Cancer Support Programs

Boston Medical Center's Cancer Support Programs includes an array of groups, activities, events, and feature offerings throughout the year to support, encourage, and uplift cancer patients and their loved ones. These programs are open to anyone with cancer, regardless of when and where they may have been treated. Current patients and long-term survivors alike are welcome to participate, along with family members, friends, and other supporters.


Patient Navigation

The Oncology Patient Navigation Program focuses on identifying and overcoming barriers that prevent patients from getting the treatment they need in a timely manner.

Patient navigators provide advocacy and case management to oncology patients who have at least one identified barrier to care. They work to empower patients by linking them to a broad range of services including, but not limited to, oncology support services, transportation, financial assistance, and appropriate community resources. Patient navigators frequently meet with patients during their oncology appointments and provide a great deal of behind the scenes support by reaching out to resources or other clinics on a patient's behalf.

Patient navigators assist with:

  • Appointment reminders
  • Helping patients understand complex treatment schedules
  • Transportation
  • Insurance questions
  • Interpreter services
  • Connecting patients to the Cancer Survivorship Program
  • Referrals to community resources

Goals of the Oncology Patient Navigation Program include decreasing cancer disparities, improving both patient and provider satisfaction, and providing patients with a one-to-one connection through all pieces of the healthcare process.


Social Work

Social workers are available to provide additional support services to patients and families and to help with emotional, psychological, and social service needs. They are available on inpatient and outpatient units. Social workers can meet with patients before or after their doctor's appointments. Patients can discuss these options with their physician or ask for a referral.



Nutritionists can address concerns about diet and nutrition during the course of a patient's cancer treatment. They are also available to meet before or after a patient's other appointments. Physicians and social workers can help patients who are interested in seeing a nutritionist.


Genetic Counseling

The board-certified genetic counselors at BMC's Cancer Center provide consultation, risk-assessment, and genetic testing for cancer predisposition conditions for people who have a strong personal or family history of certain types of cancer. Identifying a hereditary genetic cause for cancer in a family allows for increased monitoring and earlier detection for at-risk family members. 

For information about being referred for genetic counseling, what to expect during your appointment, our team members, and more, visit our Cancer Genetics page.

For more information on diagnostic genetics at Boston Medical Center, please visit Diagnostic Genetics Services.

Podcast with Cancer Support Services Manager, Bob David