Cancer Care Services

Nurse Navigator - Your Healthcare Guide

To guide you in your healthcare journey, The MedStar Montgomery Cancer Care Program provides free access to a navigator, who is a registered nurse and is well versed in the continuum of care for cancer patients. Our navigator can be your helping hand in providing you and your family with the support services needed to ensure the best outcome. During this challenging time, it is helpful to have a guide, someone who can help you navigate the complex and confusing world of a cancer patient. In addition to the caring staff of doctors, nurses and technicians who will provide top-notch treatment for your cancer, your cancer care navigator will be your personal guide for your journey through the many tests and treatments you will encounter. For more information, contact the Cancer Center at 301-774-8693.

Meet Debbie Otani, Nurse Navigator: Debbie Otani has worked in the field of oncology as a registered nurse  for more than 30 years. Certified in oncology nursing by the Oncology Nursing Society, her experience has primarily been in the fields of surgery, biotherapy-immunotherapy, infusion therapy, cancer hereditary risk assessment, cancer prevention and early detection. Debra has assisted in providing cancer care in a variety of healthcare settings with experience in managing outpatient oncology service lines. Some ways our navigator can help you out:

  • Answers questions and provides education, such as symptom management and treatment options.
  • Provides resources for your care, including the following support groups:
    • Look Good… Feel Better: Meet with other women coping with side effects of cancer treatment, and discuss beauty tips with an American Cancer Society trained cosmetologist.
    • Cancer Support Group: Join a get together for support, information and discussion for people and their families facing cancer.
  • Provides support and encouragement to you and your family.
  • Assists with the coordination of your cancer care.
  • Works closely with the other members of your healthcare team to provide personalized and high-quality care.

Psychosocial Oncology Support Program

Having cancer can bring distress to many aspects of a person’s life. From the fear and anxiety associated with a diagnosis, to family concerns, work issues and financial matters, the cancer journey is not a welcome one. At the MedStar Montgomery Cancer Care Program, you will find an oncology health care team dedicated to providing both excellence in medical care and also one which is committed to supporting you as a person living with the experience of cancer. Our oncology clinical social worker offers this support to patients, families and caregivers from the time of diagnosis through all phases of the cancer journey. For more information, contact the Cancer Center at 301-774-8693.

Meet your Social Worker: Social Workers offer support to patients, families, and caregivers in the many ways cancer affects life. Some concerns we can assist you with include:

  • Adjustment to and understanding of your diagnosis
  • Defining your goals for care 
  • Coping with fear, anxiety, sadness, depression
  • Family and relationship issues
  • Changes in thinking, behavior, functioning
  • Finding hope
  • Making meaning, spiritual questions
  • Transitions in care
  • Quality of life issues and palliative care
  • Communication and coordination of care
  • Guidance on longstanding problems complicating care
  • Advance Directives and care planning based on your goals
  • Practical issues such as working during treatment, disability matters, finding financial resources, insurance, transportation, etc.

Cancer Education, Support, and Wellness Services

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center offers a variety of cancer services including education, support, and wellness. Get the support that is right for you, with services on and off campus.

On campus services:

  • New Patient Chemotherapy Orientation Meeting – For patients starting chemotherapy, a special appointment is offered to assist you in understanding your care routine and managing side effects. You will become familiar with each aspect of your care, the key staff involved to see or call regarding questions and concerns, and to learn your way around our campus. We strongly encourage you to attend. To schedule an appointment, call 301-774-8962.
  • Individual and Family Counseling and Consultation Appointments – see our Psychosocial Support discussion regarding help with coping with cancer, family and work matters, etc and accessing practical help. To schedule an appointment, contact the Cancer Center at 301-774-8693.
  • Gentle Yoga for Cancer Survivors - Gentle Yoga is a class held weekly for cancer patients in treatment or for those who have completed treatment. A caregiver of the patient attending is also welcome to attend. The teacher, Susan Young, MS, is an experienced certified yoga instructor. Registration is not required but we do ask that you call ahead to 301-570-7878 to let us know you plan to attend. Please dress comfortably. Yoga mats are provided if you do not have one. The class is free of charge and is located on the MedStar Montgomery campus, ground floor, Conference Rooms A&B, #G21. Available for free weekly on Thursday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on a first come first serve basis per space available.
  • Look Good Feel Better - A free public service American Cancer Society program for cancer patients is offered 6 Wednesdays per year from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Participation requires pre-registration by calling the Nurse Navigator at 301-774-8693 to reserve your free cosmetic kit in your complexion shade. Meet others coping with the side effects of cancer treatment and receive tips on special care of your skin, hair and nails, makeup application, and hair, wig and head scarf styling.
  • Integrative Medicine - Our newly established Center For Integrative Medicine offers a range of restorative wellness sessions both individually and in group format. Acupuncture, massage, relaxation and guided imagery therapy, meditation and Reiki are among the services offered. To make an appointment, call 301-774-8673.
  • Psycho-educational workshops and seminars are offered throughout the year on such topics as working through cancer treatment, applying for disability, and finding cancer resources for financial matters. Contact the Cancer Center at 301-774-8693 for the latest offerings.
  • Stop Smoking Help is available to you. We meet individually with a patient to plan a path most helpful to assist you to quit smoking. Call the Cancer Nurse Navigator at 301-774-8693 for more information. Please also discuss this with your oncologist and care staff.

Off campus services:

  • For any questions regarding specific cancer support services, (breast, colorectal, gastro-intestinal, lung, prostate, lung, leukemia/lymphoma/multiple myeloma), Caregiver Support, Family and Children Support, Young Adult Support, Loss, Bereavement Support AND American Cancer Society services, please contact the Cancer Navigator Nurse at 301-774-8693.

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a cancer care specialist, call 855-546-1944

Ways to Help

The Oncology Patient and Family Advisory Council brings together cancer survivors, caregivers, physicians, nurses, and support staff  for the purpose of advancing the MedStar Montgomery Medical Center Cancer Program’s understanding and commitment to the delivery of quality cancer care.

Integrative Medicine

The MedStar Health Center for Integrative Medicine provides patient centered care, focusing on whole person health. The inclusion of mind, body and spirit in this context allows our practitioners to help patients achieve optimal health and healing. Integrative Medicine uses approaches from other healing traditions combined with modern conventional medical practices. Learn more

Nurse Navigator - Debbie Otani, RN
Meet Debbie Otani, RN, our Cancer Nurse Navigator.