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Cancer Center

World Class Cancer Care and Research

All cancer centers are not the same. For patients and their loved ones, the choice of where to go for cancer care is an incredibly personal -- and important -- decision. For many Rhode Islanders there is the assumption that a cancer diagnosis requires a trip to a Boston facility. But that is not the case As Roger Williams Cancer Center is a nationally recognized, world class comprehensive community cancer program. We  deliver quality of cancer care that rivals leading centers around the country…right here in RI. 

Under the direction of Dr. N. Joseph Espat, the physicians in our Cancer Center are among the most gifted, well-trained and attentive in the country. Designated as an Academic Comprehensive Cancer Center, a title only awarded to 13% of cancer centers in the US, Roger Williams is recognized as an elite institution. This means we are at the forefront of groundbreaking oncological surgeries, innovative technology and unique cancer research and clinical trials. 

In fact, we are a national leader in cancer research…specifically in the field of immunotherapy in which cells from the patients body are reprogrammed to attack and eliminate cancerous cells. Roger Williams is the only cancer center in the world performing T-Cell therapy for the liver.

All of this adds up to a cancer program uniquely qualified to help you through precise  diagnosis, medical surgical and radiation treatments care that is delivered with compassion.

Clinical Programs

  • Surgical Oncology
  • Hematology Oncology
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Blood & Marrow Transplantation
  • Geriatric Oncology
  • Breast Health
  • MOHS Surgery
  • Palliative Care
  • Immunotherapy
  • Infusion Services
  • Comprehensive Oncology Program for Elders
  • Melanoma Program
  • Lung Cancer Screening Program

Meet Our Physician Team


Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS
Chairman, Department of Surgery; Chief, Surgical Oncology; Director, Cancer Center
Specialty: Surgical Oncology

Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS, is Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Chief of Surgical Oncology, and Director of the Cancer Center at Roger Williams. A Professor of Surgery and Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs at Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Espat focuses his practice on Hepatobiliary and Surgical Oncology. Dr. Espat received his fellowship training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He completed residency and medical School at University of Florida College of Medicine.

His clinical expertise is in the areas of liver surgery, pancreas surgery, abdominal wall reconstruction, HIPEC, radiofrequency and microwave ablation. Dr. Espat is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and has research interests in a number of areas including the effect of fatty acids on pancreas cancer growth and response to chemotherapy, chemo-sensitizing of pancreatic cancer, cancer-induced weight loss/metabolism, thermal means of tumor ablation, and biomaterials for tissue regeneration. He speaks English, Spanish, and French.

Appointments: 401-456-2077

Main Office: 401-456-4897


Ponnandai Somasundar, MD
Chief of Surgical Oncology; Director of Geriatric Oncology
Specialty: Surgical Oncology

Ponnandai Somasundar, MD, is Associate Chief of Surgical Oncology and Director of Geriatric Oncology at Roger Williams. He received his Fellowship training at Roger Williams Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine. After graduating from Madras Medical College, Dr. Somasundar completed residencies at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York,
and West Virginia University. Dr. Somasundar’s clinical expertise is in the areas of liver surgery, pancreas surgery, melanoma, thyroid cancer, colorectal surgery, HIPEC, and abdominal wall reconstruction. Board certified by the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Somasundar’s research interests include leptin, obesity and cancer, Immunotherapy, and clinical trials. He speaks English and Tamil.

Clinical Expertise: Liver surgery, pancreas surgery, sarcoma, metastases, melanoma

Appointments: 401-456-2077


Abdul Saied Calvino, MD
Specialty: Surgical Oncology

Abdul Saied Calvino MD, MPH, FACS earned his medical degree from the University of Panama Medical School and his Master in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). He completed his general surgery residency at UIC and his surgical oncology fellowship at Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island. He is Board Certified in General Surgery and Complex Surgical Oncology. Dr. Saied Calvino clinical interest is in minimally invasive gastrointestinal, hepato- biliary and pancreatic surgery. In his practice, he continually integrates the latest in minimally invasive techniques and surgical technology to provide better outcomes for his patients.

