Treating cancer involves more than surgery, medication and radiation. At University of Missouri Health Care’s Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, we treat the body and mind. Our care team includes physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, rehabilitation therapists and volunteers to help you overcome cancer.
“People are more important than disease,” said Anna Hulbert, MD, a palliative care physician at Ellis Fischel. “Going through workup and treatment for cancer is tough on the whole person, so we need to do our best to support patients.”
Hulbert embraces the philosophy of Robin Williams’ character in the movie “Patch Adams” when he said: “You treat a disease — you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.”
At Ellis Fischel, you have access to multiple programs designed for holistic healing.
- Our dietitians help you feel your best through nutritional support and education. They work with you to identify ways to meet your nutrition needs during treatment. They also provide tips for dealing with common side effects, such as losing too much weight or taste changes.
- Our social workers support you emotionally through your cancer treatment. They help you and your family eliminate barriers to success. They provide referrals to local and national programs, offer assistance when needed and connect you with support groups.
- Our cancer rehabilitation therapists work with you before, during and after treatment to develop personalized exercise plans. We offer Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) for lymphedema, a chronic swelling in your limbs that can be caused by cancer treatments. You will receive a personalized plan that could include occupational, physical and speech therapy.
- Volunteer programs include both music and pet therapy. Research has shown that music and pet therapy reduce stress and fear. These programs are evidence-based interventions that can improve your quality of life. You might hear Ellis Fischel volunteers playing music while you wait for appointments. Volunteers also bring in certified therapy dogs for visits.
- We know that feeling your best also means looking your best. The Ellis Boutique offers salon services that include a beautician for you and your caregivers. The boutique also sells specialized items such as hair alternatives and wigs, medical apparel and accessories, and inspirational items.
- Palliative and supportive care staff provide mental health services, and MU Health Care’s Spiritual Care staff can offer also support.
- Ellis Fischel also includes a healing garden, where you and your family can enjoy time sitting outside in a quiet space.