Psychosocial care is often integral to cancer treatment. We are a group of highly committed psychiatrists and psychologists with expertise in diagnosis and treatment of the emotional difficulties and psychiatric illnesses that can arise in the context of cancer treatment. We partner with patients, oncologists, nurses, social workers, and other Dana-Farber/Brigham staff to develop comprehensive, individualized treatment plans ranging from the provision of self-help materials to psychotherapy and medications.
This important area of medical psychiatry is led by William Pirl, MD, MPH, Vice Chair for Psychosocial Oncology at the BWH-Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Ilana Braun, MD, Chief of the Psychosocial Oncology Service. The program is at the forefront of the clinical, educational and research aspects of cancer psychiatry and palliative care.
Cancer can affect not just the patient, but the whole family. If it would be helpful to bring a family member to your visit, feel free.
The Palliative Care Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital helps patients (and their families) live as well as possible while facing a serious or life-threatening illness. Palliative care is comprehensive, specialized, interdisciplinary care, focusing on optimizing quality of life and relieving suffering. Palliative care can be helpful through all stages of a serious illness. Early on, it can help make medical treatments more tolerable; at later stages, it can reduce suffering, help patients carry on with daily life, assist in planning for future medical care, and provide support for living with a life-threatening illness. Palliative care focuses on addressing the physical, psychological, relational, and spiritual challenges faced by patients and their families. The palliative care team involves physicians (including psychiatrists), nurses, social workers, physician assistants, social workers, chaplains, pharmacists, and bereavement experts, who work together to provide comfort, preserve dignity, and help achieve open communication with family and clinicians.
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