Anal Cancer Wellness & Support

Fighting cancer goes beyond the physical treatments. That’s why we offer a full range of support services and resources to focus on your body, mind and spirit.

Support groups and classes

You’re never alone in your cancer journey. Find emotional support and learn more about your diagnosis with support groups and classes.

Resource centers

We offer free cancer resources to you and your family, and are open to everyone. Cancer Resource Centers offer access to online resources as well as a lending library of books, tapes, journals and other references for reliable, current health information and education. Our Cancer Resource Centers are located in Burien at St. Anne Cancer Center, Silverdale at St. Michael Cancer Center and Tacoma at St. Joseph Medical Center.

Practical support services

We provide services to meet the day-to-day needs of those with cancer, including:

Basic needs:

  • Community food banks
  • Help with utility bills through Tacoma Public Utilities
  • Clothing and household items through The Salvation Army

Medicine and medical supplies:

  • Financial assistance for health care and medication costs through HealthWell Foundation and Partnership for Prescription Assistance
  • Information about participating in clinical trials

Personal needs:

  • Free makeup and skin care class with a licensed, oncology-trained aesthetician
  • Free wigs, scarves, caps and other head coverings with a licensed cosmetologist
  • Help with transportation to and from medical appointments

Spiritual support

Chaplains in our Spiritual Care department serve 24 hours a day, seven days a week, comforting and providing emotional and spiritual support to those who are coping with grief or loss. Our chaplains minister on a nonsectarian basis to those whose churches may be far away or who don’t have a church affiliation.

We work closely with Catholic parishes and priests in our area to supply sacraments including anointing of the sick, communion, confession, along with blessings and prayers for those who wish to receive Catholic services.

You may request spiritual support services through the Spiritual Care Department by calling 253-426-6735.

Financial assistance

For those who are unable to pay the full cost of care, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health offers financial assistance. We work individually with patients to help establish an appropriate payment plan based on the amount due and their financial status. Learn about our financial assistance.

Caregiver resources

Caregivers are often loved ones who provide physical and emotional care without pay. At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, we support caregivers so they are able to care for their loved ones with cancer. 

CancerCare Caregiver Support Services

CancerCare provides free professional services and emotional and practical support to anyone affected by cancer. Visit cancercare.org or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)

FCA is a community-based nonprofit organization that addresses the needs of families and friends who provide long-term care at home. Visit www.caregiver.org or call 800-445-8106.

National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute provides a booklet that lists ways for friends or family members to take care of themselves while caring for someone with cancer. You can download the booklet, “When Someone You Love Is Being Treated for Cancer”  in PDF, Kindle or ePUB formats. Visit www.cancer.gov or call 800-4-CANCER (422-6237).

Well Spouse Association

This nonprofit organization provides emotional support to spouses and partners of people who are chronically ill or disabled, through support groups across the country. Visit www.wellspouse.org or call 800-838-0879.

Oncology Clinical Social Work

A cancer diagnosis and prolonged treatment and recovery can have a profound impact on a person’s life. Being suddenly confronted with such a challenging disease may disrupt one’s emotional balance. A person may experience feelings of uncertainty, question their self-image and experience loss of meaning in life and challenges in relationships with friends and family.

That’s why we offer oncology social work services to help patients and their loved ones. These services are available at no additional cost, as they are considered part of your interdisciplinary support. Our social workers specialize in oncology and are licensed independent clinical social workers (LICSWs). Our social workers can help with:

  • Emotional support
  • Transitions in care and quality of life
  • Caregiver concerns and needs
  • Support groups
  • Coping strategies
  • End of life, loss and grief support
  • Community resources coordination and referral
  • Practical problem-solving
  • Short-term counseling/therapy

To contact social work services, call 206-223-6954.

Integrated medicine

Learn more about our integrated medicine services that combine Western medicine with the centuries-old wisdom of natural therapies.

Outpatient services

Outpatient services include home health, cancer rehabilitation, palliative care, hospice, pain management and more. Learn more about outpatient services.