Dr. Calvino has established an active community outreach and cancer navigation program to improve access to surgical care in underserved populations. For the impact of his work on the community, he has received numerous awards and recognitions at the local and national level. Including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Carol Friedman National Award for excellence in addressing cancer care disparities.

Appointments: 401-456-2077


James Koness, MD
Director of the Breast Health Program
Specialty: Breast CareSurgical Oncology

James Koness, MD, is Director of the Breast Health Program at Roger Williams Medical Center. A general surgeon and surgical oncologist, Dr. Koness is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Brown University School of Medicine. He was fellowship-trained in Surgical Oncology at Roger Williams Medical Center/Brown University. Dr. Koness completed a residency in General Surgery at Brown University and graduated from SUNY-Buffalo School of Medicine New York. He is a Diplomat in both the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Surgery.

Appointments: 401-456-2077

Main Office: 401-456-4897

Steve (Sung) Kwon, MD

Steve (Sung) Kwon, MD, MPH, FACS is a board-certified, fellowship-trained surgical oncologist. He specializes in the management of locally advanced and metastatic cancers of the abdomen, including cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). Dr. Kwon is an expert in performing both traditional and minimally invasive surgeries for tumors in the digestive tract (including stomach, small and large intestines, appendix, liver), malignant tumors of soft tissue (sarcoma) and cutaneous malignancies (skin cancer) including melanoma, squamous cell cancer and Merkel cell carcinoma.  
Prior to joining Roger Williams, he was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, Columbia University Medical Center. Additionally, he served as Co-director of the HIPEC program at Holy Name Medical Center in New Jersey. Dr. Kwon completed a complex general surgical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and completed his general surgery residency at the University of Washington. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. 
In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Kwon is passionate about clinical research at the population level to improve surgical and cancer outcomes of patients. To this end, he earned a Masters Public Health (MPH) in Epidemiology from the University of Washington School of Public Health. His work has published in multiple peer-reviewed articles in journals, including Annals of Surgery, JAMA Surgery, Surgery, and Journal of American College of Surgeons. He has presented his research at academic assemblies throughout the U.S. 
Dr. Kwon is accepting new patient referrals and can be reached at 401-456-2077.

Medical Oncology 

Ritesh Rathore, MD
Director of Hematology Oncology and Division Director of the Cancer Protocol Office
Specialty: HematologyOncology

Ritesh Rathore, MD is Director of Hematology Oncology and Division Director of the Cancer Protocol Office. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Rathore was fellowship-trained in Hematology/Oncology at Brown Medical School. Following graduation from University College of Medical Sciences, Dehli University in India, he completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Maimonides Medical Center, SUNY Brooklyn, New York.

Dr. Rathore is board certified in Hematology and Medical Oncology. Dr. Rathore is fluent in English, Hindi, Bengali and Gujarati. His research interests include Gastrointestinal Cancer, Biologic Therapy, Head/Neck/Thoracic Cancers and Clinical Trials.

Phone: 401-456-2077

Fax: 401-456-5765


Bharti Rathore, MD
Specialty: HematologyOncology

Bharti Rathore, MD is a Hematologist Oncologist who also serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She was fellowship-trained in Hematology/Medical Oncology at Brown Medical School. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Memorial Hospital/Brown Medical School, following her graduation from J.N.M Medical College, Ravishankar University in India.

Dr. Rathore is board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology. Dr. Rathore is fluent in English, Hindi, and Gujarati. Her research interests include Breast Cancer, Gastrointestinal Cancer, and Clinical Trials.

Phone: 401-456-2077

Fax: 401-456-5765



John J. Coen, MD
Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Dr. John Coen has published numerous articles on a variety of cancer topics with a particular interest in bladder and prostate cancer.  He has also been involved in clinical research at the national level and was the principle investigator of a recently completed bladder preservation trial through the RTOG.  His research has also focused on clinical and quality of life outcomes after various therapies for prostate cancer.


