Breast Cancer Resources & Services

  • The WNY Breast Cancer Resource Center offers information and resources, including free hats, wigs and scarves, to breast cancer patients.

We understand the worry and confusion that comes with a diagnosis of cancer. In addition to superior medical care and the latest technology, Roswell Park provides a comprehensive range of services to help you cope with the emotional, financial and day-to-day concerns related to your illness.

When you walk through the doors of Roswell Park, rest assured that you’ll find the care and support you need — before, during and after your cancer treatment.

Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program

This program aims to meet the unique needs of adolescent and young adult cancer patients ages 15 to 39. The AYA program at RPCI reaches far beyond your current treatment-related issues, and looks to the future with promise and hope.

Advance Blood Draw

Reduce the time you spend waiting at your next scheduled appointment—get your lab work and radiology tests done in advance. RPCI offers various lab work locations! Choose from three Roswell Park locations, or take advantage of our partnership with Catholic Health System, which allows you to select from three additional suburban locations. Schedule now in your Care Center or call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).

Communication in All Languages

Patients who do not speak English, or who would prefer to speak a language other than English, have easy access to interpreters. Roswell Park contracts with the Language Line, a phone service that provides professional interpretation by certified medical interpreters in more than 170 languages, 24 hours a day.

Non-English-speaking patients can access Language Line services by making arrangements through any member of their health care team or, if off-campus, by calling Roswell Park’s Cancer Information Program at 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724), available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Joanne Janicki, Breast Resource Center coordinator, discusses one of the newer support programs offered to breast cancer patients and their families.

Extended Hours Ambulatory Center

The Roswell Park Extended Hours Ambulatory Center (EHAC) is open Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. This new patient care service is available for current patients, and provides access to Roswell Park physicians, nurses, and other experts after RPCI's Care Centers have closed for the day. Please know that this is not a walk-in clinic. Call Roswell Park at 716-845-2300 if you are having symptoms and in need of assistance.

Family Support

The stress, fear and uncertainties of a cancer diagnosis impact family members and loved ones just as they do the patient. We extend our services to relatives and caregivers, offering psychosocial support as well as assistance with all of the practical considerations necessary to care for someone undergoing cancer treatment. Family members are welcome to attend support group meetings or they may take advantage of private consultations with our Psychosocial Oncology team by calling 716-845-8022 or visiting the office on the ground floor of the hospital (G552). Consultations are free and confidential.

Genetic Assessment, Testing and Counseling

The Clinical Genetics Service was established to meet the needs of individuals at high risk for hereditary cancer syndromes based on their personal and/or family histories of cancer. This program is comprised of professionals who provide individuals and their families with a comprehensive, personalized cancer risk evaluation — based on the most timely, accurate information available — in a caring, confidential setting. Call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) for more information.

How to Read Your Pathology Report

Cancer treatments are becoming more and more targeted, so an accurate and comprehensive analysis by a pathologist is critical in determining the best approach. Learn how to read your pathology report.

Look Good . . . Feel Better

Look Good . . . Feel Better helps patients cope with appearance-related side effects of their treatment by offering skin, hair, and nail care tips; make-up techniques; and wig, scarf, hat, and turban demonstrations. The program is coordinated by the American Cancer Society, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association, and the National Cosmetology Association. Offered monthly; call 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345) for information and registration.

Lymphedema Program

Lymphedema, swelling and buildup of lymph fluid in a part of the body, most often a limb, sometimes occurs after surgery to remove the tumor and nearby lymph nodes. If you have had several lymph nodes removed, you may be at risk for developing lymphedema. Our Lymphedema Program offers specialized treatment to reduce swelling and discomfort and prevent infection. The clinic services are open to all, including patients not undergoing treatment at Roswell Park.

Navigation and Resource Center

The Breast Center at Roswell Park has a program to help patients navigate their way through their breast cancer journey, and to provide information and resources they need. Those with breast cancer will be contacted before their first appointment.


Good nutrition is especially important while you are receiving cancer care. During your treatment, adequate intake of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals will help you to be strong, maintain your weight, and promote the healing process. Before and after your treatment, a healthy diet based on moderation, variety and balance will help to promote a good immune system, give you energy, and enhance your overall health. Our Nutrition and Food Service team is dedicated to providing nourishing meals and nutrition care to promote quality of life throughout the spectrum of your cancer care experience.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is a medical specialty devoted to caring for individuals with progressive illness. It is a common misperception that palliative care is offered only for patients who are ending curative treatment. However, the Supportive & Palliative Care Team at Roswell Park can join the care process at any time. This team of skilled specialists provides comfort to the patient and caregivers, addressing the many issues — emotional, physical, and practical — that are associated with cancer. If end-of-life care is needed, the Palliative Care team helps enhance the experience by facilitating hospice referrals and pastoral care support.

