Life with Cancer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  1. What is Life with Cancer?
  2. Who can benefit?
  3. What does it cost?
  4. How do I get started?
  5. Where is Life with Cancer located?
  6. How do I contact you?
  7. Do I have to be an Inova patient?
  8. Who has access to my personal information?
  9. How can I support Life with Cancer?
  10. How do I get involved with Life with Cancer?
  11. What can I expect from a support/education group?
  12. How can Life with Cancer help my support network that lives far away?
  13. What is short-term counseling and who provides this?
  14. What do Oncology Nurse Educators do?
  15. Do I need a referral to access one of the counselors or nurses?

1. What is Life with Cancer?

Life with Cancer is a Northern Virginia-based nonprofit organization that offers free services to anyone impacted by cancer, including patients, their families, and friends. Services include educational classes, support groups, individual and family counseling, and complementary approaches designed to help those affected by cancer understand and cope with its impact. All services are provided by Certified Oncology Nurses and Licensed Clinical Social Workers.

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2.    Who can benefit?
Anyone living with, caring for, or affected by cancer, regardless of location, age or where the person with cancer is being treated.
 

3.  What does it cost?

Services are free of charge. We at Life with Cancer know that cancer and its treatments put a large financial strain on everyone impacted by the diagnosis. We are able to provide all our services free due in part to the generous support of the community. Support Us!

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4.  How do I get started?

 

5. Where is Life with Cancer located?

       Life with Cancer Family Center
       8411 Pennell Street, Fairfax, VA 22031

       Please follow the link below for Mapquest directions and map:
       http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Fairfax&state=VA&address=8411+Pennell+Street&zipcode=22031

      Life with Cancer also has staff at:

    • Inova Fairfax Hospital
    • Inova Fair Oaks Hospital
    • Inova Loudoun Hospital
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6.  How do I contact you?

Please click here to contact us.

To contact a Life with Cancer team member, visit our Staff Contact Page.

 

7.  Do I have to be an Inova patient?

No, although Life with Cancer is an Inova Health System program, we offer our services to anyone impacted by cancer regardless of where you live and are/were treated.

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8. Who has access to my personal information?

Please know that it is the policy of Life with Cancer and all other Inova Health System services that any information obtained by (about) patients and their families shall be kept confidential. This information shall not be disclosed to any person not employed by Life with Cancer except upon express written authorization signed by you or your legal guardian (or responsible representative). Discussions by a staff member with your medical team will only take place with your or your loved ones direct consent.

9. How can I support Life with Cancer?

  • Donations – Please contact Director of Leadership Giving Joanne Royalty at 703-698-2531, or click to Donate to Life with Cancer Now!
  • Volunteer your time – Please contact Volunteer Program Manager Catherine Intartaglia at 703-698-2534, or click to Volunteer for Life with Cancer Now!
  • Word of mouth: Our program continues to grow and thrive because people tell their friends, family, loved ones and health care teams about Life with Cancer.
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10. How do I get involved with Life with Cancer?

  • Attend. Join our classes, groups, individual counseling program and other various monthly activities. Check out our monthly calendar to view a complete listing of various support and educational groups, complementary therapies, seminars, and workshops we offer.
  • Donate. Donations allow Life with Cancer to offer services free of charge. Contact Director of Leadership Giving Joanne Royalty at 703-698-2531, or click to Donate to Life with Cancer Now!
  • Volunteer. To donate your time and talent, please contact Volunteer Program Manager Catherine Intartaglia at 703-698-2534, or click to Volunteer for Life with Cancer Now!

11. What can I expect from a support/education group?

  • Confidentiality. Our staff is committed to maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality in accordance with Inova Health System policies.
  • Support. Life with Cancer groups work to help people get the information and support they need to cope with a cancer diagnosis in the best way possible.
  • Anyone impacted by cancer may attend. Patients, family members and friends are welcome.
  • Registration is strongly encouraged for all groups. Visit our monthly calendar to explore our groups and complete registration.
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12. How can Life with Cancer help my support network that lives far away?

  • Although Life with Cancer is located in Northern Virginia, we can provide phone support and education, as well as guidance to local and national resources that may be of help to your long distance support network.
  • Click here to visit our Resource Center for helpful information and resources.  
  • For more information, contact program managers Carrie Friedman, RN, BS, Program manager of Patient and Family Education at 703-776-3777 or carrie.friedman@inova.org; or Sabine Gnesdiloff, LCSW, OSW-C at sabine.gnesdiloff@inova.org or 703-698-2535.  

13. What is Short-term counseling and who provides this?

Short term counseling is here to help people get through specific situations or problems as it relates to a cancer diagnosis. Many patients and their families seek support for stress reduction, relationship issues, decision making and grief work. For situations requiring long term therapy we are happy to refer to trusted clinicians in the community. All counseling is provided by licensed clinicians. Life with Cancer does not provide psychiatric evaluations or prescriptions but can refer those affected by cancer to psychiatrists who have identified skill in working with persons impacted by cancer. Short-term counseling is offered at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, Inova Loudoun Hospital, Inova Alexandria Hospital and at the Life with Cancer Family Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call Sabine Gnesdiloff, LCSW, OSW-C at sabine.gnesdiloff@inova.org or 703-698-2535

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14. What do our Oncology Nurses do?

Experienced Certified Oncology Nurses will take you step-by-step through your individualized treatment plan providing information on treatment, how to best manage side-effects, clinical trials, fertility, information about your cancer, how to get the most from your healthcare team and more. Our Nurse Educators can also work with you to develop a Survivorship Wellness Care Plan to meet your specific needs for health and well-being after treatment ends. Our Oncology Nurses are available for inpatient consultations at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Fair Oaks Hospital, and Inova Loudoun Hospital as well as outpatient appointments. Telephone consultations are also available. For more information, please contact Carrie Friedman, RN, BS, Program manager of Patient and Family Education at 703-776-3777 or carrie.friedman@inova.org.  

15. Do I need a referral to access one of the counselors or nurses?

No. Referrals are not necessary to utilize any of the services or professionals at Life with Cancer.  Patients, family and friends come to Life with Cancer on their own accord to participate in programs, workshops, groups or to consult with one of our nurses or counselors.  Physicians, nurses and other health care providers can also request we consult with certain individuals who could benefit from our services.

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