Angela DeRobertis, MD, DABR
Specialty: Radiation Oncology

A board certified radiation oncologist, Dr. Angela DeRobertis is widely respected as an expert in the treatment of breast cancer.  She has published extensively and her work is cited in support of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Guidelines for the treatment of patients with breast cancer.  Her work has been honored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Association of Women in Radiology, the Berlex Oncology Foundation, the American Radium Society and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Sympsoium.


Timothy Shafman, MD
Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Timothy Shafman, MD is Chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Roger Williams and serves as an Associate Professor at Boston University School of Medicine and a Clinical Assistant Professor at Brown Medical School. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Dr. Shafman is board certified in Radiation Oncology. 

Alexandra Sherman, MD
Specialty: Radiation Oncology

Alexandra Sherman, MD earned her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA. She also worked as a Research Assistant at QARC/UMASS Medical school contributing to a pediatric Hodgkin Disease trial, as well as co-authored book chapters on various radiation oncology topics including normal tissue toxicity and breast cancer. One of her interests is improving palliative cancer care, and she completed a project in residency examining this topic. 



Todd F. Roberts, MD
Secialty: Oncology

Todd Roberts, MD is a Oncologist and the Medical Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Program specializing in Leukemia and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation and Immunotherapy.  Dr. Roberts served as Assistant Clinical Professor at Tuffs Medical Center in Boston, MA and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Tulane University Hospital and Clinics in New Orleans, LA.  Dr. Roberts completed his transplant fellowship at New England Medical Center Boston, MA. 

Dr. Roberts is a graduate of the University of Toronto faculty of Medicine, Toronto, Ontario Canada as well as a Masters in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering.  Dr. Robert’s is board certified in Medical Oncology.  Dr. Roberts’s interests include bone marrow transplantation, hematologic malignancies, and cellular therapies.

Phone:  (401) 456-6565
Fax:  (401) 456-6793



James Koness, MD
Director of the Breast Health Program
Specialty: Breast Care

James Koness, MD, is Director of the Breast Health Program at Roger Williams Medical Center. A general surgeon and surgical oncologist, Dr. Koness is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at Brown University School of Medicine. He was fellowship-trained in Surgical Oncology at Roger Williams Medical Center/Brown University. Dr. Koness completed a residency in General Surgery at Brown University and graduated from SUNY-Buffalo School of Medicine New York. He is a Diplomat in both the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Surgery.

Appointments: 401-456-2077

Main Office: 401-456-4897



Satori Iwamoto, MD, PhD
Chief of Mohs Micrographic Surgery
Specialty: MOHS Surgery

Satori Iwamoto, M.D., Ph.D., is Chief of Mohs Micrographic Surgery at Roger Williams and Program Director for the training fellowship. He is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and the American College of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology, where is also a Fellow. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of Washington Medical Center.

His clinical specialization is in the areas of Mohs micrographic Surgery and Reconstruction and treatment of skin cancer. He speaks English and Japanese, and is also versed in American sign language. His research interests include applications of DNA-based biotechnology to Mohs Micrographic Surgery.

Phone: 401-456-2327

Our Clinical Specialties

Surgical Oncology

A surgical oncologist is a general surgeon who spends an additional two years developing expertise in the management of cancer patients. This specialty training follows 5–7 years of general surgery training. All five surgical oncologists at the Roger Williams Medical Center completed Society of Surgical Oncology Fellowship Programs. We are the only Cancer Center in Rhode Island with an entire surgical staff trained through Society of Surgical Oncology Fellowships.

Learn more about the Surgical Oncology Fellowship program at Roger Williams.

Our surgical oncologists have performed a high number of complex liver, pancreas, colon, sarcoma, melanoma, stomach, esophagus, and breast cases. In addition to becoming highly proficient in performing complex surgical procedures, surgical oncologists are experts in managing the cancer patient as a whole. When caring for cancer patients, difficult questions often arise with respect to the integration of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In addition to choosing the necessary treatments, the coordination of the different forms of therapy is crucial. An in depth understanding of how different tumors behave is also important. Surgical oncologists are specifically trained to integrate surgical therapy into a comprehensive treatment plan. Every patient and every tumor is unique – surgical oncologists are trained to recognize and manage the distinct situation facing each patient and family.

