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Patient Support Services

At The Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, our support for you and your family goes beyond treatment. We provide a range of services to help patients and loved ones manage the challenges that come with an esophageal cancer diagnosis. Our goal is to make sure you have everything you need to achieve the best possible quality of life before, during and after your treatment.

Expert, Compassionate Care: Our Approach

Esophageal cancer treatments—radiation, chemotherapy and surgery— can be physically and emotionally tiring for patients and their loved ones. Cancer and its treatment can cause exhaustion, malnutrition and other uncomfortable symptoms. After treatment, you may also have to adjust to new habits such as a different way of eating.

At Johns Hopkins, we offer comprehensive and compassionate support, including:

  • Nutrition consultations from a registered dietician to address dietary and nutritional needs
  • Physical therapy services to help patients who have trouble swallowing or need to gain strength after treatment
  • Education in using devices such as a feeding tube or stent, if necessary, to ensure patients are receiving the nutrition they need to recover and heal
  • Assistance with a stent, which may be placed in the esophagus to help with swallowing
  • Social work support to help navigate homecare, out-of-town housing, emotional support, caretaker needs, health insurance, transportation—or any other concerns you and your family might have
  • Pain management services to assist you with pain management and medication

Palliative Care for Esophageal Cancer Patients

Palliative care helps relieve pain and discomfort, focusing on the whole patient—mind, body and soul. You can benefit from palliative care at any point in your treatment. Palliative care can help improve patients’ quality of life and sometimes speed up recovery by helping a patient tolerate treatment better. It may help relieve symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping

The Harry J. Duffey Family Pain and Palliative Care Program

At the Harry J. Duffey Family Pain and Palliative Care Program, our goal is to combine compassionate clinical care with rigorous research to ensure that you and your loved ones are as comfortable as possible. Our pain and palliative care specialists provide guidance in making difficult decisions, emotional support, and expert treatment of pain and symptom management.

Your palliative care team may include a palliative care doctor, palliative care nurse, social worker, chaplain, pharmacist, nutritionist, physical therapist and others. They work collaboratively with your cancer care team to provide you with the most advanced, effective care possible. Learn more about The Harry J. Duffey Family Pain and Palliative Care Program.

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