Samaritan Morning Check Up: help for cancer

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 8:31 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - On Wednesday’s Samaritan Morning Check Up, we learned more about Samaritan’s affiliation with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo.

We heard from three medical professionals at the Walker Center For Cancer Care. Here’s what they told us, lightly edited for clarity.

Dr. Florence Arnold, Medical Oncologist & Hemotologist: I’m with the medical oncology department at Walker Center for Cancer Care at Samaritan Hospital.

We recently implemented the “clinical care pathways” through our affiliation with Roswell Park - this is a resource that keeps us up to date with the latest in our field. This clinical pathway program helps us confirm and reassures us that we are giving the best and most up to date care for our patients with the most common cancers.

Dr. Ihsan Haq, Medical Oncologist & Hemotologist: Roswell Park is the oldest cancer institute in the U.S. We are very lucky to be affiliated with Roswell Park and with that affiliation we provide access to special surgical procedures which cannot be done at Samaritan.

Staff over there is very cooperative; they try to get our patients as soon as they can. They call back with our response, we refer the patient to them, and patients are always very appreciative when they come back.

We can call them with our difficult patients and get an immediate response from them. They respond right away and give the best advice to continuations of care.

Jennifer Phillips, Nurse Practitioner: I’ve been a nurse and nurse practitioner in oncology for 12 years now. I’ve been to many facilities helping with chemotherapy regimines and infusions and side effect management.

You’re not just your cancer, you’re a whole person. There are side effects from cancer and chemo that we can help alleviate through massage therapy, acupuncture, facials. We offer those services for free, just ask us and we can give you some details.

A lot of people nowadays, they don’t want medications all the time. So these are alternative therapies to help them alleviate their symptoms without just throwing more medications at them.

I’ve had a lot of good response with acupuncture for pain management for cancer and treatment. Cancer treatment can be stressful for patients and their families, so the facials and massages can help them relax.

The new nutrition program is made available through Roswell Park so any patient going through chemotherapy can get access to that through a referral. With that nutritional care referral, they can get tailored nutrition recommendations and they can maintain nutrition - which is so important with cancer care so they can have the best outcome possible.