The Roger Williams Surgical Oncologists manage the following conditions:

  • Complex liver and pancreatic tumors
  • Liver metastases
  • Gastric and esophageal tumors
  • Primary and recurrent soft tissue sarcoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Endocrine tumors (thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal)
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Abdominal wall defects (hernias)

At Roger Williams, surgery is often used in conjunction with other therapies like radiation and chemotherapy. Many of our surgical procedures are performed laparoscopically, using minimally invasive techniques. In all cases, a multi–disciplinary approach is utilized to ensure the best patient experience and outcome. Treatment by a team of clinicians who dedicate their careers to cancer patients is what you can expect at the Roger Williams Cancer Center.


Colorectal Surgery Patient Education

English Version:

Spanish Version:


Medical Oncology

The Division of Hematology/Oncology at Roger Williams Medical Center provides expert, leading-edge, and compassionate care for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of blood disorders and cancers. 

The division is comprised of expert clinicians, researchers, and teachers who are well-versed in both the art and knowledge of Hematology and Medical Oncology. Our board-certified physicians are active full-time teaching faculty at Boston University School of Medicine and participate in a wide range of clinical, research and teaching programs at our campus.

Our mission is:

  • To provide state-of-art multidisciplinary care to patients with hematology and oncology disorders
  • To undertake novel and innovative cancer research which impacts patient lives
  • To provide excellence in academics and train subspecialist doctors in the field of hematology and medical oncology
  • To develop cancer programs in geriatric cancer and cancer survivorship

Radiation Oncology

Radiation oncology, also known as radiation therapy, is the use of high-energy rays to kill or damage cancer cells and stop them from growing and dividing. Like surgery, radiation oncology is essentially a local treatment; it affects cancer cells only in the treated area.

Radiation can come from a machine (external radiation). It can also come from an implant (a small container of radioactive material) placed directly into or near the tumor (internal radiation). Some patients receive both kinds of radiation therapy.

Using a multidisciplinary-team approach, the radiation therapy team works closely with our colleagues in oncology, surgery, and other departments to develop the best plan-of-care for cancer patients. Radiation Therapy at Roger Williams Medical Center is provided in partnership with 21st Century Oncology, a leading developer of radiation therapy centers around the country.


Roger Williams Medical Center participates in numerous immunotherapy clinical trials which are offered in collaboration with our new onsite immunotherapy Core Lab Facility and Principal Investigators who are known nationally and worldwide for their outstanding work in this field.

These trials may provide a clinically effective anti-tumor response without increasing treatment- related toxicities when conventional therapies have reached their maximum benefit or are no longer effective against a patient’s cancer.

One approach is to recruit the patient’s own anti-tumor activity by taking a small portion of the patient’s T cells (cells of the immune system that fight cancer), activating them so that they multiply many times in culture, and then giving them back to the patient in order to “boost” the patient’s immune system to fight his/her cancer.

We currently offer Phase Ib/II clinical trials using second generation designer T cells in breast, prostate, gastrointestinal and solid tumors. T cells can penetrate virtually every biologic space in our bodies, and have the power to dispose of normal or malignant cells as seen in viral and autoimmune diseases and in the rare spontaneous remissions of cancer.  In these studies patient’s T cells are collected, and then they are modified using gene transfer technology, to allow them to recognize surface proteins on cancer cells (tumor markers), so that they may target their activity more specifically. The target antigen being used for these studies is either carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) which is predominantly expressed on tumors of the colon, rectum, breast, pancreas and other sites, or PSMA for prostate cancers. These modified cells may also be given locally for patients who have liver metastases as a result of CEA positive cancers.

