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Support & Survivorship


Head and neck cancers can affect many aspects of your life and some of the most basic human functions including swallowing, speech, sight and appearance. That’s why the Wilmot Cancer Institute provides the area’s most extensive support services for patients and their families. 

Support group

Wilmot Cancer Institute hosts the local chapter of Support for People with Oral, Head & Neck Cancer (SPOHNC-Rochester). The group is open to those with oral, head and neck cancers and their care partners.  

SPOHNC-Rochester meets on the first Thursday of every month (except July) from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Luellen Patient & Family Resource Center (Room 1.701) at Wilmot Cancer Center. To learn more, contact Sandra E. Sabatka, LMSW, at (585) 275-6426 or

Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program 

Quitting tobacco even after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer can help improve your health. For example, it can reduce the chances of your cancer returning or of developing another cancer. It can make your chemotherapy and radiation treatments more effective, and it can help surgical wounds heal better.  

Wilmot Cancer Institute’s Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program can help you quit. No matter where you are in your cancer care or what form of tobacco you use, you can participate in the program. Even if you’re not quite ready to quit, we’re here to help. To learn more about the Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program, talk to your oncologist or call (585) 275-5823.   


Catherine Sliger JoAnn SnyderAddressing the side effects of head or neck cancer and its treatments is a critical part of the care Wilmot provides. The survivorship care team includes highly trained specialists such as: 

Wilmot has the region's first Survivorship Program, and the Head and Neck Cancers team closely monitors patients for at least five years after they have completed treatment. To learn more about the survivorship program, talk with your care team.  

Palliative Care 

At Wilmot Cancer Institute, physicians from UR Medicine’s Palliative Care Program are key members of the care team. Palliative care focuses on alleviating the pain and symptoms — such as nausea and shortness of breath — that can come with a serious illness like cancer and its treatment. Sometimes confused with hospice, palliative care can accompany any and all desired medical treatment for cancer or other conditions. It is about helping those facing cancer and their families live better while they’re undergoing treatment.