A cancer diagnosis not only affects your body, but also your emotional well-being. Emotional support for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers is available through support groups. Support groups are offered to allow cancer patients to gather, share their struggles and provide guidance and support to one another.
Cancer support services in Ocala and the surrounding area
At HCA Florida Ocala Hospital, we understand patients with cancer need more than just treatment options.
They need compassionate, holistic care. In partnership with Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, we offer comprehensive cancer support and wellness services through our survivorship program.
From diagnosis and throughout the cancer journey to survivorship, this program is devoted to ensuring our patients and their families receive the support and resources they need.
For more information about our cancer diagnostics, treatments and other services, call askSARAH at (844) 482-4812.
Our cancer support and survivorship services
The local cancer resources of HCA Florida Ocala and Sarah Cannon are vast. We have created a large network of comprehensive cancer services. This local network of community resources allows us to provide whole-person care and support.
Through our survivorship program, we support our patients and their families however we can throughout their cancer journeys. To do this, we offer a wide range of complementary cancer resources and services, including:
- Cognitive function (chemo brain)
- Caregiver and family support
- Fertility preservation
- Financial support
- Fitness, exercise, physical activity
- Genetic counseling
- Hair loss
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and wound care
- Oncology nurse navigation
- Ostomy care and support
- Palliative care
- Psychosocial services (counseling, therapy, behavioral health)
- Rehabilitation (physical therapy, occupational therapy)
- Sexual function
- Sleep problems
- Smoking cessation
- Spiritual support and pastoral care
- Support groups
- Treatment summaries/survivorship care plans
- Wellist (resource database)
Cognitive function (chemo brain)
Many cancer survivors report issues during and after cancer treatment, including memory loss, forgetfulness, loss of concentration, and/or confusion. Even though these side effects are commonly referred to as “chemo brain,” factors other than chemotherapy can lead to cognitive side effects. To learn more about cognitive issues from cancer-related factors, read Sarah Cannon's chemo brain information.
Caregiver and family support
A cancer diagnosis affects close friends and family too. To learn how to care for a person with cancer and take care of yourself as a caregiver, visit the American Cancer Society's Caregivers and Family page.
Cancer–related fatigue primarily occurs because the body requires additional energy to heal. Other side effects, medications, and stress can make fatigue worse. To learn more about cancer-related fatigue and ways to cope, visit Sarah Cannon's side effects page.
Cancer treatments can lead to infertility. Women do have options to preserve their fertility. It is important to talk to your healthcare team about fertility and your options before you begin treatment, as many fertility–preserving options must be done before the damage caused by treatment occurs. To learn more about cancer–related infertility and preservation strategies, visit Sarah Cannon's side effects page and the American Cancer Society’s Preserving Fertility page.
Cancer treatment may cause financial and insurance issues. To learn more about how to manage the costs of cancer treatment as well as the different types of health insurance and laws that govern health insurance in the United States, visit the American Cancer Society's financial information page.
Fitness, exercise, physical activity
Research shows that exercise is safe and helpful for most people before, during and after cancer treatment. It can help improve your quality of life as well as the energy you have to do the things you like. Physical activity may also help you cope with the side effects of treatment and possibly decrease your risk of new cancers or cancer recurrence in the future. To learn more about cancer and exercise, visit the American Cancer Society's physical activity page.
Health 2 You is located in the Senior Wellness Community Center and is your passport to health, wellness and prevention.
A certified genetics professional can help you understand your risk for hereditary cancer. They also explain which genetic tests can give you more information about your risk level, review your genetic test results and advise any recommended screenings and follow-up based on those results. Learn more about genetic counseling.
Some cancer treatments, like chemotherapy, make people lose some or all of their hair. To learn what you can do to help avoid or manage hair loss, visit the American Cancer Society's hair loss page.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and wound care
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) uses hyperbaric chambers to promote healing for chronic and non-healing wounds from surgical or other medical treatments. The high-pressure oxygen dose helps blood carry more oxygen to organs and tissues to promote faster, better healing and can provide relief for patients with a variety of conditions. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been specifically shown to aid in post-radiation healing complications which can occur with cancer treatment. Visit HCA Florida Ocala’s Wound Care Center page for more information.
Sometimes cancer patients need to travel away from home to receive their treatment and need a place to stay. Click on the resources below to find information on cancer-related lodging programs.
- American Cancer Society Extended Stay America program (referral required)
Lymphedema is a build-up of lymph fluid in the fatty tissues just under your skin, causing swelling (edema). Cancer and its treatments may cause lymphedema. It is important to understand why lymphedema can happen and when to get help and support. To learn more about lymphedema, visit American Cancer Society's lymphedema page.
Cancer treatment can cause peripheral neuropathy – damage to peripheral nerves. Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) can cause severe pain and affect your ability to do things like walk, write, button your shirt, or pick up coins. This can last for weeks, months, or even years after treatment is completed. To learn more about cancer-related peripheral neuropathy including how to manage it, visit the American Cancer Society's peripheral neuropathy page.
