Psychosocial Services

Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center is committed to providing expert medical treatment complemented by psychosocial care.  For more information, please call the IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center at 765.751.1400.


More than half of cancer patients may suffer from distress, studies show—ranging from normal feelings of vulnerability and sadness to extreme, disabling anxiety and panic. Specific concerns include how they will be perceived by friends and family, whether they can resume work, how well they will cope with illness and treatment and how to pay their medical bills.

While it may not be surprising that cancer can prompt distress, what is striking is that distress can affect a patient's physical progress. Not only can such feelings interfere with the ability to cope with the rigors of cancer therapy, experts say, but they can lessen one's motivation to complete treatment. They can also interfere with the body's immune system and have a negative impact on the course of the disease.

It may be hard to describe the amount of stress one feels after a diagnosis of cancer but it is extremely important to be able to talk with your treatment team about this issue.  There are many services and individuals in place who can help patients deal with the stressors of a cancer diagnosis, treatment and side effects.  Listed below are the resources and programs that can help patients deal with many of the practical, family, emotional, spiritual, and physical problems that can accompany a cancer diagnosis. 

Cancer Exercise Program

The IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center offers an exercise program for people who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as survivors experiencing fatique-related issues years past diagnosis. Using exercise, education and peer support, the cancer rehabilitation program empowers cancer patients to improve their quality of life at their given stage of treatment.

The program is designed to help you regain control of your life, health and ability to cope. The Cancer Exercise Program focuses on improving quality of life at any stage of your cancer experience. This is accomplished through routine supervised physical exercise designed to fit each individual's unique needs and goals. This program is not focused on strenuous exercise, but on light to moderate exercise that can benefit anyone at any level of fitness.

Exercise during cancer has been shown to reduce fatigue, increase vigor and strength, improve mood and boost the immune system. In addition, education classes are included in the program, which provide information on topics related to cancer and personal well-being. The cancer exercise staff encourages patients to make the first step in taking charge of their lives. 

Matthew Douglass is an ACSM/ACS Certified Cancer Exercise Trainer.  The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) leads the way in fitness certification by setting the standards and guidelines, which we follow here within Cancer Services. Currently there are 183 professionals that hold this certification nationally and Matthew Douglass is the first from Indiana.

Please call 765.751.5304 for more information.

Download printable Cancer Exercise Program brochure.

Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services

Cancer can be a challenging and demanding experience for patients and their families. For many people, spirituality or faith provides a source of support and comfort during this time. Chaplains are an integral part of the healthcare team available to patients, families and staff at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and the IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center.

Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy Services are available 24 hours a day at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and are provided at the IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center Monday through Friday. A chaplain can be reached anytime by notifying a nurse or staff person or by calling the hospital operator at 765.747.4408.

Download printable Spiritual Care brochure.

Social Services

The IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center provides a social worker to assist patients and families with various needs during their diagnosis, treatment and recovery from cancer. The overall objective of the social worker is to connect patients and their families with an array of services that help make their journey with the IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center a positive experience. Services the social worker can assist you with include:

  • Home Care Services
  • Caregiver Information
  • Durable Medical Equipment Assistance
  • Transportation Issues
  • Financial Concerns/Issues
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Adult Respite Care
  • Counseling Referrals
  • Community Resource Referrals

If you have questions regarding our services or would like to speak to the cancer center social worker, please call 765.751.1449.

Cancer Registry

The Cancer Registry plays an active role in the cancer program by providing services and support for our Commission on Cancer (COC) Approved Program.

The Cancer Registry collects and analyzes all reportable cancers diagnosed and/or treated at the IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center. Data is maintained, analyzed and reported for the purpose of research and quality improvement analysis. In addition to the standard cancer registry responsibilities, registrars serve as ACoS accredidation coordinators by playing key roles on Cancer Committee and by ensuring that the cancer program meets and/or exceeds all CoC Standards.

Cancer Registry coordinates and supports the quarterly Cancer Committee meetings and weekly cancer conferences. The data in the registry is available to medical and administrative staff to use for audits, special studies and research. A Certified Tumor Registrar manages the cancer registry staff and database. The staff is responsible for:

  • Identifying and accessioning all reportable cancer cases
  • Collecting informaiton on all diagnostic and screening services
  • Adhering to the current Standards set by Commission on Cancer and Indiana State Cancer Registry
  • Documenting diagnosis, stage of disease and treatment of each patient in the cancer data base
  • Completing an abstract on each patient
  • Conducting annual follow-up on all analytic cases
  • Performing quality control of registry data
  • Responding to data request for administrative and research purposes
  • Submitting data to the Indiana State Cancer Registry and National Cancer Data Base (NCDB)

Call 765.747.3025 to speak to the lead registrar.

Prevention and Screenings

Cancer is fast becoming the nation's number one health threat. The goal of this program is to educate individuals about cancer risk factors, warning signs and the importance of early detection. Some cancers are unavoidable, but many are the result of the choices we make.

Our Cancer Education Program promotes healthy lifestyle choices for adults and children, and is available free to the community. The 30-minute presentations feature an education video and question and answer sessions. To learn more about these programs or to schedule a presentation, call 765.741.2938.

The IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center also offers free colorectal screening tests. This test, taken at home, detects blood in an individual's bowel movement. To learn more about colorectal cancer or to request a free screening test, please call 765.741.2938.

IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital is offering a Lung Cancer Screening Program for patients who are considered at high risk.

Are you at risk for lung cancer?

If all the following statements describe you, then you should consider having a screening scan of your lungs:

  • Between 55 - 74 years of age
  • Currently smoke or have quit in the last 15 years
  • ≥30 pack year history of smoking (“Pack year” is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years spent smoking.)
  • Symptom free
  • No CT scan of the chest within the past year

If you are eligible, a screening involves a CT scan of your lungs and speaking with a healthcare professional about your lung cancer risk. The out of pocket expense for this screening is $49. To schedule or for more information, please call 765.751.2727.

If you have questions about the screening, please speak with your doctor about the risk factors of lung cancer and the benefits of this screening.

Cancer Screenings

Cancer screenings are free and open to the public. Call 765.741.2938 for more information.

  • Fall—prostate cancer screening
  • Fall and Winter—cervical cancer screening
  • May—skin cancer screening
  • Anytime—colorectal cancer screening
  • Anytime—lung cancer screening (call 765.751.2727 to schedule an appointment- there is a $49 charge for this screening).

Nutritional Services

A patient's nutritional status can affect how they feel and cope with medical treatments. A well-nourished body can aid in recuperation from surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and stress, as well as build new tissues and prevent tissue breakdown and weight loss. Good nutrition is an essential component of care for oncology patients. The proper information is important to understanding, minimizing and possibly overcoming the components of care that affect nutritional status.

At the IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center, the oncology dietitian works directly with patients and families to assess nutritional status and provide individualized nutrition care. She strives to provide information that will assist the patient to reduce side effects experienced by cancer treatments, to improve nutritional status and promote the effectiveness of cancer therapies, as well as to improve overall health. She also offers a monthly nutrition class, open to all cancer center patients. For more information, please call 765.747.3273.

Patient Access Services Financial Service Representative

The IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center offers the assistance of a Financial Service Representative for patients and families during their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from cancer. The goal of the Financial Service Representative is to connect patients with resources that assist with making their journey a more positive experience. The Patient Access Services Financial Service Representative can help you with the following services:

  • Medicaid Enrollment
  • Food Stamps (SNAP)
  • Hoosier Health Wise (HHW) For parents and/or children
  • Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP)
  • Medication Assistance
  • Co-Pay Assistance
  • Community Resource Information
  • Cost Estimation for Services
  • Billing and Account Assistance

For more information please call 765.751.5825.

Education and Support

A diagnosis of cancer and its ensuing treatment have a tremendous physical and emotional impact on patients and families. An individual's ability to understand and cope with the changes that occur after a cancer diagnosis can be improved by access to relevant and understandable information. The IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center believes in providing just that!

The IU Health Ball Memorial Cancer Center has a full-time educational coordinator available to meet your information and support needs. While we encourage active participation, we know each patient is different. We provide a variety of educational resources, offered in a caring and supportive environment. Let us know what we can do to help.

Free services available to patients include:

  • Weekly and monthly education programs
  • Personal appointment to discuss individual family needs, concerns, information and navigation regarding our services and programs
  • Resource materials, such as brochures, videos and books
  • Various support programs
  • A CancerHelp computer that can print information from the National Cancer Institute and is updated monthly
  • Individualized support for patient and family members

For more information contact Melody Stanley, CNMT, RT(N), MS at 765.751.1400.


When people are faced with cancer, there are many individual reactions, yet the human experience of cancer is also filled with many commonalities:

  • The shock and disbelief of diagnosis
  • The sometimes-paralyzing fear and anxiety of the future
  • The relentless, often daily preoccupation with the word "cancer"
  • The heightened awareness and attention to any and all physical aches and pains
  • The confusion, lack of control and uncertainty
  • The vast number of decisions to be made, many in short time spans

Sometimes it helps to talk with someone who truly understands your situation. It is common for patients and their loved ones to experience difficulty at the time of a cancer diagnosis or during ongoing treatment. Patients and their family members may have concerns they would like to talk over with someone who will listen.

Our staff are experienced mental health professionals who provide support for the many issues that may affect patients and their families during a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Please consider participating in the counseling process. This is a free service for you and your loved ones. For more information please call 765.751.1449.

Download printable Cancer Counseling brochure.

Strength of Friends

At IU Health, we understand that family and friends are a very important part of our patients’ care team, so we have created a specialized tool to help them respond in an organized and helpful way to support their loved one.

The Strength of Friends is a free service that allows friends and family to establish a team website to offer a loved one support during a difficult time or life-changing event.

Friends and family members can use the site to:

  • Coordinate schedules for meals, childcare, or errands
  • Provide information and blog updates
  • Post photos
  • Allow family and friends to post guestbook messages
  • Receive tips and tools for supporting their loved one

How It Works

Step 1
A family member or close friend serves as the team captain and completes a brief registration process.

Step 2
This registration process crates a personalized team website, which can then be shared with family members and friends.