Our Patient Experience
Working closely with your primary care doctor, our world-class team of experts will be at your side every step of the way. As a Roswell Park patient, you and your family have our unconditional promise that you will:
- Have full access to information, services, resources, clinical research studies, and a multidisciplinary team of specialists and support staff
- Be encouraged as an active, informed participant in all aspects of your melanoma care
- Receive appropriate care that addresses your individual physical, mental, spiritual, practical and other needs
- Receive care that is respectful, safe and compassionate
Improving Outcomes Through Multidisciplinary Approach
Our melanoma experts at RPCI practice an extraordinary kind of teamwork that we call our multidisciplinary approach. This approach, which combines and coordinates many specialized areas of medicine, was a novel concept when first pioneered by our founder Dr. Roswell Park in 1898. He placed the patient at the center of a diverse team of specialists, each with a deep understanding of an essential medical discipline and devoted to sharing their expertise in order to help people with cancer. The new approach got notable results: cancer patients began to live longer.
Since then, we’ve expanded our understanding of cancer beyond anything Dr. Park could have imagined. And we’ve kept pace by constantly refining our multidisciplinary care, the gold standard for today’s cancer care.
RPCI’s melanoma team calls on the best combination of pathologists, radiologists, surgeons and chemotherapy and radiotherapy specialists — as well as research scientists, physician assistants, nurses, psychologists, social workers, pain management and nutrition experts — that your unique case requires. In turn, they collaborate with your primary care physician to tailor your treatment plan and ensure continuity of care from diagnosis through recovery.
The treatment team meets weekly at a Multidisciplinary Conference or “Tumor Board” where they discuss and evaluate each patient’s case and collaborate to determine the best plan for each patient. The team diagnoses and treats patients with melanoma, including:
- Cutaneous melanoma (of the skin)
- Melanoma that occurs in mucus membranes
- Melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes
- In-transit melanoma (occurs in the lymph channels near the primary melanomas)
- Advanced melanoma that has spread to internal organs
Other skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are detailed in Skin Cancers (non-melanoma).
Quality of Life at RPCI
From our patients’ perspective, quality healthcare is more than medical tests and successful treatments. Your quality of life — the ability to do and enjoy normal life activities — is important to every member of your melanoma team.
Compassionate, Competent Caregiving
On the front lines of patient care, Roswell Park nurses are among the best in the nation, and have earned Magnet® Recognition for nursing excellence, a top national honor bestowed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This distinction, held by just 6 percent of the hospitals in the United States, is held by only one facility in Western New York — Roswell Park Cancer Institute. In Magnet hospitals, patient outcomes are better and length of stay is shorter.
Living with Cancer
At Roswell Park, we believe that survivorship begins at diagnosis and lasts a lifetime, with uninterrupted access to specialized cancer care and support. We want to ensure that any early warning signs of recurrence are detected and treated immediately; that all your present and long-term needs — physical, psychosocial, nutritional, spiritual, legal — related to living with cancer are met; and that routine preventive and follow-up care is always available to enhance your health, well-being and peace of mind.