Cancer Support Services
Nobody can battle cancer alone. The staff at the Kraemer Cancer Center work hard to make sure patients have all the resources they need, including support groups, educational resources, social workers and hospice care.
Cancer patients sometimes require rehabilitation to cope with the side effects of treatment. Physical and occupational therapists help patients regain control over many aspects of their lives and remain as independent and productive as possible.
Rehabilitation can help:
- Decrease fatigue
- Improve physical strength to offset the limitations that come from cancer treatment
- Decrease pain and anxiety
- Enhance immune system
Rehabilitation requires a referral by a patient’s primary care or cancer physician.
Cancer patients have an entire team of clinical specialists working to help relieve their pain and symptoms. Physicians use a variety of techniques, including radiation therapy and anesthesia, to make sure a patient's quality of life is intact or improved during treatment.
The Kraemer Cancer Center provides patients with a complete, multidisciplinary evaluation of pain diagnosis, treatment and management. Physicians and staff may recommend traditional and alternative techniques and treatments for relieving discomfort and pain.
In addition to pain medications, the following treatments are available to alleviate pain:
- Relaxation therapy
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy
Health care providers at St. Joseph's Hospital are committed to pain prevention and management.
Educational Support Groups and Classes
The Kraemer Cancer Center sponsors breast and prostate cancer support groups. Here, cancer patients can connect with others going through a similar experience and share struggles, joys, frustrations and hope in a comfortable group setting. Support groups meet monthly at St. Joseph's Hospital.
For more information about the breast cancer support group, call 262-836-7099.
For the prostate cancer support group, call 262-334-3451.
Because the Kraemer Cancer Center is part of the Froedtert & the Medical College Cancer Network, patients in West Bend may also access support groups at Froedtert & the Medical College if desired.
To learn more, visit the classes and events calendar, or call 800-272-3666.
St. Joseph's Hospital also periodically offers educational classes about different kinds of cancers, including breast and colon. Check our list of upcoming classes and events.
Some cancer treatments can cause drastic changes in dietary needs. Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin registered dietitians at the Kraemer Cancer Center assess each new patient individually to determine if he or she needs nutrition counseling. A dietitian might need to meet with a patient if he or she:
- Needs help with a feeding tube
- Has trouble swallowing
- Wants help creating a diet that will alleviate treatment symptoms
- Is undergoing treatment that causes weight gain
- Is losing weight during treatment
Some patients require additional assistance with arranging home health care, palliative and hospice care or in-home companion care. The Kraemer Cancer Center has a team of social workers with years of experience working with cancer patients. Our caring staff can help patients navigate the wide range of options available. Additionally, they can connect patients with support groups, help arrange transportation to and from appointments and aid them in finding financial assistance.
Small Stones Wellness Center
Sometimes illness can affect more than health; cancer and/or cancer treatment can change the way people look and feel, and can affect coping skills. The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Small Stones Wellness Center, located in the Kraemer Cancer Center, supports healing by helping patients enhance appearance, promote relaxation and boost self-esteem.
Skilled and compassionate staff members help people look their best with one-on-one services. Products and services are designed for patient comfort and well-being, and are safe and appropriate for people receiving cancer treatment. The Small Stones Wellness Center offers skin care and makeup products, books, scarves and head coverings, free head shaving, some hair-cutting services and assistance with wig selection.
Cancer Survivors Clinic
Complete cancer care involves more than treatment; we want to make sure you live well through cancer treatment into survivorship. When you are first diagnosed with cancer, you’ll be scheduled for an appointment at the Cancer Survivors Clinic. On the first visit, a physician will walk through your diagnosis with you to make sure you understand it.
Next, an assessment will determine support and resource needs, which may range from psychological, financial or nutritional counseling, to transportation arrangements. After treatment is complete, a specially trained nurse at the Cancer Survivors Clinic provides a complete treatment history and reviews the plan for survivorship, including follow-up care. Finally, a physician conducts a follow-up assessment to make sure survivorship needs are addressed.
Facing cancer can often leave patients and their families feeling overwhelmed and afraid. A Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin psycho-oncology clinical nurse specialist is available to support you and your family through your cancer journey, providing counseling and medication to assist you in coping at this difficult time.
Cancer patients who need end-of-life care can find sanctuary at The Kathy Hospice, a facility located on the St. Joseph's Hospital campus. The Kathy Hospice has eight private rooms that provide a comfortable environment for terminal cancer patients. It is the first free-standing residential hospice in Washington County.
Breast Cancer Navigator
Our breast cancer navigator leads breast cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment and beyond, answering questions, calming fears and making sure they fully understand every aspect of their treatment. The nurse navigator also ensures all treatments proceed smoothly.