Pastoral Care

The Pastoral Care Department at Roswell Park is an interfaith department supporting the concept of holistic medicine. This concept recognizes the integration of spiritual, emotional, social, psychological and physical care as necessary for the health of the whole person. Working collaboratively with other health care professionals, chaplains provide spiritual care to all persons in the Institute regardless of religious affiliation.

Patient Advisory Council

Created in 2012, RPCI’s Patient Advisory Council represents a “culture change” in the way the hospital operates and how it receives feedback from our patients. Patients who join the advisory council become involved with every level of care and are invited to take a hard look at the services and procedures in place at Roswell Park, then provide suggestions for how to make improvements.

If you are interested in joining the Patient Advisory Council, please call RPCI’s Department of the Patient and Family Experience at 716-845-8114.

Patient Advocate Program

Dr. O’Connor utilizes Roswell Park’s abundant resources and services to help breast cancer patients recover after treatment.

Patient Advocates act as a mediator, a connection between you and your health care team. They work with patients and staff to resolve concerns or complaints and to improve effective communication among patients, families, and the Roswell Park care team.

Patient Navigator Program

The Patient Navigator provides support for cancer patients, families and caregivers throughout diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Navigators can guide you through and around barriers, helping to find the answers and assistance needed to chart a course to recovery. Navigators provide face-to-face assistance right here at Roswell Park. They connect patients with internal Roswell Park resources and community agencies that can address any challenges you may face. These may include: financial issues, transportation and lodging needs, lack of medical information, or emotional support.

Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation

Roswell Park's comprehensive physical therapy services include special attention to patients who have had breast surgery. Initially, patients will meet with a staff physical therapist to focus on lymphedema prevention, and then will progress to instruction and exercises to rebuild strength and restore shoulder mobility and function.

Psychosocial Oncology

Our team of social workers and clinical psychologists work side by side with your medical team to provide individualized assistance and support to you and your family throughout the course of care. Services include:

  • Educational programs about cancer
  • Emotional support, including support groups and psychotherapy
  • Assistance with sick leave and disability
  • Arrangement of lodging, transportation or language/interpreter needs
  • Linkage with financial assistance programs and other community resources
  • Assistance with advance care planning, palliative care and/or hospice referrals as needed

Purple Shirts

The American Cancer Society and Roswell Park Cancer Institute worked together to create a healthcare hospitality program that connects patients and their families with cancer survivors. Dressed in purple shirts, these dedicated volunteers visit clinics throughout the RPCI hospital, bringing compassion, understanding, and practical information about RPCI resources and supportive services. If you don’t see a Purple Shirt in your clinic and would like to speak to someone, please visit The Resource Center for Patients and Families at Roswell Park, or call the Office of Patient and Family Experience at 716-845-8114.

Smoking Cessation

Roswell Park Cessation Services (RPCS) provides evidence-based, best practice tobacco cessation services to Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) employees, state quitlines, healthplans, and employer sponsored programs.

Just Breathe

Quitting smoking is hard enough, but struggling with nicotine withdrawal while undergoing cancer treatment is a major challenge. Roswell Park’s cessation program, Just Breathe, offers individualized quit plans and provides behavioral counseling, pharmacotherapy and cessation support to all RPCI patients and their families. For more information, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).

New York State Smokers’ Quitline

Based at Roswell Park and supported by the New York State Department of Health Tobacco Control Program, the NYS Smokers' Quitline has logged well over one million calls since its inception. Call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487). Roswell Park was the first health care facility in Western New York to go entirely smoke-free.

WNY Breast Cancer Resource Center

The WNY Breast Cancer Resource Center provides a wide range of cancer information and resources to patients and their caregivers as they face the challenges of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Trained cancer information specialists help locate and evaluate appropriate online, print and video resources about breast cancer, the latest treatments, clinical trials and survivorship.

In addition, the Center offers free hats, wigs and scarves; referrals to breast prosthesis and undergarment fitters, and information and referrals to local breast cancer support groups, financial assistance programs and transportation resources. The lending library offers medical textbooks and consumer guides, plus storybooks and coloring books for the youngest family members. Special services are available for women and their families who are facing metastatic breast cancer.

The Center is open to anyone with breast cancer, not only patients of RPCI.

Location: Breast Center, RPCI Hospital – 2nd floor, Room 2302
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Evening hours by appointment
Telephone: 716-845-4432

Social Media

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Recommended Links

NCI: Breast Cancer Treatment

NCCN Patient Guidelines for Breast Cancer