The Associates who work with the patients at the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s are second to none and every Friday this month we are proud to shine a spotlight on the amazing people who make the Cancer Institute great. All of our Associates, from our oncologists to our physical therapists to our child life specialists, are specially trained to provide our pediatric cancer patients with the support they need during and after treatment.
When most people think about cancer, they often forget about psychological side effects of the disease. The psychological issues patients and families deal with when coping with cancer can be overwhelming. The Cancer Institute has a dedicated psychology team who works closely with patients and families to help them cope with the emotional and psychological stress of cancer.
Psychologists provide an initial consultation when the patient first meets with the Cancer Institute team, and provides assessments throughout the patient’s treatment. Our psychologists possess special expertise in diagnostic testing, therapy, and counseling for common emotional problems associated with cancer. They assess and treats such issues as depression, anxiety, phobias (to medical procedures), anger, sleep difficulties, loss and grief, and behavioral problems. Moreover, they are available for consultations with parents, schools, physicians and other healthcare providers.
Marcos Di Pinto, Ph.D., is involved with each neuro-oncology patient at the Cancer Institute right from the start. As a neuropsychologist, he works with patients and families to help them understand how cancer impacts brain development and function. He continues working with patients throughout their treatment and with follow-up care in the years after treatment ends.
“I have a passion for working with children with tumors of the brain and spinal cord,” Dr. Di Pinto said. “After doing my two-year residency caring for pediatric oncology patients, I knew that I had found my calling. Working at the Cancer Institute is wonderful because I get to work with amazing patients and their families.”