Oncology-based medical nutrition therapy programs offer tailored treatment for all types of cancer diagnoses, in all phases of treatment and surveillance. A registered dietitian’s role in your cancer treatment is essential to prevent or combat malnutrition, prevent the deterioration of muscle mass, combat side effects of cancer treatment, provide nutrition support (enteral or parenteral), and teach healthy eating to achieve a healthy weight after treatment. Learn more about nutrition services at HCA Florida Ocala or call our office at (352) 237-2094.
Oncology nurse navigation
A nurse navigator is a member of your multidisciplinary care team who serves as an advocate and educator for you and your family during and after your cancer journey. Nurse navigators facilitate communication between your entire care team, help coordinate appointments and transportation and are there to address any other barriers you may face during your cancer journey. To learn more about Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute nurse navigators at HCA Florida Ocala, visit Sarah Cannon’s Nurse Navigators page.
Ostomy care and support
Sometimes cancer treatment results in an ostomy – a surgical opening made in the skin when a problem is not allowing a part of the body to function well. To learn more about living with an ostomy, including information and support, visit the American Cancer Society's ostomies page.
Palliative care focuses on improving the quality of life for people with serious illnesses like cancer. People with cancer may receive palliative care at any time from the point of diagnosis through treatment and beyond. To learn more about palliative care, including who should get it and when, visit the American Cancer Society's palliative care page.
Psychosocial services (counseling, therapy, behavioral health)
A cancer diagnosis can affect the emotional health of patients, families and caregivers. Common feelings during this life-changing experience include anxiety, distress and depression. Roles at home, school and work can be affected. To learn more about cancer-related emotional, mental health and mood changes, visit the American Cancer Society's mood changes page.
Rehabilitation (physical therapy, occupational therapy)
Cancer and its treatment often cause physical and cognitive problems. These problems can make it harder to do daily activities or return to work and have a lasting effect on your health. Oncology rehabilitation can help provide rehabilitation to patients with all cancer diagnoses in all phases of their cancer treatment from acute through long-term survivorship. To read more about oncology rehabilitation, visit Cancer.Net.
Cancer survivors may experience sexual dysfunction or changes in their sex lives after a cancer diagnosis. These changes can be physical or mental. Each type of cancer treatment–chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and hormonal therapy–can cause possible sexual side effects. To learn more about sexual side effects of cancer and how to manage them, visit Sarah Cannon's side effects page.
Many cancer survivors report they occasionally have trouble sleeping or that they can’t sleep at all (insomnia). Lack of sleep can lead to other issues such as fatigue, loss of concentration, headaches, and irritability. To learn more about solutions for cancer-related sleep problems, visit Sarah Cannon's side effects page.
Smoking increases your risk for a number of cancers. If you already have a cancer diagnosis, smoking can increase your risk of recurrence. The benefits of quitting smoking are numerous and almost immediate. To read more about smoking cessation, please visit Sarah Cannon's survivorship page.
Spiritual support and pastoral care
Using one’s faith, values, and spiritual practices are important resources for wellness and healing. Sarah Cannon and the network of HCA hospital and cancer centers encourage you to use spiritual resources around your local community as well as within the HCA facilities.
During your stay at HCA Florida Ocala, our chaplain, Jim Riley, is available Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4:00pm. In addition to our chaplain, you may request services from other community clergy or religious leaders by contacting your nurse, case manager or social worker. Pastoral care services are available through our case management department.
To reach our chaplain, call (352) 425-8911.
Support groups offer those affected by cancer a safe space to share and encourage each other. Please click the links below to email the coordinators for these local cancer support groups offered virtually and in-person.
Transportation shouldn’t be a roadblock to cancer treatment. Even with help from family and friends, sometimes patients have trouble getting every ride they need. Call your health insurance provider for transportation resources or click on the resources below to find information on cancer-related transportation assistance programs.
- American Cancer Society Road to Recovery
Treatment summaries/survivorship care plans
The Institute of Medicine issued recommendations that every cancer patient receive an individualized survivorship care plan that includes guidelines for monitoring and maintaining their health. Contact your local oncology clinic or Sarah Cannon Nurse Navigator to request a Treatment Summary/Survivorship Care Plan or build your own.
Wellist (resource database)
At Sarah Cannon, we believe it should be easy to make informed decisions about your health and get the support you need throughout the cancer journey. That’s why we created a navigation program that provides you with trusted health information, certified local resources and a simple way to share information with your family and friends. And, it’s all customized exclusively for you by Wellist, our program partner, so you can stay informed, organized and focused on what matters most: your health. The resources in Wellist are customized by location so that each patient can access what is available in their own local community.
About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute
As part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare, our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally trusted care with the support of a globally recognized network.
Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially trained nurses are available 24/7, and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (352) 339-7000.