    Patient Resource

    Patient & Family Cancer Support Center

    The center offers wellness programming, community, support groups, classes, workshops and more at no cost to people facing cancer and their loved ones.

    Support Group

    Peer Support Programs for Cancer

    Patients are matched with peer support volunteers according to criteria such as diagnosis, cancer stage, age or gender. Speak to someone who's "been there."

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your condition
    • List of your medications, including dosages, plus any you're allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    International Services

    If you live outside the United States and are coming to UCSF for medical treatment, our patient liaisons can help coordinate all aspects of your visit.

    Learn more

    Interpreting Services

    UCSF offers interpreters in various languages, including American Sign Language (ASL), as well as services for deaf, hard-of-hearing and visually impaired patients.

    Learn more

    Hospital Stays

    Checking into the hospital? Find helpful information by clicking on the relevant “Your Hospital Stay” booklet: Mission Bay, Parnassus or Mount
    Zion.

    Learn more

    Your Doctor Visit

    See our top 10 tips for making your UCSF doctor’s appointment as stress-free and productive as possible.

    Learn more

    Related clinics

    Cancer Survivorship and Wellness Institute

    Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building

    See both of our San Francisco locations.

    UCSF-John Muir Health Cancer Center in Berkeley

    Berkeley Outpatient Center

    3100 San Pablo Ave., Suite 280
    Berkeley, CA 94702

    Psycho-Oncology

    Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building

    1825 Fourth St.
    San Francisco, CA 94158

    Can't find what you're looking for?

    UCSF Help Center

    (888) 689-8273

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