We understand the worry and confusion that come 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.
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).
Assessment and Treatment Center
The Roswell Park Assessment and Treatment Center (ATC) is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (last patient intake at 8:30 p.m.)* and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last patient intake at 4:30 p.m.)*.
This patient care service supports our current patients with immediate but non-life threatening symptoms during the day and when our clinics are closed. Please know that this is not a walk-in clinic and does require a referral from your Roswell Park physician or the physician-on-call. If you are experiencing non-life threatening symptoms, you should call your Roswell Park clinic. If your clinic is closed, call Roswell Park at 716-845-2300.
*Note that if you are experiencing non-life threatening symptoms after the ATC closes, you should still call us at 716-845-2300. There is always a physician on call to help you.
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 through Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
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.
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.
Group seminars are available on a variety of topics including eating during cancer treatment, healthy eating and cancer-related fatigue.
Of all the side effects of cancer, pain is most feared by patients. Unfortunately, this fear is not without grounds. Approximately 60 percent to 90 percent of patients with advanced cancer report significant pain, and one-third state that it interferes with daily activity. The truth is that 90 percent of all cancer-related pain can be alleviated, eliminated or significantly reduced by available means.
How should you determine the quality of a cancer pain management program? Look at the stats. Eighty-five percent of patients who receive treatment at Roswell Park report “very” and “totally” successful outcomes in controlling or eliminating pain after three months. According to our pain management doctors, there have been no patient reports of RPCI interventions being either ''not successful'' or ''mildly successful,'' and our patients have had substantially lower hospital stays than similar patients at other comprehensive cancer centers.
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.
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
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. Consultations are free and confidential.
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.
Resource Center for Patients and Families
RPCI’s cancer information specialists at the Resource Center for Patients and Families are uniquely qualified to help locate and evaluate the overwhelming amount of online information. They can help with basic cancer information, advanced medical information, and everything in between. Trained cancer information specialists use easy-to-understand terms to explain medical information and provide each visitor with a thorough and personalized experience.
Location: Hospital - First floor in the Sunflower Café - Conference Room A
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
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.
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.
Survivorship & Support
At RPCI, we treat the whole patient, not just the disease.
- Look Good . . . Feel Better: This program 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. RPCI’s 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.
- 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. We are here to listen without judgment, offer our support, and address the issues specific to your needs, including:
- Camp Good Days and Special Times hosts a camping retreat for young adults who have been touched by cancer. This unique program allows you to bring a guest and provides a positive, social atmosphere.
- Stupid Cancer has a motto: "get busy living!” This group organizes happy hours, bowling parties, movie nights and other events where young adult survivors can connect. It’s a national group with local chapters, including a recently-formed Buffalo chapter.