Other studies use a process called the “arming” of T cells. This involves coating the patient’s expanded T cells with a bispecific antibody, which binds one end to the T cells and has another end that recognizes certain molecules that are on the surface of cancer cells. The patient’s T cells are then redirected  to specifically target and attack cancer cells once infused back into patient.

The Cancer Immunotherapy Program is built upon a translational research laboratory. Our basic and clinical laboratory team is experienced in developing, producing and testing the safety and efficacy of investigational new biologic therapies in preclinical research and FDA- reviewed clinical trials. Since its establishment in 1999 and enrollment of the first clinical trial patient in 2001, the Cancer Immunotherapy Program has continued to enroll patients into various FDA reviewed and RWMC Internal Review Board approved immunotherapy clinical trials.


Blood & Marrow Transplantation

Since 1994, hundreds of cancer patients from throughout the region have come to Roger Williams Medical Center, home to Rhode Island's only Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program. In this comprehensive transplant center, autologous, allogeneic (related and unrelated) and cord blood transplantation services are offered.

A dedicated unit located in the hospital is supplied with high-efficiency particulate air-filtration systems that provide protection to patients who cannot resist infection. Patients are monitored through a centralized intensive care patient monitoring system, which includes highly skilled nurses who have expertise in high-dose, anti-tumor chemotherapy administration and management of transplant-related side effects.

An outpatient bed is available on the unit for patients requiring care after hours, weekends, or holidays.

The unit is a full-service program, which provides compassionate care to patients diagnosed with:

  • acute and chronic leukemia
  • lymphoma
  • multiple myeloma
  • aplastic anemia
  • myelopdysoplastic syndrome

Each patient has a personalized care team that includes:

  • certified oncology nurses
  • specialized nurse practitioners
  • oncology fellows
  • pharmacists
  • transplant coordinator
  • research protocol nurse
  • oncology social worker


Geriatric Oncology

Recognizing the greater likelihood of cancer in the elderly, along with the risk to elder health of various cancer treatments, Roger Williams Cancer Center is proud to have launched the Comprehensive Oncology Program for Elders (COPE), the only such program in Rhode Island.

The COPE program is specifically designed to mitigate the physical decline in cancer patients over the age of 65…a decline that is experienced as a result of the disease of cancer and its treatment.

When you are referred to COPE, an initial pre-treatment assessment is performed to evaluate you for any and all of the following intervention services:

  • Difficulty with the skills of daily living
  • Nutrition
  • Mental status (depression and anxiety)
  • Cognition
  • Mobility  assessment
  • Medication compliance

The COPE program has established intervention protocols for each of the above clinical criteria. Intervention services are planned, referred and managed by our Patient Navigator, making access to our program easy and seamless for you or your family member.


To Make a Referral:

To be eligible for COPE, you must be at least 65 year of age and have the recommendation of both your family doctor as well as one of our oncologists.

All services provided through COPE are eligible for reimbursement by government and commercial insurers.

For more information, please call 401-456-2000 ext. 8419

As you get older, you want cancer care that looks at all of you – your medical conditions, living situation, medications, and other factors – while planning your care. There is one hospital focused specifically on the needs of older patients with cancer: Roger Williams Medical Center.

We are home to the state’s first Geriatric Oncology Program, which we call COPE (Comprehensive Oncology Program for Elders). Dr. Ponnandai Somasundar, a board certified surgeon with fellowship training in surgical oncology, serves as Director of Geriatric Oncology.

As a recognized leader in both cancer and elder care, Roger Williams is focused on the latest tools in diagnoses, treatment and care of older patients with cancer. That care – once only available in a hospital or skilled nursing setting – is now regularly available on an outpatient basis. Most of our services are available under one roof, which allows patients to see multiple specialists in one visit.

Personalized care. The latest in treatment. A caring staff specially trained in geriatric oncology. These are just a few of the reasons why older oncology patients choose Roger Williams.

Breast Cancer

If you are diagnosed with a breast abnormality or breast cancer, you want to be certain that the diagnosis and treatment options you select will offer you the best chance for a cure. Roger Williams Breast Health Program was designed with the patient in mind.

