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Cancer Support Services


Cancer Support Services

At the Georgia Cancer Center we know comprehensive, whole-person cancer support can be empowering and reassuring to patients and their families as they go through their cancer journey.

(706) 721-1229 (Kim Payton)
(706) 721-6748 (Triage)

A serious illness brings uncertainty and can be disruptive to your life and your relationships. If you or your loved ones are feeling anxious, becoming increasingly emotional, or experiencing decreased tolerance during any phase of your cancer care our specialists are here to help.

A serious illness brings uncertainty and can be disruptive to your life and your relationships. If you or your loved ones are feeling anxious, becoming increasingly emotional, or experiencing decreased tolerance during any phase of your cancer care our specialists are here to help.

Our Approach

You are not alone in this journey. Supporting patients is our priority. When going through cancer treatments, you want as much information and support as possible, we offer you so many ways to connect:

Psycho-Social Oncology Services

Support care is an important part of healing during and after a cancer diagnosis. We are here throughout your treatment and recovery, caring for not just your body, but also your mind and spirit.

Psychologists and counselors at the Georgia Cancer Center are experienced in structuring sessions to meet your specific needs. We work with individuals, couples, families, and caregivers. We also offer group sessions for people to interact with others who have been through similar circumstances. In some cases, our psychologists refer people to mental health specialists outside the Georgia Cancer Center for long-term counseling.

Through counseling, our experts can help you with many issues, including:

  • Easing distress and coping with side effects, such as insomnia, fatigue, and pain.
  • Talking to your children, teens, and family about cancer.
  • Learning relaxation exercises to help reduce anxiety, stress, fatigue, restlessness, difficulty sleeping, and physical discomfort.
  • Diagnosing and treating the psychiatric complications of cancer and treatments.
  • Understanding yourself and your reactions better through cognitive-behavioral therapy.

To learn more about our Psycho-Social Oncology Services, including access to these services, please call (706) 721-4109.

Social Workers

Social workers play an important role in providing emotional support and guidance to people with cancer, their families, friends, and caregivers. Our social workers specialize in your specific cancer care and can provide practical assistance for things like:

  • Transportation troubles
  • Insurance issues
  • Financial or work-related concerns
  • Referrals to community resources
  • Assist in connecting you with support groups and educational programs

Patients can contact our social workers at the following locations:

GCC Laney Walker

Alexis Schneider - GCC Social Worker

Alexis Schneider, LMSW 

Clinics: Benign Hematology, GI Medical Oncology, GU Med-Onc & Surgery, Head & Neck Surgical Oncology, Sarcoma Med-Onc, Lung Med-Onc, Thoarcic

Stacy McGaney - GCC Social Worker

Stacy McGaney, MSW

Clinics: Breast Surgical Oncology, Breast Medical Oncology, Gynecologic Oncology, Neurosurgical Oncology

Michele Etienne - GCC Social Worker

Michele Etienne, LCSW

Clinic: Bone Marrow Transplant

 GCC Downtown (Piedmont Professional Building II)

Erika Bowens-GCC Social Worker

Erika Bowens, MSW 

All Clinics



Our support groups help people cope with the emotional aspects of cancer by providing a safe place to share feelings and experiences that may seem too difficult to share with family and friends. Our group dynamic allows patients to learn from others who have faced similar situations and often creates a sense of belonging that helps each person feel more understood and less alone.

Brain Tumor Support Group

All those affected by brain tumors are welcome to join us. Family, friends, and loved ones are welcome to attend as well. Educational materials, resources, and other important information will be shared at each meeting. The meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. in room AN-1305 of the Georgia Cancer Center Outpatient Services – Laney Walker clinic. If you are interested in attending, or have questions, you can contact Jacey Salley by calling 706-721-2505 or via email at

Breast Cancer Survivor Social

Connect with other breast cancer survivors at the Breast Cancer Survivor Community every fourth Monday from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Gynecologic Cancer Support

CSRA Gyn Cancer Support Group Meets the third Monday of each month from 6:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Georgia Cancer Center M. Bert Storey Research Building - Knox Foundation Community Center (CN-1209).  The address is 1410 Laney Walker Boulevard Augusta, GA 30912.
Email: Donna Wheatley at
Call: 706-721-5557

Gastrointestinal Cancer

  • Patients diagnosed with Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST) and their caregivers can find answers and support at GIST Support International. The organization also has limited financial aid for patients needing a second opinion.
  • The Life Raft Group serves as an advocacy group for patients with a rare form of cancer, gastrointestinal stromal tumors. Its mission, to ensure the survival of our patients while maintaining their quality of life through research, treatment surveillance, information and support, and patient outreach and assistance.

