A diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming and frightening. The first concern for an individual is their physical well-being. But psychosocial and spiritual health are also important and are integrated into each patient’s treatment plan at the MemorialCare Todd Cancer Institute.

Our psychosocial support care team focuses on resolving multiple aspects of distress, as well as practical issues of treatment and lifestyle. Psychosocial oncology support helps patients improve their quality of life by re-framing their way of thinking. Research has shown that cancer patients who can "re-frame" their thinking can dramatically improve their quality of life, decrease anxiety, stress reduction, improve sleep, reduce pain, fatigue, and other symptoms.

Our support programs are designed to teach patients and their families’ skills to cope with a cancer diagnosis.

Support Programs for All

Beat the Odds in Cancer Treatment

This program offers research-based strategies for improving quality of life, managing symptoms and side effects and positively impacting survival after a cancer diagnosis. The program was developed by physicians. Call (562) 933-9520 for more information.

Boost the Odds

The Boost the Odds program is an advanced cancer survivorship program for alumni of Beat the Odds. It is a two-hour class offered once a month, free of charge. It focuses on more in depth exploration of the skills and concepts taught in Beat the Odds with more emphasis on how to effectively introduce healthy lifestyle modification. Call (562) 427-3897 for more information.

Cancer Answers

This telephone helpline is designed to meet the needs of cancer patients and their families. An experienced oncology nurse responds to your questions on treatment options, cancer resources and referrals. The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (562) 933-0900 for more information.

Cancer Coaching Program

A diagnosis of cancer is one of life’s greatest challenges. A cancer coach provides guidance and tools needed to feel confident and empowered along the way. This service is free, personal and confidential. Call (562) 933-9520 for more information.

Cancer Patient Support Group

The Cancer Patient Support Group meets every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Group Room in the Todd Cancer Pavilion. Call (310) 376-3550 for more information.

Healing through Creativity Workshop for Cancer Patients and Survivors

An 8-week creative workshop for cancer patients and survivors to explore the empowering potential of creativity, connectivity, play and transformational work for self-healing. Each session provides mini-lessons about techniques, approaches and activities that are applicable to all genres of creativity. The workshop is facilitated by Richard Harvey, cancer survivor and published author and artist. Call (562) 933-0900 for next series.

Oncology Nurse Navigators

Oncology Nurse Navigators are available as a central point of contact to coordinate timely and appropriate cancer care. Call (562) 933-0900 for more information.

Oncology Social Workers

Oncology Social Workers are available to provide counseling and other services, which can improve coping and reduce stress for patients and their families through all phases of cancer treatment. Call (562) 933-0900 for more information.

Pastoral & Spiritual Care

We offer ongoing support to our patients and families as needed throughout hospitalization and recovery. We work with the health care team to meet the individual spiritual and emotional needs of our patients.

  • We offer emotional support in coping with illness and grief to all age groups.
  • We address cultural rituals for individuals and support their belief systems.
  • We offer support to patients and their families, ongoing for end-of life issues and have an extensive bereavement support program.
  • We work closely with local clergy to meet the individual needs of our patients.
  • We are available for sacraments (baptism, blessings, sacrament of the sick, funerals, memorials and weddings).

Spousal Bereavement Support

The Spousal Bereavement Group meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Group Room in the Todd Cancer Pavilion. The program was developed and is facilitated by a physician. Call (310) 877-5466 for more information.

The American Lung Association’s “Freedom from Smoking Program”

“Freedom from Smoking” includes eight group-style meetings and features a step-by-step plan to help tobacco users gain control over their behavior and quit smoking. Each meeting is facilitated by a respiratory therapist and oncology nurse practitioner. Meetings are held in the evenings in the 3rd Floor Treatment Planning Room in the Todd Cancer Pavilion. Cost: $45 (subject to change). Call 1.800.MEMORIAL for next series.

Writing through the Cancer Journey: A Writing Workshop for Cancer Patients

This is an 8-week writing workshop for cancer survivors. Participants will explore the transformative power of creative writing to promote equilibrium, joy, healing and well-being during times of uncertainty and stress. This class meets Tuesday evenings in the 2nd Floor Group Room in the Todd Cancer Pavilion. Call (562) 933-0900 for next series.

Young Survivor Support Group

In partnership with Susan G. Komen L.A. County, this support group is designed for cancer survivors and patients (men and women) aged 49 and younger. The group meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lakewood YMCA. Call (562) 933-7815 for more information.

Support Programs for Women

Breast Cancer Support Group

For women recently diagnosed or currently in treatment for breast cancer. Meets 2nd & 4th Wednesday each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Group Room in the Todd Cancer Pavilion. Call (562) 933-7845 for more information.

Ovarian and Gynecologic Cancer Support Group

A support group for women with ovarian and other gynecologic cancers. Meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Group Room in the Todd Cancer Pavilion. Call (562) 933-7845 for more information.

Weekly Walking Group

Weekly walking group for cancer survivors. The group meets every Tuesday and Friday morning in Long Beach and often enjoys coffee after the walk. Call (562) 933-7815 for more information.

Women Guiding Women: Cancer Support & Education

A peer mentor program for women who are newly diagnosed with breast or gynecologic cancers. Patients are matched with our mentors who are specially trained cancer survivors that encourage and guide patients through the time of diagnosis, treatment, surgery and onto recovery. Free program open to the community, regardless of where you receive treatment. Call (562) 933-7815 for more information.

Support Program for Men

Prostate Cancer Support Group

Sponsored by US TOO, this support group meets the 4th Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Call (562) 933-0900 for more information.