How We Care for You

Nurse Janice Reid Nurse Janice Reid (white coat) offers words of encouragement to a patient who just completed radiation therapy.

If you’re facing a cancer diagnosis, you may be going through a lot right now — coping with anxiety, stress, and fear of the unknown, and trying to figure out your next steps. Where should you go for care? How are you going to balance your treatment with the rest of your busy life? We understand how overwhelming these decisions can be.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, cancer is what we know best. We’ve been caring for people with this disease for a very long time — more than 130 years, in fact. Our patients have always been at the center of all we do. We’re constantly thinking about your needs as well as the concerns of your loved ones — and how we can get you the support you need at each turn.

The first thing we want you to know is that the outlook has never been better for people diagnosed with cancer. Though we’ve always understood a lot about the disease, we’ve never known it better than we do right now. Today more than half of all people diagnosed with cancer can be cured, and many others will live long lives even with their disease.

You may know us as one of the top hospitals nationwide specializing in cancer, but what you may not realize is that our biggest concern is the same as yours: How can we specialize in you?

As an MSK patient, you have a team of devoted and compassionate doctors and other specialists guiding you through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery — and who are all experts in your exact disease. If you have lung cancer, for example, your care team will consist of doctors and nurses whose sole focus is cancers that begin in the chest or the lungs.

And at our weekly meetings of our specialized disease management teams, experts across different disciplines come together to discuss options for challenging cases, which means that any diagnosis or treatment plan created for you reflects the collective expertise of world-class doctors in specialties ranging from imaging and pathology to surgery, medical oncology, and radiation therapy.

Nursing excellence is also at the heart of the care we offer. Specially trained oncology nurses work closely with your doctors and are an essential part of your team. They’re here to communicate with you and your caregivers, addressing your needs and concerns while providing you with all the practical information you need to live your life to the fullest on a daily basis. Their support, knowledge, and deep sense of caring not only brings tremendous comfort to our patients and their loved ones, it makes a real difference in achieving the best possible treatment outcome.

Treatments Personalized for You

The best treatment for one patient may not be the right approach for you. That insight is fundamental to how we approach cancer care. And that’s why our doctors use the most cutting-edge technologies to pinpoint the exact location of your cancer and to analyze its unique molecular characteristics.

In fact, for many patients, our pathologists are able to predict an individual tumor’s aggressiveness or its response to certain forms of therapy, as well as to identify anything that’s genetically unusual. These sorts of advances — sometimes known by the terms personalized medicine or precision medicine — are transforming care, particularly for those patients receiving care through our clinical trials, and they’re a big part of why we hope you’ll consider coming to us for your care.

As a comprehensive cancer center, we’re with you for the whole journey, from diagnosis and treatment to coping with side effects and life beyond cancer. That’s why your care team also includes dietitians, dermatologists, specialists in sexual health and fertility, psychiatrists and psychologists, rehabilitation therapists, social workers, integrative medicine specialists, and art therapists — all of them experts in the particular concerns of people who’ve been diagnosed with cancer.

We also provide support services for people without cancer: your loved ones. Learn more about the resources we offer caregivers and families.

So we know your opinions and can work to address any issues, we conduct regular surveys used to measure our patients’ satisfaction with our care. We’re proud of the consistently high marks you give us, and constantly strive to do even better. See the results of our patient satisfaction surveys.