Dealing With Cancer: Services to Help Manage and Ease Life


Many patients find relief from chemotherapy side effects through acupuncture. Here are a few recommended practitioners. Talk to your doctor before embarking on any treatment.

Carlos Durana. A seasoned acupuncturist and clinical psychologist, Durana takes a multi-modality approach to treating the entire patient. 11417 Tanbark Dr., Reston; 703-716-0906.

Sen Huang. A former faculty member and current acupuncture consultant for the Center for Integrative Medicine at George Washington University Medical Center, Huang is known for his relaxation techniques and expertise in working with various illnesses. 730 24th St., NW, Suite 11; 202-298-5588.

Luke Acupuncture & Herbology Center. Acupuncturist Luke Tian has a PhD in cancer pharmacology and has developed his own acupuncture protocol to relieve symptoms and boost endorphin levels. 966 Hungerford Dr., Suite 10-A, Rockville; 301-309-8889.

Personal Chefs

These chefs, recommended by cancer patients, provide healthy meals based on dietary restrictions and preferences.

Victoria Cortes. Cortes uses fresh, local ingredients to prepare meals to any dietary specification. Options include biweekly meal preparation so your freezer is always stocked with healthy options. 703-201-7168;

The Healthy Gourmet. Owner and chef Verlette Simon is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a licensed nutrition and holistic-health counselor. 202-309-3508;


Marietta Amatangelo. A leukemia survivor and director of nutrition at George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine, Amatangelo also sees patients in her Bethesda office. 908 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Suite 200, 202-833-5055; 4401 East-West Hwy., Suite 307, Bethesda, 202-559-4260.

Therapeutic Nutrition. Medical nutritiontherapist Victoria Wood has more than 25 years of experience creating diet plans to optimize health. 7105 Sycamore Ave., Takoma Park; 301-270-4244.

Classes and Support

Georgetown lombardi comprehensive Cancer center. Support groups for various types of cancer including lung, breast, gynecological, and head and neck. Also art and play therapy for children with cancer and assistance for parents of newly diagnosed children. 3800 Reservoir Rd., NW. For a phone directory, see, then click on Patient Care, then Patient & Family Resources, then Online Resources, then Support Groups.

George Washington Cancer Institute. Programs range from support groups for patients and family members—such as the Kid’s Club for children whose parents or grandparents have cancer—to pottery classes and even Healing With Basketball, a monthly team workout. 2300 I St., NW; 202-944-2449.

Hope Connections for Cancer Support. Yoga, knitting, and classes about navigating insurance and the financial implications of cancer are just a few offerings from this center’s expansive list of free services and support groups. 5430 Grosvenor La., Suite 100, Bethesda; 301-493-5002.

Life With Cancer. From seminars on fighting fatigue to “laughter yoga” and tools for couples, this program—part of Northern Virginia’s Inova Health System—provides free services, including individual and group counseling. Inova hospital centers at Fairfax, Fair Oaks, and Loudoun; 703-698-2526.

Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. Ongoing support groups for thyroid and breast-cancer patients and caregivers. 9901 Medical Center Dr., Rockville; 240-826-6297.

Sibley Memorial Hospital. Support-group topics include coping skills for newly diagnosed breast-cancer patients and nutrition for better health. Partnering programs connect breast-cancer survivors with women just starting treatment. 5255 Loughboro Rd., NW; 202-243-2320.

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. Founded in 1996, this center provides creativity and art programs, nutrition and cooking classes, yoga and movement classes, and weeklong retreats at nearby Hallowood Retreat for people living with cancer. 1632 U St., NW; 202-483-8600.


Bravadas. Designed for women faced with cancer-related hair loss, this boutique offers a well-trained staff and an extensive selection of wigs and extensions plus mastectomy apparel and bra fittings. 11204 Lee Hwy., Fairfax; 703-352-4247.

Eivind and Hans of Georgetown Salon and Spa. Owner Hans Kalset specializes in choosing and styling wigs and custom hairpieces as well as showing clients how to work with scarves. A suite in the back creates a private, low-key setting. 2233 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-2100.

Hollywood Fashion Wigs. A friendly staff and an array of styles means you can try on many different options and find a piece at a price that works for you. 716 King St., Alexandria; 703-548-8181.

Wig Boutique. Known for excellent customer service and thorough consultations, the staff at this small shop is said to be patient, kind, and discreet. They recommend that a woman come in prior to hair loss to find a wig that’s the closest match to her natural color and style. 8630-E Lee Hwy., Fairfax; 703-560-7077.

Bras and Swimsuits

Nordstrom. Its Prosthesis Program offers certified fitters and private fitting rooms plus a large selection of mastectomy bras, attachable breast forms, and enhancers/equalizers for lumpectomies. Staff also handles insurance paperwork. Multiple Maryland and Virginia locations.

SyLene. For 35 years, this sister-owned boutique has provided fittings of mastectomy-friendly lingerie, prosthetics, and swimsuits. 4407 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase; 301-654-4200.

Makeup and Skin care

Eivind and Hans of Georgetown Salon and Spa. Licensed aesthetician and makeup artist Pamela Dennison is trained in working with women undergoing chemotherapy. She addresses the various changes to the skin and is skilled in the application of eyebrows. 2233 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-2100.

Little Vinnie’s Tattoos. For 11 years, owner Vinnie Myers has worked exclusively on recreating nipples and areolas—usually 50 a month—for patients who have undergone breast reconstruction. Because he’s able to create the illusion of a raised nipple without additional surgery, his tattoos are considered an alternative to nipple and areola surgical reconstruction. 2025 Suffolk Rd., Suite 8, Finksburg, Md.; 410-876-4638.

Look Good . . . Feel Better. Two-hour, hands-on group makeover workshops are held in local hospitals and led by cosmetologists who provide skin-care, makeup, and hair advice. Check for a calendar.

Fertility Preservation

Radiation and chemotherapy regimens often carry the side effect of permanent sterility. The following local centers offer options that allow patients to have children after treatment is complete.

Dominion Fertility Life After Cancer Program. This program provides qualified young women the option of preserving their eggs—normally $10,000 to $12,000—free of charge prior to undergoing fertility-threatening treatments. 46 S. Glebe Rd., Suite 301, Arlington; 703-920-3890.

Genetics & IVF Institute. Its new Fertility Preservation Center for Cancer Patients provides sperm banking as well as embryo and egg freezing. 3015 Williams Dr., Fairfax; 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 612, Rockville; 800-552-4363.

Miscellaneous Services

Cleaning for a Reason. Women over age 19 can fill out an application online to receive free monthly home cleaning for up to four consecutive months.

Road to Recovery. This American Cancer Society Program provides transportation to and from treatment for patients unable to drive themselves and without other means of attending appointments. 800-227-2345.w