The program is home to several specialists, all located in one convenient location. These physicians and clinicians work closely together using the very latest methods for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and other breast disorders. As a physician-supervised treatment program, we are focused on educating and guiding women through the diagnosis and treatment of breast disease. And, our physicians are certified by the American Board of Surgery, specialize in surgical oncology, and are members of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.

Roger Williams images patients with our new Digital Mammography machine. This allows technologists to perform exams and view the images immediately. This machine also allows radiologists to better visualize all of the breast tissue, even on patients with dense breasts. Mammography and ultrasound are both available in the office. Our exam rooms feature a handicapped exam chair that converts into an examination table to easily take patients from consultation to examination.

In the Roger Williams Breast Health Clinic, mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, and additional physician consults occur during the same visit so if needed, treatment planning can start without delay. Clinical trials, support groups, Look Good… Feel Better,® nutritional support, and clinical oncology social worker services are also available to our patients.

Services we provide:

  • Digital mammography
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound-guided breast biopsies
  • Stereotactic breast biopsies
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy surgeries
  • Breast preserving surgeries
  • Reconstruction for patients requiring mastectomies
  • Breast MRI and genetic testing
  • Clinical trials for eligible patients
  • Partial breast irradiation
  • Referral for lymphodema treatment


Nurse Navigator Program

As a cancer patient, you do better when provided with continuous support. Our Geriatric nurse navigator is here to help you and your family better manage your care and treatment. The geriatric nurse navigator assesses nutrition, functional status, mood, current medications, and other medical conditions. This information – used to design a personalized treatment care plan – is also shared with your primary care physician.


Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery, which provides for microscopic removal of skin cancer, minimizes the potential for scarring or disfigurement. It is the most exact and precise means for removal of skin cancer. Mohs surgery has the highest cure rates and the lowest rate for re-growth. The Mohs team works closely with the patient's physician to ensure the best outcomes.

Dr. Iwamoto is Chief of Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Program and Director of the training fellowship. He is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of Washington Medical Center.

Palliative Care

At Roger Williams Medical Center, we believe in patient-centered care. It is all about you and what is most important to you.

Living with a serious illness can be challenging. You may be dealing with pain or discomfort and may be faced with life-altering choices. Our Palliative Care service can help you negotiate the difficulties that you may encounter. We affirm life and work with an interdisciplinary team of physicians, chaplains, social workers and nurses. We will collaborate with you, your family and your medical team to achieve the quality of life you desire. You do not need to go through this difficult journey on your own. We are here to help.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative Care is expert medical care for patients with serious illnesses, at any age, and at any stage of the disease whatever the diagnosis.  We value a patient-centered, team approach to help you achieve your goals, to improve your quality of life and work with you, your primary physician and your family.

We help patients who are currently receiving life-prolonging treatment as well as patients considering comfort-focused care by providing relief of symptoms and distress. We commonly deal with pain, nausea, depression, confusion and shortness of breath.  We also assist in discussions and decisions regarding treatment options and goals of care based on your values and preferences.

Palliative care is an outpatient and hospital-based service that provides care to both the patient and the family. Patients and families dealing with cancer of any stage, heart failure, chronic lung conditions, chronic kidney disease, dementia, cirrhosis, stroke and other serious illnesses can benefit from our services.

Would I lose my primary care physician once I am seen by Palliative Care?

You do not lose your primary physician when you are seen by the palliative care service. We closely collaborate with your hospital physician, your primary care physician and other staff members who are currently involved in your care. The palliative care team includes physicians, nurses, social workers, case managers and chaplain.

How is Palliative Care different from Hospice?

Palliative Care can be provided at any stage of the patient’s illness. Palliative Care may be provided at the same time you receive treatments that are meant to cure your illness. Hospice is a form of palliative care traditionally provided within the last six months of a sick patient’s life.


If you or a loved one is diagnosed with melanoma, you should know that some of the most advanced melanoma treatment available today is right here in Rhode Island at the Roger Williams Melanoma Program.

