Physiotherapist with patient on treadmill

Support services for cancer patients

At the Tumor Center, we decide with each patient and their referring doctor which therapy is the right one for their individual case, and we offer support services in parallel.

These include psycho-oncology, social services and other services. These measures accompanying therapy can significantly improve well-being and quality of life. Relatives can also benefit from some of these services.

Nutritional advice at the USB Tumor Center

The tumor itself can lead to changes in metabolism and the side effects of the therapy can lead to premature satiety, nausea, digestive problems or loss of appetite. The consequences are unwanted weight loss and a feeling of weakness. In our nutritional advice service, we support you and your relatives when difficulties arise around eating. In personal consultations, you will receive information on nutrition that is tailored to your individual eating habits and illness situation.

Adjustments to the choice of food, meal frequency and consistency can often alleviate symptoms, promote wound healing, halt weight loss and improve general well-being.

Following therapy, further questions often arise in relation to nutrition. Through personal consultations, we address your needs and show you ways in which a healthy and tasty diet can reduce the risk of relapse.

Registration for nutritional advice is made by the doctor. If you would like an appointment, you are welcome to contact the medical and nursing team, the case managers or us directly.

If you are hospitalized, we will visit you on the ward. For an outpatient consultation, please make an appointment. If you have a doctor's prescription, the consultation will be covered by your basic health insurance.

Family counseling

The University Hospital Basel now also offers a support service for families where one parent has cancer.

You can find more information in our flyer or contact us directly at .

Look Good Feel Better

In der Sprechstunde für Kardio-Onkologie beraten wir Patientinnen und Patienten, die an einem Tumorleiden erkrankt sind und gleichzeitig eine Herzkreislauferkrankung oder ein erhöhtes kardiovaskuläres Risiko haben.


Insbesondere sind dies:

  • Patientinnen und Patienten mit vorbestehenden kardiovaskulären Erkrankungen, die eine neu diagnostizierte Tumorerkrankung haben und während der Tumorbehandlung einer kardiologischen Mitbetreuung bedürfen.
  • Patientinnen und Patienten mit kardiovaskulären Nebenwirkungen aktueller oder früherer Tumortherapien mit Anthrazyklin-haltiger Chemotherapie, Bestrahlung oder neueren Wirkstoffen (zum Beispiel molekulare oder Immun-Therapien).
  • Langzeit-Überlebende von Tumorbehandlungen zum Screening und der Behandlung von kardiovaskulären Erkrankungen, unabhängig davon, ob diese mit der Tumortherapie in Zusammenhang stehen oder nicht.


Dabei arbeiten wir eng mit den Spezialistinnen und Spezialisten des Tumorzentrums des Universitätsspitals Basel zusammen, um eine optimale interdisziplinäre Betreuung zu gewährleisten.

Sprechstunden nach Vereinbarung


Prof. Gabriela Kuster Pfister

Leiterin Kardio-Onkologie


Gebäude C (Klinikum 2)

Medizinische Poliklinik im EG und Kardiologie, 1. OG

Petersgraben 4

4031 Basel


Tel. +41 61 556 52 98


Die Patientinnen und Patienten erhalten mit dem Aufgebot die Angaben, wo sie sich melden können. Sie werden gebeten, ihre Unterlagen mitzubringen. Insbesondere der Medikamentenausweis ist für uns sehr wichtig.

Look Good Feel Better

During cancer and the associated therapy, your appearance may change - depending on the therapeutic agent: hair loss may occur, loss of eyebrows and eyelashes as well as skin dryness and redness can affect your self-confidence. "Look Good Feel Better" helps you with valuable skin care and specific make-up tips to conceal the visible traces of your therapy in the best possible way with simple means, if you wish. Enjoy some feel-good moments and experience carefree hours in one of the "Look Good Feel Better - Beauty Workshops" at the University Hospital Basel.

Volunteer beauty professionals will guide you through the two-hour workshop with dedication and empathy. This offer also gives you the opportunity to exchange experiences with other participants in a relaxed setting.

The blog posts also offer valuable skin care and make-up tips that are helpful and easy to use.

