University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be a UCSF patient to use the services of the Cancer Resource Center?

No, our services are open to all cancer patients, regardless of where they receive their care. All cancer patients and their caregivers are welcome. Drop-in classes, such as the meditation class and knitting group, as well as nutrition classes, support groups and medical appointment preparation sessions are open to all.

To attend exercise classes such as yoga, dance and restorative movement, patients must have a signed consent from their doctors. The only services not available to those who aren't UCSF patients are the individual sessions with our nutritionist, exercise counselor and social worker.

What is the cost for services?

There is no charge for our programs, events or services, unless specified. Donations are always appreciated.

How do I make an appointment with a nutritionist?

UCSF cancer patients can make an appointment with our nutritionist by calling their cancer clinic and asking for a nutrition consultation. Patients who get their care elsewhere are welcome to attend our group seminars on nutrition topics. Call the Cancer Resource Center at (415) 885-3693 for more information about the nutrition seminars.

I don't live in San Francisco Bay Area. Are there any services that I can access remotely?

We have a few services available by phone, such as peer support, medical appointment planning and nutrition counseling for UCSF patients. You can also call the Cancer Resource Center for help in finding online resources and services in your community. Call us at (415) 885-3693 Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where can I find information about events and activities at the Cancer Resource Center?

subscribeThe Cancer Resource Center sends a monthly events calendar by email and a hard-copy quarterly calendar of events via the postal system. To subscribe to one or both of these calendars, send an email request to You may also download the quarterly calendar.

How can I get help in learning more about my cancer or its treatment?

There are a number of ways in which we can support you in learning all you need to know about your diagnosis and treatments. The Cancer Resource Center provides free informational brochures which you can pick up in our Center or we can mail to you. We also house a lending library with over 1400 titles on various cancer topics, continually updated. There is no charge to borrow our materials. Additionally, we have list of recommended websites to help you learn more online, and a professional librarian from the Patient Health Library is available Monday through Friday to help you do more in-depth research into particular medical topics. No appointment is necessary.

I have a big treatment decision to make, how do I choose?

While we are not qualified to offer you any medical advice, we do have some programs and services that may help you with your decision. Open to Options is a program sponsored by the Cancer Support Community which provides a toll-free number to talk with a facilitator who can help you uncover the questions that will lead you to making a decision that is right for you. Call 1-888-793-9355. In addition, we encourage you to talk with other survivors who have had the various treatments you are considering. Our Peer Support Program can connect you with someone via the telephone to learn personal stories of treatment choices. Finally, we encourage you to learn all you need to about the treatments you are considering by utilizing some of the resources mentioned in the above section.

Can my caregiver attend classes with me?

In most cases yes your caregiver is most welcome. However, for certain popular movement or exercise classes priority may be given to current cancer patients. We suggest that you inquire with the instructor prior to attending. Additionally some support groups are restricted to patients only, so please inquire at the time of registration.

We recognize that caregivers and loved ones go through this difficult journey as well, and we encourage them to benefit from the same wellness and emotional support as we offer to patients.