Lung Cancer Support Group

Open for all those affected by lung cancer. We welcome all current and past patients, along with family, friends and loved ones to join us. Educational materials, resources, and other important information will be shared at each meeting. The meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. in room AN-1305 of the Georgia Cancer Center Outpatient Services – Laney Walker clinic. If you are interested in attending, or have questions, you can contact Jacey Salley by calling 706-721-2505 or via email at

Prostate Cancer Support Group

Zero Us Too - A supportive gathering place for survivors, recently diagnosed or affected by prostate cancer and anyone who wants to find out more about this disease affecting men.

Meets the third Tuesday of each month from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the Richmond County Public Library, 823 Telfair Street in the Writing Lab (3rd Floor).
Call: 706-305-4810.

Pastoral Care

The Office of Spiritual Care offers counseling and support to patients, families, and staff who are experiencing the impact of a cancer diagnosis. Support is available 24 hours day/7 days a week for inpatients and outpatients. It is the goal of our department to provide spiritual support for people of all faiths and creeds, including those who have none, with equal care. We offer:

  • Spiritual and emotional counseling.
  • Bereavement and grief support.
  • Assistance with creating an Advanced Medical Directive.
  • Liaison to other faith communities as requested by patients.
  • Conducting religious/spiritual events as requested by patients, families & staff.
  • Educational Seminars concerning life with cancer.

Do you have an Advanced Medical Directive?

An Advanced Medical Directive (AMD) allows you to share your medical care wishes, including refusal of certain treatments in emergency/life-or-death situations, with your loved ones and caregivers. An AMD tells people what you want to happen in the event that you you are unable to speak for yourself regarding your healthcare decisions.

To ensure that your wishes are followed, it is essential to complete an advanced medical directive before it is needed. 

The Georgia Cancer Center provides excellent customer service by meeting the cancer information needs of the public, patients, caregivers, and health professionals by providing scientifically-backed cancer information from credible sources and by linking those in need to cancer care specialists and resources.

Pat Sodomka Family Resource Library 

Located in the lobby of the Georgia Cancer Center's Outpatient Services Clinic, the Patricia Sodomka Family Resource Library is a warm, welcoming multi-media center tailored to your information needs. Our library staff can help you find information about the latest advances in cancer treatment. The library is a valuable resource for patients, families, and our community.

Our staff is available to help you find answers to specific questions or use the computer-based search systems. The library focuses on all aspects of the cancer continuum: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, quality-of-life, and grief issues. Browse the growing collection of books and reference materials the library has to offer. The library staff also work closely with the on-site dietitian and social worker to ensure patients receive up-to-date information on nutrition or assistance. You will find materials on topics including:

  • Specific cancer types and treatments options
  • Clinical research
  • Stress management
  • Pain management
  • Fatigue
  • Nutrition
  • Explaining cancer to children
  • Spirituality
  • Grief
  • Survivorship

The library offers access to two free databases. These may be accessed on personal or Mac computers in the library or from home.

  • Medline Plus:  A consumer health site that provides links to reputable web sites on specific diseases and to prepared literature searches from the Medline Plus database. You will also find links to medical dictionaries, physician and hospital directories, clearinghouses, non-profit organizations offering information to consumers, and interactive tutorials.
  • PubMed: The National Library of Medicine’s database has access to articles from more than 4000 medical journals. It allows simple keyword searching or more complicated searches using Boolean logic. It also includes a Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) browser and a citation matches.

The Image Boutique

Georgia Cancer Center’s Image Boutique focuses on improving self-image and self-esteem by helping patients look and feel their best which boosts confidence and enhances quality of life. Our Image Recovery Specialist is a licensed cosmetologist, and licensed mastectomy and prosthetic fitter, who provides confidential consultations for wig selection and fitting, breast prosthesis fitting, surgical and mastectomy garments, and compression garments.

(Note: A physician prescription is required for wigs, prostheses, surgical and mastectomy garments, and compression garments.)