We have the largest team of dermatologists and surgical oncologists in Rhode Island who lead our Melanoma Program.  These skilled physicians are specifically dedicated to screening for melanoma and to treating both early and advanced cases.  This integration of dermatologists, medical oncologists and cancer surgeons can provide you with an early, accurate diagnosis of melanoma and a personalized multidisciplinary treatment plan. The physicians on our team also have academic appointments at the Boston University School of Medicine and teach the next generation of skin cancer specialists through fellowship training programs in surgical oncology, skin oncology, and procedural dermatology at Roger Williams Medical Center.

In recent years, a variety of new treatments have been developed for melanoma and there is now renewed hope for patients with advanced melanoma. We are proud to offer state-of-the-art treatments, including individualized options based on molecular diagnostics, immuno-therapies, and the only high-dose interleukin-2 program in Rhode Island.

You should see a dermatologist if:

  • you notice a mole that is different from others,
  • you have a mole that changes, enlarges, itches, or bleeds.


You may also benefit from a skin screening by a dermatologist if:

  • you have many moles,
  • a family member has had melanoma,
  • you have fair, sun sensitive skin, or
  • your skin has received a high level of sun exposure.

We not only offer outstanding treatment of any type of skin cancer, but also cutting edge care and treatment for rare, complex or complicated cancers of the skin, including e.g. Merkel cell carcinoma, metastasized squamous or basal cell carcinoma, cutaneous lymphoma, and sarcoma.

Finally, you can rest assured that treatment at the Roger Williams Cancer Center is equal to the best available care in Boston or New York. In fact, we are proud of our designation as a Comprehensive Academic Cancer Center, awarded by the American College of Surgeons.

Find Out More:

The Roger Williams Melanoma Program is dedicated to treating patients conveniently and without delay.

Ask your doctor about the dermatologists and surgical oncologists at the Roger Williams Cancer Center or visit our website at weknowcancer.org.

For a dermatology consultation, available at several locations, call us at 456-5793 or toll free at 844-284-SKIN.

For a cancer surgery consultation, within 24 hours, call our Cancer Center at 456-2077.

We Know Cancer. And, We Know Melanoma.

Infusion Services

East Providence Infusion Center 

Infusion Services:

  • Chemotherapy
  • IV hydration
  • Transfusions
  • IV antibiotics
  • Injections


Lung Cancer Screening

Every year, approximately 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with lung cancer and 159,000 people die from lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. A history of cigarette smoking continues to be by far and away the leading cause of lung cancer.

Despite these grim statistics, there is good news about lung cancer. The National Lung Cancer Screening Trial reveals that annual CT low dose scans can reduce lung cancer deaths by as much as 20%. In fact, the American Cancer Society recommends an annual CT screening for smokers and former smokers based upon mounting evidence that lung cancer screening with CT can save lives.

In cooperation with Rhode Island Medical Imaging (RIMI), the Roger Williams Cancer Center conducts a Lung Cancer Screening Program.

To be considered for a lung cancer screening, patients should be:

  • Between the ages of 55 and 77
  • Have a cigarette smoking history of 30 pack-years (e.g. 1 pack per day for 30 years, or 2 packs per day for 15 years)
  • Former smokers must have quit within the last 15 years
  • Patients must obtain a referral from their primary care physician

The Lung Cancer Screening Program is directed by Terrance Healey, MD, a board certified radiologist who completed a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Thoracic Radiology.

To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians at the Lung Nodule Clinic, please call 401-456-2015.

To schedule a CT Lung Cancer Screening exam, please call 401-456-5701.

Supportive Care

The physical and emotional difficulties facing patients with cancer are real. For older patients, there are other challenges as well. We have several services available to lessen that burden. Pharmacists, clinical nutrition staff, and palliative care experts are among the team members dedicated to your care. We also focus on “prehabilitation”, so patient’s physical challenges are addressed before surgery or chemotherapy to ensure optimal outcomes.