You are cordially invited to take part in one of the following beauty workshops (virtual workshops are also offered).

The workshops take place on Thursdays from 10 am to 12 noon. Participation is free of charge, places are limited.

Course dates

  • Thursday, April 25, 2024
  • Thursday, May 16, 2024

  • Thursday, September 12, 2024

  • Thursday, October 24, 2024


Find your desired workshop location with date and time at and make a binding registration. The number of participants per workshop is limited.

Flyer Beautyworkshop

Regula Gschwind
+41 61 328 73 31

Course location:
University Hospital Basel, Building B
Spitalstrasse 21, 4031 Basel
1st floor, room "Knotenpunkt"

Medical Genetics

Medical Genetics at the Tumor Center deals with the causes, diagnosis and risk assessment of cancer predispositions. It is generally assumed that 5 to 10% of all tumors are caused by a hereditary predisposition.

As part of genetic counseling, possible genetic causes and the associated familial risks are determined under the guidance of a medical specialist on the basis of a detailed survey of family and personal history and discussed in detail with those seeking advice. If a person is clinically suspected of having a predisposition to cancer, a genetic test can provide clarity.

  • The genetic material (DNA), which is obtained from a blood or saliva sample, is specifically examined for "spelling mistakes" (mutations) in one of the genes, which are often thousands of "letters" (base pairs) in size. As a rule, genes that are already known to be frequently altered in cancer are examined first.
  • If a disease-causing mutation can be identified, this confirms the clinical (suspected) diagnosis. On the other hand, the type of mutation may also provide valuable information for the targeted planning of cancer screening examinations.

The detection of a disease-causing mutation in an affected person enables relatives (parents, siblings and children) to find out for themselves whether they have inherited the predisposition or not. Depending on the underlying cancer predisposition, the probability of being a carrier is up to 50%. After appropriate genetic counseling, which discusses the advantages and disadvantages of early testing, and an appropriate period of reflection, relatives can be tested for the mutation identified in the family.


The primary goal of physiotherapy is to maintain or, where possible, improve the quality of life of our patients. We achieve this by relearning, optimizing and practising everyday activities, through strength and endurance training, joint mobilization and improving mobility.

This also includes

  • Neurological rehabilitation for damage to the central nervous system (CNS) according to Bobath.
  • Decongestive measures such as lymphatic drainage.
  • Prevention of arm lymphoedema through decongestive therapy to promote internal and external scar healing, taking into account the physiological functions of the shoulder joint.
  • Respiratory physiotherapy / pulmonary rehabilitation.
  • Pelvic floor training for urinary and fecal incontinence.
  • Pain relief using physical therapies (heat, electrotherapy, trigger point treatments, etc.).

In order to address the individual problems and needs of patients in a targeted manner, physiotherapy is carried out in individual therapies.

Regular exchanges and discussions between physiotherapy and the various specialist departments of the Tumor Center are an integral part of interdisciplinary cooperation and our quality assurance.

University Hospital Basel
4031 Basel
Phone +41 61 265 70 44


It is estimated that around one third to one half of cancer patients experience such psychological stress during the course of their illness that they could benefit from the support of a psycho-oncologist. Not to be forgotten are the next of kin, who are often the most important source of support for the patient and can therefore also be under psychological strain.

Some people with cancer manage to regain their emotional balance after days to a few weeks after receiving bad news from their doctor. If this is not possible, contact with a psycho-oncologist can be helpful.

Psycho-oncological care ranges from short-term counseling (a few conversations) to longer-term psychotherapy. Psycho-oncological care is determined by the needs of the patient: Some want to try alternative ways of dealing with everyday life, others want to learn to deal with difficult situations more calmly, others want to understand things better and sort them out for themselves or take stock.

Psycho-oncology is an expression of the endeavor to take appropriate account of the psychosocial aspects in the care of oncology patients and their relatives alongside cutting-edge technical medicine. An important focus of psycho-oncology at the Tumor Center is training the psychosocial skills of oncology doctors and nurses through communication training.

