Frequently Asked Questions and Glossary

Yes. However, our Nurse Ambassadors can be found throughout the UPMC system. We train Nurse Ambassadors throughout the system.

You can be referred by your physician or you can self-refer.

No. Patients will keep their primary oncologist or referring oncology subspecialist and the approach will be collaborative in nature. Dr. Francis corresponds with your medical oncology team to make sure they are aware of your integrative care plan.

Third floor of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside.

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center offers valet parking at a $5 daily rate.

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time.

  • Insurance information
  • Medications and supplements
  • Tracking of symptoms and activities (optional)

We understand the cancer journey brings unexpected twists and turns as you are balancing multiple appointments, priorities, and how you feel on any given day. However, we ask that you cancel any scheduled appointment at least 24 hours in advance so everyone’s time and energy are respected.

Your initial visit with Dr. Lanie Francis is billed to your insurance company as a specialist visit.

Our team works diligently throughout the year to fundraise for our patients to receive introductory demonstrations. These demonstrations are specifically recommended for you by Dr. Francis to sample and understand if integrative therapies work with your time, geography, and budget.

Beyond the introductory demonstrations all services within the Wellness Suite are available for a fee comparable to market place value. We have seen minimal insurance coverage for services such as acupuncture, oncology massage, and yoga/meditation.

No. Our program is focused on a holistic approach to symptom management and quality of life in the context of conventional cancer care. Integrative therapies offered by the Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program are not meant to replace conventional cancer care prescribed by your primary oncologist. We offer a non-judgmental space to discuss alternative therapies.

Examples of alternative therapies we do not provide:

  • IV minerals and vitamins
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
The Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program is glad to sponsor a support group for the caregiver called 'Caring for the Caregivers' but does not offer individual services for caregivers at this time.
We suggest scheduling an appointment as soon as you decide Integrative Oncology is right for you. Our team works diligently to fill all cancelled appointments. Most patients with flexibility are able to meet our team sooner than their initially scheduling appointment.
Yes. Please bring supplements to your consultation. Dr. Francis discusses relevant supplement questions with a licensed oncology pharmacist and individualizes recommendations about supplements to your goals in the context of your cancer and cancer treatment.
Dr. Francis is an approved certifying practitioner within the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program and sits on the Pennsylvania state Medical Marijuana Advisory Board. She does not see patients exclusively for medical marijuana certifications but offers it to patients interested in holistic approach to symptom management within the Wellness and Integrative Oncology Program.
  • Acupuncture
  • Oncology massage
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Aromatherapy
  • Lifestyle nutrition
Wear something comfortable and easy to move in.
Anywhere from 30-60 minutes. Please arrive 15 minutes early.
If you cancel 2 appointments in The Wellness Suite with less than a 24 hour notice we will be unable to provide you with additional demonstrations.
Our team carefully vets each provider to ensure the highest level of professionalism, qualifications, and certification. Our providers work closely with Dr. Francis and her clinical team to customize your care. All care plans are supervised by Dr. Francis.
Meet with our Nurse Ambassador Clinical Liaison to complete your Post Baseline Assessment and discuss next steps for expanding and sustaining integrative care. If you have achieved success throughout your complimentary introductory demonstrations, we encourage you to continue integrative therapies in The Wellness Suite at a fee for service rate throughout your cancer journey.

After you complete your introductory demonstrations you may continue to engage with our integrative providers in The Wellness Suite at rates similar to or below marketplace value.

A portion of the fee goes toward funding introductory demonstrations for other cancer patients.

We appreciate your thoughtfulness, but we do not accept any gratuity.

Glossary

Acupuncture – The practice of inserting very fine needles into the skin to improve how the body functions and promote natural healing in patients.

Aromatherapy – Using therapeutic grade essential oils to promote physical, emotional, and spiritual health and well-being.

Baseline symptom assessment – A form used during your initial consultation to help describe your symptoms and experience to your physician and the Wellness and Integrative Oncology team. The information is used in conjunction with your initial consult to create a customized care plan.

Customized care plan – An individual proposal developed by you and your Wellness and Integrative Oncology team for your unique physical and emotional needs.

Demonstration – An introductory integrative therapy session.

Essential oil – Natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, stems, roots, leaves, flowers, or bark of plants.

Fee for service – Payment made in exchange for integrative services.

Holistic – Considering the complete person, physically, psychologically, and environmentally, in the treatment of a disease.

Integrative provider – An individual that offers their expertise and services to the Wellness Suite including acupuncture, yoga, meditation, oncology massage, and nutrition.

Integrative therapies – A variety of disciplines and techniques including but not limited to acupuncture, yoga, meditation, oncology massage, lifestyle nutrition to provide symptom management and quality of life for cancer patients.

Lifestyle nutrition – The interaction of diet, lifestyle techniques, and therapeutic nutrition to manage nutritional insufficiencies, promote optimal health, and address medical problems.

Meditation – The practice of deliberately focusing your attention as a way of becoming calm and relaxed. This practice can be silent, guided, lying down, or seated.

Nurse Ambassador – Nurses trained to offer aromatherapy, breathing techniques, meditation, hand and foot massage, and seated yoga to patients in treatment rooms, clinic, and inpatient areas to manage symptoms and focus on well-being.

Oncology massage – Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissue of the body. Oncology massage considers ability to safely work with complications of cancer and cancer treatment.

Post baseline assessment – A form used after your complimentary introductory demonstrations are completed to evaluate how integrative therapies affected a patient’s symptoms.

The Wellness Suite – A soothing home for physician consults, hands on services, and technology-based education platforms located on the third floor of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Shadyside.

Yoga – A series of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation used to promote physical and emotional well-being.