Compassionate and comprehensive cancer care is about more than just treating
a disease — it’s about treating the whole patient. At Lynn
Cancer Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, our CLASSIC Program
helps provide this holistic care so our patients can experience a better
quality of life.
The Charles Levitetz Advanced Symptom and Support Individualized Care (CLASSIC)
Program offers an extra layer of support for patients undergoing treatment
at Lynn Cancer Institute. As a key part of your care team, we work together
with your doctors and other healthcare providers to help you manage the
physical and emotional side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.
The CLASSIC Program is one of the area’s only outpatient palliative
care programs. Our goal is to help you feel better so you can continue
and complete your treatment plan.
Who benefits from the CLASSIC Program?
The CLASSIC Program helps patients manage symptoms and side effects of
cancer and cancer treatment. Our team is available to meet with all Lynn
Cancer Institute patients regardless of diagnosis or treatment stage.
We can help you cope with cancer side effects such as:
- Poor appetite or other eating changes
- Anxiety and depression
- Sleep issues
- Breathing problems
Our team can also help with other aspects of cancer treatment, such as:
- Decisions around treatment options
- Financial stresses of treatment
- Advance care planning
- Spiritual counseling
What can I expect when I come to the Lynn Cancer Institute CLASSIC Program?
When you arrive for your first visit, we’ll have you fill out a short
questionnaire. This survey will ask about any aspects of your treatment
that may be causing you distress. Distress can be caused by physical symptoms
as well as worry or anxiety related to your diagnosis and treatment plan.
Once you complete the survey you will meet with our team to talk through
your responses and your cancer experience so far. We’ll dig into
what your day-to-day life is like and determine how we can help make it
better. Our team includes a doctor and social worker who both specialize
in helping cancer patients achieve a better quality of life.
After this assessment, we’ll create a plan together that addresses
your symptoms and provides the support you need. Our recommendations may include:
- Diet changes
- Psychosocial support
- Behavior modifications
- Complementary therapies, such as mind-body therapy and acupuncture.
By exploring your hopes and values, we’ll help match your treatment
to your personal goals. We’ll also communicate regularly with your
oncology team to coordinate care, as needed.
We have close relationships with other support services at Lynn Cancer
Institute, such as dieticians, spiritual and financial counselors, and
can help arrange meetings and appointments as needed.
After the initial visit, we’ll schedule follow-up appointments to
check on your progress. We’ll provide ongoing care and support with
the goal to reduce the burden of your illness. We also make sure you’re
feeling and functioning better day-to-day.
Our clinic is centrally located at Lynn Cancer Institute. We can also schedule
your appointments for times when you’re receiving other services
at Lynn Cancer Institute.
When you come to the Lynn Cancer Institute CLASSIC Program, you can expect:
- Seamless coordinated care with your cancer team; we work together with
all of your doctors and healthcare providers to make sure you can feel
as good as possible
- A team that specializes in helping patients cope with the physical, emotional,
social and spiritual effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment
Compassionate, respectful support through every step of your cancer journey
What is palliative care?
Palliative care is individualized medical care for patients living with
a serious illness, such as cancer or heart disease. This care focuses
on providing relief from symptoms and stress of the illness, with the
goal of improving the quality of life for the patient and family.
Palliative care is based on the unique needs of the patient and not the
patient’s prognosis. It is helpful at any stage of an illness and
we can offer it together with cancer treatment. Palliative care is different
from hospice care, which is supportive care for patients with a shorter
life expectancy (six months or less) whose treatment is focused on comfort.
Do you offer any services for patients at Boca Raton Regional Hospital?
The CLASSIC Program is an outpatient program, which means we meet with
patients who are receiving cancer treatment but are not staying in the
hospital. While we don’t visit patients during their hospital stays,
we do work closely with Boca Raton Regional Hospital healthcare providers
to offer support for Lynn Cancer Institute patients undergoing treatment
or care there. This collaboration helps provide a more seamless transition
of care once the patient leaves the hospital.
Do I have to have in-person appointments with the CLASSIC Program?
Our program offers telemedicine appointments if you’re not able to
travel to Lynn Cancer Institute. We can also meet with you during medical
appointments or while you’re undergoing chemotherapy treatment at
Lynn Cancer institute.
Meet the team
Our team includes:
Patricia Jacobs, MD, an internal medicine doctor who has special training in palliative medicine
Julie Katz, MSW, LCSW, APHSW-C, who specializes in both palliative and oncology social work
Make an appointment with the CLASSIC Program
If you need support with your cancer diagnosis and treatment, ask any member
of your Lynn Cancer Institute team about a referral to the CLASSIC program.