Frequently Asked Questions
After a cancer diagnosis, you may begin to hear words or phrases that are new to you. Here are some common questions new patients may ask.
What is the infusion center?
The Infusion Center is located within the cancer center. It’s where you receive any form of intravenous treatment, including blood transfusion and chemotherapy. There are registered nurses that are specialized in administering medications, immunotherapy, blood products and chemotherapy. Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital has an infusion center, as do a number of regional locations.
What is a clinical trial?
A clinical trial is a research study that seeks to answer questions that may lead to better ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. Some may look to improve quality of life or may look at behavioral and psychosocial impacts of cancer that researchers would like to answer. Participating in a clinical trial is voluntary but they can help doctors and researchers identify better and safer cancer treatments.
To learn more about clinical trials, visit the Wilmot Clinical Trials website or email WCICTOResearch@urmc.rochester.edu.
Anyone can search for clinical trials that are currently enrolling participants at Wilmot on the Wilmot website at https://trial-viewer.urmc.rochester.edu. Patients may also search the national clinical trials database at http://ClinicalTrials.gov.
Where can I learn more about my type of cancer?
Now or at any point during your treatment, if you find yourself wondering what a cancer-related word means, you can always ask your team. They are there to help you understand, so never hesitate to ask a question if something doesn’t make sense.
If you are interested in doing more in-depth research on your own, it’s important to keep in mind there is a lot of information out there and some of it is less reliable than others. Getting information about your cancer from reliable sources is important. Here are some resources we recommend:
I’m scared and having a tough time dealing with the news about my cancer mentally and emotionally. Who can I talk to?
It is normal to feel scared, but know that there are resources available to help. If possible, talk to your oncology team about any fears you have. They can help connect you with Wilmot’s Social Work team, who has access to a number of helpful resources. For example, the Social Work team could connect you with Wilmot support groups or Wilmot’s PsychoSocial Oncology Program that provides therapy for patients who need mental health support after a cancer diagnosis. You may also be able to find groups that can support you outside of the healthcare system, such as the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester or Cancer Support Community Rochester. If you need help finding resources in your community, contact Wilmot’s Community Resource Helpline at (585) 276-4708 or email WilmotCommunityResHelp@urmc.rochester.edu.
I’m a family member or close friend of someone with cancer. How should I talk with them about their cancer or what are some of the best things I can do to help?
It can be difficult to know what to say or how to show support to someone who has cancer. It is best to take your cues from the person with cancer. Ask them if they would like to talk about the experience and let them decide when to talk and how much to share.
Sometimes just your presence and listening attentively can show support and bear witness to what they are going through. It is better to say, “I don’t know what to say,” than to stop calling or visiting out of fear or discomfort.
Try to avoid sharing unsolicited advice which may cause unnecessary stress. If you feel the urge to offer a suggestion, ask for the person’s permission first. Talk about usual topics, which may help provide a sense of balance, help them maintain usual interests, and take a break from talking about cancer.
Practical help may also be welcomed and is a great way to show support. Try to avoid saying “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help,” but rather, offer specific examples of things you are able to do. Make suggestions and ask if they sound helpful. Some examples include driving the person to an appointment, shopping, household chores, caring for pets, and helping with childcare. It is often hard for people to ask for help so this takes the burden off them to have to ask.
Caring for a loved one with cancer can sometimes feel overwhelming. The stressors caregivers experience is unique. Discussion, support and information can help you and, in turn, help your loved one through treatment.
If you would like to learn more tips on how to talk to or care for someone with cancer or how to care for yourself, please ask for the social worker or reach out to the Wilmot Community Resource line at 585-276-4708 or WilmotCommmuityResHelp@urmc.rochester.edu