The UCSF-John Muir Health Jean and Ken Hofmann Cancer Center at the Behring Pavilion is now open.  LEARN MORE >

Symptom and Supportive Care

Patients facing a serious illness may need relief from symptoms. They may need to better understand their condition and choices for care. If they’ve chosen to move ahead with medical treatments, they may need to improve their ability to tolerate the treatments. They may want help with telling health providers and family what’s most important to them, so that their care plan reflects these values and choices.

Our Symptom and Supportive Care Services Team may help address these aspects of living with a serious illness.

What is Symptom and Supportive Care?

The Symptom and Supportive Care Services Team offers specialized medical service for people living with serious illness. It focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness while also attending to a patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This support normally includes addressing difficult-to-control symptoms, including pain, shortness of breath, nausea, loss of appetite, depression, fatigue and constipation.

The Symptom and Supportive Care Services Team works with patients – and those important to them – in identifying treatment choices and goals for medical care based on their wishes and values, and documenting these.

The goal is to improve quality of life for patients and their families.

The Symptom and Supportive Care Services Team includes board-certified Symptom and Supportive Care physicians and specially trained nurses, social workers and chaplains. The team works with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Symptom and Supportive Care is appropriate at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with treatments meant to cure.

Our Symptom and Supportive Care Services Team assists patients in our two hospitals (Walnut Creek Medical Center and Concord Medical Center) and at our Walnut Creek clinic.

Is Symptom and Supportive Care right for me?

Symptom and Supportive Care may be right for you if you suffer from pain, stress or other symptoms due to a serious illness. Serious illnesses may include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s.

How can I get Symptom and Supportive Care?

The first step is to talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor you are thinking of Symptom and Supportive Care and ask for a referral. For more information, call (925) 941-4182.