Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (POPC)

The Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care (POPC) is composed of five divisions that offer unique services and conduct research with one important goal: To help patients and their families maintain the best quality of life during and after treatment.

Our specially trained staff includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, social workers, and administrators who work closely with patients and their families, oncologists, and other members of the health care team to provide integrated care and support each patient's unique needs – from diagnosis through treatment and into survivorship.

Our Divisions

Adult Palliative Care

Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness – whatever the diagnosis or stage of illness. Our Adult Palliative Care Program works closely with patients and their doctors to:

  • Provide patients with an extra layer of support
  • Help patients navigate their health care
  • Help patients to understand their treatment options

Our goal is to help patients and their families experience the best possible quality of life by focusing on the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.

Adult Psychosocial Oncology

Cancer affects more than just the body. Caregivers in our Psychosocial Oncology Program work with patients and their care teams to define patients' concerns and develop individual plans to cope with the emotional stress cancer may bring. We also offer special programs for young adults, ages 18 to 39 being treated for cancer, as well as bereavement support for those coping with the loss of a loved one.

Adult Social Work

Patients and their loved ones often face many new concerns and anxieties following a cancer diagnosis. Our licensed social workers are here to help through one-on-one sessions and a variety of support groups for cancer patients and their family members. Parents being treated for cancer can also find support through our Family Connections program.

Pediatric Palliative Care

Pediatric palliative care optimizes quality of life, promotes healing, and provides comfort for children with life-threatening illnesses. Our Pediatric Advanced Care Team (PACT) adds an extra layer of support and consults with patients, their families, and the rest of the care team to make the best health care decisions for each child.

Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family is affected. Our Pediatric Psychosocial Oncology team helps families adjust to the emotional impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment, and shares suggestions and strategies for coping, not just for children being treated for cancer, but also for their parents and siblings.

Read our Insight blog for information and inspiration about psychosocial oncology at Dana-Farber.