Pediatric Cancer Resources & Services
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).
ASK-RPCI provides information via the telephone. Call toll free 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) to speak to a cancer information specialist in English or Spanish. You can leave a message after hours and your call will be returned on the next business day.
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.
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.
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.
How to Read Your Child's 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 child's pathology report.
Good nutrition is especially important while your child is receiving cancer care. During treatment, adequate intake of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals will help your child to be strong, maintain his or her weight, and promote the healing process. Before and after treatment, a healthy diet based on moderation, variety and balance will help to promote a good immune system, give your child energy, and enhance your child's 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 child's cancer care experience.
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
Patient Advocates act as a mediator, a connection between you and your child’s 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
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
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.
Our Kid-centered Programs and Support
Child Life Program
Provides support, facilitates coping and minimizes trauma in order to encourage normal growth and development and essential life experiences. Led by a licensed medical social worker and child life specialist, our program provides:
- Developmental and age appropriate activities
- Group activities in the playroom and in clinic rooms
- Patient activities and therapeutic play at bedside
- Pre-procedural instruction
- Holiday and birthday celebrations
- Special guests and entertainment
Offers programs to make life more manageable for children diagnosed with cancer and their families. Carly’s Club members are treated to special events and parties such as a halloween bash, summer picnic, spa parties, VIP Buffalo Bills tailgate parties, and tickets to concerts, theater and celebrity meet-and-greets.
A national arts-in-medicine program that honors a young patient’s cancer journey and provides therapeutic support through stringing beads. Children tell their story using beads as meaningful symbols that commemorate experiences and milestones in their treatment path.
We currently have 15 therapy dogs that are escorted to approved areas by their human companions. Studies show these furry, four-legged volunteers can help improve wellbeing and morale by providing a calming presence. All our therapy dogs are certified by either Therapy Dogs International (TDI) or Pet Partners (Delta Society). Their human companions have completed Roswell Park’s volunteer process.
Special program for cancer patients aged 15-39 that addresses the medical, psychosocial, and emotional needs. Provides social and networking opportunities and events, addresses survivorship issues, and provides infertility risk assessment and counseling. Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 716-845-4447. We are also on Facebook and Twitter. 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 affiliated with the AYA Cancer Program.
School Outreach Program
A way to help a young cancer patient ease their return to school, RPCI professionals such as a nurse, social worker and or child psychologist visit the child’s school or classroom to help faculty and students understand the patient’s challenges.
Counseling is available for you to discuss your risk for infertility or possible preservation options.
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.
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.