As a rule, the attending physicians or nursing staff will refer you to psycho-oncology after consulting you. This also applies to the referring doctor.

However, you can also make contact yourself by

  • asking your attending physician or nurse at the tumor center. They will inform you and put you in touch with the responsible psycho-oncologist.
  • Or you can contact the psycho-oncology department directly by e-mail at

Inpatient and outpatient psycho-oncological care is paid for by the health insurance companies.

Pain therapy

Many patients with a tumor disease suffer from pain sooner or later. This may be due to the need for surgery in connection with the tumour, chemotherapy or the progression of the tumour. In all these cases, our pain specialists in the anaesthesia department can provide effective relief.

Pain after surgery

  • At the beginning of a tumor disease, the plan is often to cure the disease or slow down its progression with an operation. This can often involve extensive and complicated surgical procedures, which can be associated with severe pain. For this reason, the anesthetist discusses specific pain therapy measures with the patient before the operation, such as the use of pain catheters through which pain medication is administered. Pain catheters are left in place for a few days after the operation until the initial severe pain has subsided. Ideally, such a pain catheter even ensures absolute freedom from pain. In addition, patients have hardly any side effects and the administration of strong painkillers such as morphine is not necessary and is only used in reserve.

  • During the entire post-operative phase with a pain catheter, patients are supported by our specialized pain team. The team is made up of pain therapists and specially trained nursing staff from our anesthesia department, which is why the transition from intraoperative to postoperative pain management is seamless and problem-free.

Pain during chemotherapy

  • Chemotherapy (or surgical procedures) in tumor patients can lead to chronic pain. We are therefore happy to advise affected patients with chronic pain on the various treatment options in the outpatient pain consultation and in the inpatient area.

Palliative care

  • Unfortunately, it is not always possible to cure a tumor, which is why further pain can occur as the tumor disease progresses. Our pain experts are happy to advise tumor patients about the available pain therapy options at this stage of the disease.

  • Patients with tumor pain do not always respond adequately to the usual pain therapies. Despite correct pain therapy, around 10% experience inadequate or no pain relief, so that in these cases the indication for extended drug pain therapy or interventional minimally invasive therapy is considered. Particularly in palliative situations and in the final stages of a tumor disease, the expertise of the pain therapist can lead to a drastic improvement in the situation for the patient, but also for relatives and carers. Such measures enable patients to be cared for at home for longer and can be an important element in fulfilling the patient's wish to die at home.


A cancer diagnosis has an impact on the body, mind and everyday life of those affected. With our yoga offer, we want to support and strengthen women with breast cancer or a gynecological tumor disease so that they can better cope with the stress of the therapies. Yoga has a very complex effect and can help to restore inner balance. The aim is to alleviate side effects during ongoing oncological therapy and also after treatment has been completed. For example, yoga can provide valuable support in cases of exhaustion, sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, mood swings or menopausal symptoms.

A complete yoga practice consists of a specific sequence of physical exercises (Āsana), breathing exercises (Prānāyāma) and meditation, which build on each other and work on the levels of body - breath - mind.

The breath-led Āsana in Viniyoga allow you to become calmer, as all movements are performed slowly and mindfully. With each inhalation and exhalation, breath and movement become more relaxed and even. In Prānāyāma, attention is focused on breathing and the perception of the flow of breath is trained. Meditation serves to focus the mind and helps to calm the thoughts.

Participation is possible in face-to-face form on the premises of the University Hospital Basel or online by arrangement. The courses take place weekly on Wednesdays from 5.30 to 7 pm.

The course is continuous. It is possible to join at any time.

Registration at or directly with the course leader on +41 61 328 46 31.

Self-help groups

Self-help groups are voluntary associations of people whose activities are aimed at jointly coping with illnesses, psychological or social problems that affect them - either themselves or as relatives.

However, self-help does not only mean psychological and social support, but also an active exchange of information about the illness, treatment, accompanying symptoms and everyday life.

If you have any further questions about self-help groups, please speak to your doctor or nursing staff. You can also contact the self-help representative, Dr. Astrid Beiglböck, Managing Director of the Tumor Center, at any time.