Print CHI Health Cancer Team

rissy-smithBy Rissy Smith, Cancer Support Services Team Lead

It’s no surprise that cancer patients worry about money, changes in their appearance and energy level—and more. Those concerns are normal. According to, four in 10 cancer patients have significant levels of distress.

The Alegent Creighton Cancer Centers have a way to help you deal with your problems.

It’s called the “Psychosocial Distress Evaluation.” A few weeks after diagnosis, you fill out an evaluation, rating your distress on a scale of one to 10, much like a pain scale when a doctor asks you how much pain you’re in.

The evaluation looks at:

  • Practical concerns (financial and changes in appearance top the list)
  • Physical concerns (fatigue and sleep)
  • Emotional concerns (anxiety and difficulty coping with diagnosis)
  • Family/social concerns: (feeling like a burden)
  • Spiritual concerns (faith is challenged)

Your evaluation lets our interdisciplinary team know about your emotional health and who you need to see to get help beyond your physical treatment. For example, we can guide you to a mental health professional, a social worker, one or more of our 15 cancer support groups, a dietician, Alegent Creighton Health financial aid assistance and many other sources of help. The tool also gives you a chance to talk about and even work out some of your problems during your visit. Most of these services are free.

We’re thrilled with this tool. We’ve always known that there was a need for this kind of evaluation and help; it’s here and is helping dozens of our patients deal with the emotional and psychological changes that come with a cancer diagnosis.

We know that cancer can bring a lot of distress—and that distress can affect your physical progress. Because we care so much about you and your outcome, we treat not only your body but your mind and soul as well.

The distress evaluation is another example of our comprehensive cancer care. For more information about Alegent Creighton Cancer Centers, call 402-717-2273  or visit

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