Cancer occurrence is on the rise in young adults and is often diagnosed at a late stage. Denise Rokitka, MD, MPH, Director of the Young Adult Program and Oncofertility Program at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses how primary care physicians can aid in diagnosing cancer earlier in young adults.
Young adult cancers are rare cancers. They are often different in their tumor biology, genetic profile, and how they respond to treatment. Patients need a team that understands the nuances of treating cancer in young adults and a complexity and level of care and experience that can only be found at a comprehensive cancer center, such as Roswell Park.
Roswell Park’s nationally designated center
We are among a select group of comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the New York state outside of New York City.
Our Breast Oncology Center is accredited with NAPBC certification by the American College of Surgeons.
We offer treatments at the forefront of cancer care, plus clinicians with the knowledge and experience to use them. Your treatment may require:
Surgeons with high volume experience in minimally invasive techniques, robotic surgery, breast-conserving procedures and other critical surgical options.
Gamma knife radiosurgery to treat brain tumors and metastases without an incision or the side effects of traditional neurosurgery or whole brain radiation. Roswell Park is the only provider in the region to offer treatment with Gamma knife.
Cellular therapies and blood and marrow transplant in our accredited Transplant and Cellular Therapy Center.
The newest cancer drugs and agents, available only through clinical trials.
Roswell Park Young Adult Program
Our Young Adult program focuses support services on addressing the physical, emotional and practical challenges young adult cancer patients face. These include:
Survivorship center to manage long-term follow-up of unique medical needs, preventive care, surveillance, screenings, symptom management, fertility issues and more.
We’re much more than a hospital
We take a holistic approach to care — treating the whole person, and not just your cancer. Our innovative and comprehensive cancer center offers:
Nutrition services to maximize your strength and energy, prevent loss of muscle mass, improve tolerance of your treatment and promote healing and recovery.
Art, music and pet therapy programs to ease distress and anxiety.
Peaceful, healing spaces for body and soul, indoors and out, including an art gallery, the 2-acre Kaminski Park, and a chemotherapy infusion center and meditative, open-air patient terrace overlooking the Buffalo city skyline and Lake Erie.
Assistant Professor Director, Pediatric, Adolescent Cancer Survivorship Director, Young Adult Program and Oncofertility Program Department of Pediatric Oncology
I joined the Medical Oncology Department at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2008 as an Assistant Professor in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology and Director of the Pediatric Long-Term Follow-up (LTFU) Program.