"How do I donate to the Image Boutique?"

An Image Boutique Fund was established to provide financial assistance to any woman who is either uninsured or whose insurance does not cover the cost of wigs, breast prosthesis, surgical bras, compression sleeves, or other products that help patients cope with the physical effects of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

To make a donation, please make your check out to: 
Georgia Health Sciences Foundation - in the memo write #21646-Image Boutique.
Mail to:

Georgia Health Sciences Foundation  
Office of Advancement
1120 15th Street
Professional 1 Building AD1104
Augusta, GA 30912

  • Hope for Two (Cancer during Pregnancy)

    Hope for Two provides information to women diagnosed with cancer while pregnant. It also gives support by matching newly diagnosed women with others who have experienced cancer while pregnant.

  • Cancer Support Services

    Formerly The Lydia Project, this Augusta-based volunteer organization offers a wide range of support, including financial help, transportation and accommodation services, and emotional support for all cancer patients and survivors regardless of age or gender.

If you are sick or need immediate assistance during business hours, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, call the Nurse Triage line at 706-721-6748. If you are sick after office hours, on weekends, or holidays, please call the on-call physician 706-721-6744.

When leaving a message for the triage nurse, always remember to include the following information:

  • Patient’s full name
  • Patient’s date of birth
  • Physician name
  • Telephone number (include area code)
  • Purpose of call

We encourage you to ask for refills from your physician at each visit. However, if you need a prescription refilled before your next visit, contact:

Please allow 48 hours for prescription refill requests.

If it is a physician’s appointment, you call the scheduling department at 706-721-6744. If you need to change a chemotherapy appointment, please contact 706-721-0451. If you will need to alter your chemotherapy schedule, please let your Nurse Navigator know of any issues.

If you will need labs drawn in order to receive chemotherapy, it is highly recommended to have labs drawn the day before your treatment. This will save you time on the day of treatment. You may ask your Nurse Navigator or the infusion nurse about scheduling labs the day before. If you live far away, your Nurse Navigator may be able to help you have labs drawn in your town to avoid an extra trip.

You may arrive approximately 30 minutes early for your appointment to allow for checking-in, lab draws, etc. If you arrive more than 30 minutes early for your appointment, you may visit the Café, the Image Boutique, Meditation Chapel, the Family Resource Library, or Garden. In order to serve all patients in an efficient and safe manner, we will see you at the appointment time(s) scheduled especially for you.

Please call and let the scheduling department know that you are running late, 706-721-6744. You may not be able to be seen if you are too late.

Lymphedema is a progressive disease. If left untreated, lymphedema interferes with wound healing and increases potential for infection. If the swelling persists, tissue and skin changes as well as pain can occur. This can lead to functional problems such as difficulty walking, decreased use of arm/hand, decrease in endurance and strength.

With early intervention and proper treatment, the condition can be minimized. Techniques for self-management and maintenance of swelling reduction and other side effects are essential factors in control. Evidence indicates that those at high risk can offset lymphedema development through bioimpedance monitoring, a practice employed at the Georgia Cancer Center for those at high risk. This tool can be used to identify and address lymphedema at its earliest stage, improving outcomes. 

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is the gold standard for lymphedema management. All four components of CDT (Manual Lymph Drainage, Compression Therapy, Exercise, Skin care) are essential for the best therapeutic outcomes. Lifelong management of lymphedema with CDT provides patients with independence, empowerment, and an improved quality of life.

  • Individuals whose surgery or cancer treatment included lymph node removal and/or radiation therapy.
  • Individuals who have any type of swelling that does not resolve, including chronic venous insufficiency.
  • Individuals who are at risk due to obesity, lymph node excision, and radiation therapy, and wish to learn risk reduction strategies to offset a lifelong condition.
Contact Phone Number
AU Health Operator 706-721-0211
Georgia Cancer Center Information 888-365-0747
Appointments 706-721-6744
Augusta University Radiation Oncology 706-721-2971
Financial Counseling 706-721-3576
Interpreter Services Office: 706-721-6929
Fax: 706-721-6962
Behavioral Health 706-721-6597
Hospital Billing Inquiries 706-721-2961
Physician Billing Inquiries 706-724-6100

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Byrd, Kenneth, MD


Pace, Betty Sue, MD

Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

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