Medical Support

University Cancer Care has many specialists who focus on helping you prepare for cancer treatments, remain healthy while being treated for cancer, recover from treatment or surgery and lower your risk of cancer recurring.


 Meeting your nutritional needs plays a big part in your recovery, so University Cancer Care has a licensed, registered oncology dietitian on hand to help you develop the best nutrition plan for you. The right eating plan before, during and after treatment can help you feel better, stay stronger and better cope with possible treatment side-effects.

Our dietitian works closely with patients at high risk for nutrition problems, such as those who have difficulty chewing or swallowing. She also works with any patient who has a nutrition question or need. She can provide you with nutrition counseling, guidance on food choices, meal plans, recipes and nutrition tips. Nutrition counseling focuses mainly on helping mitigate some side effects of cancer treatment such as loss of appetite or weight. Some cancer treatments (such as hormone therapy), can cause weight gain, and nutrition counseling can help you prevent this side-effect.

Nutrition counseling may include other health concerns such as diabetes, hypertension or weight management. Maintaining a healthy weight plays a big part in reducing your cancer risk. There is strong evidence that being overweight or obese and/or having poorly managed diabetes increases your risk of dying from several common cancers. Our dietitian can help you manage your weight.

Your doctor may refer you to the oncology dietitian. You can refer yourself, too. Her office is in the Jackson Medical Mall. Ask for directions at the main desk. Fees are based on the length and type of nutritional counseling you need. If you think you cannot afford the counseling, contact the dietitian to discuss options for this service.

To make an appointment with the oncology dietitian, call (601) 815-6780.  

ACT Center

If a health problem is motivating you to quit smoking, University Cancer Care offers free help at the ACT Center for Tobacco, Treatment, Education and Research. Housed at Jackson Medical Mall, the program uses medications and counseling to help you succeed. Studies show this is the most effective approach to quitting.

All tobacco use, not just smoking, is linked to multiple health problems including several types of cancer, diseases of the heart and circulatory system and lung. Counselors and physicians with years of experience in tobacco dependence design your treatment to meet your needs, increasing the likelihood you will quit. Counseling services and medications, all FDA-approved, are free for Mississippi residents, funded by the Mississippi Legislature. You’ll receive an initial evaluation and will be asked to attend six weekly clinic sessions covering topics such as nicotine addiction, health risks and managing stress. Counselors meet with you for follow-up visits for up to a year to help you stay on track and to monitor or adjust your medications. About 100 new clients per month come to the ACT Center and more than half are tobacco-free six to 12 months later.

Staff can arrange for you to attend counseling sessions at a satellite center closer to your home if you are traveling to Jackson for cancer treatment. A grant from the Mississippi Department of Health funds the satellite centers. For more information, go to, then click on “treatment” or call (601) 815-1180.

It’s hard to quit smoking, but knowing what faces you can help you prepare and succeed.


After surgery and some cancer treatments you may need rehabilitation or occupational therapy to help you regain or reinforce daily living skills. Our physical therapists will work with you to evaluate your skills, and then talk to you and your family about your goals. They’ll prepare a program to help you become physically able to meet goals which can range from walking to the mailbox to being able to cook for the family.

Therapists work to help you regain mobility, strength, stamina and restore motions needed for daily living. Based on your physical ability, your doctors and therapists may recommend you attend rehab at the hospital, enter an outpatient program or have a home health agency send a therapist to your home.

  • Lymphedema

    Our rehabilitation and occupational therapy program includes a lymphedema program run by a certified lymphedema therapist. When doctors have to remove lymph nodes, lymphatic fluid may not flow as easily as before sometimes causing pain or swelling. Therapists teach you physical exercises and techniques to help you prevent or deal with that. New surgical techniques mean fewer people experience problems with lymphedema now.


You should have a dental exam before starting chemotherapy since it can lower your resistance to infection and disease. Your dentist will examine your mouth to see if you need any treatments, such as cleanings, fillings or teeth that need pulling to make sure your mouth is healthy before you start cancer treatments. Dentists in UMMC's otolaryngology department are experienced in helping you get your mouth in good health before you begin treatment.

If you have a dentist, seek an exam and tell them you are about to undergo chemotherapy. If you’re receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment for a head or neck cancer you will need additional preventive care.

Blood bank

University Cancer Care provides a blood bank at Jackson Medical Mall to help care for you if you need a transfusion of red blood cells, plasma or platelets while being treated. Having a blood bank on site means you probably will not have to wait for your doctors to order compatible blood products from the main hospital or another blood bank.

The mall blood bank, a satellite of UMMC's transfusion medicine/blood bank program, is staffed each day until the last patient is through with his transfusions. While many people who receive transfusions are battling a blood cancer, others who receive chemotherapy may sometimes need one, too.

Genetic testing

When appropriate, your doctors may recommend genetic counseling. Some cancers may run in families. If you have a genetic mutation that increases your risk of cancer or that of your family, you can be tested for it here. A family history of early-onset cancer (before age 30), multiple cancers or several family members with the same or similar cancers may be reasons to consider genetic testing. Testing is most useful if a person with cancer undergoes the testing; a routine blood sample is all that is needed.

At University Cancer Care, a fully credentialed medical geneticist operates our genetic counseling and testing program. This is the only program in Mississippi where the counseling and testing you receive is from a doctor board-certified in medical genetics.