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If you or a loved one has cancer, you shouldn’t have to face it alone. We know that your worries come at all hours of the day or night — and not always when the doctor is in. That’s why Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cancer Institute oncology nurses are here to answer your questions anytime, day or night, 24/7.

AHN Cancer Help Line is free for anyone. Click to call (412) NURSE-4-U. You can talk to an expert oncology nurse for knowledgeable answers, personalized advice, support, and reassurance.

Common Questions about the AHN Cancer Help Line

When can I call?

The AHN Cancer Help Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who will I be talking to?

The AHN Cancer Help Line is answered by AHN Cancer Institute expert oncology nurses who have years of experience helping patients and their families. They are up-to-date about the latest cancer treatments and research.

What can the AHN Cancer Help Line do for me?

When you call (412) NURSE-4-U our expert oncology nurses can:

  • Help you understand your condition or test results following your appointment with your oncologist
  • Explain your treatment options
  • Offer suggestions on diet, exercise, or managing side-effects
  • Help you know what your symptoms mean and if you should call your doctor

Can the nurse give me a diagnosis or prognosis?

No. The nurse can answer your questions about symptoms but cannot confirm a diagnosis or give you a prognosis. If you are looking for a new doctor or additional treatment options, we can help you connect with an oncologist, get an appointment, and transfer your records (some restrictions may apply).

Do I have to be seeing an AHN doctor?

No. You can call (412) NURSE-4-U no matter what doctors are treating you.

Will the AHN Cancer Help Line try to direct me to another doctor?

No. We are simply here to answer your questions and provide support as needed. If you are looking for a new doctor or additional treatment options, our nurses will be happy to assist you with getting an appointment and transferring your medical records (some restrictions may apply).

Does it matter what insurance I have to call the help line?

No. The AHN Cancer Help Line is free for anyone regardless of insurance carrier.

If I am seeing an AHN doctor, can the AHN Cancer Help Line oncology nurses see my records?

Yes. As an AHN patient, our oncology nurses can review your medical records to provide the best care possible based on your history. Your call to the Help Line will be entered into your medical records so your doctor knows that you called and is aware of your concerns or any side effect you may have been experiencing.

What if I am experiencing side effects after my doctor’s office has closed?

AHN offers the After Hours Clinic*, located in West Penn Hospital’s Mellon Pavilion Medical Oncology Clinic. The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is staffed by a nurse practitioner, a registered nurse, and a medical assistant, working with an oncologist.

The After Hours Clinic is ready to treat your symptoms, including:

  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Coughing
  • Painful mouth sore
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Rashes

For more information or to contact the After Hours Oncology Clinic, call 412-770-3070.

What if I am experiencing severe symptoms?

If you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath, go to your nearest emergency room or call 911.

What if I am looking for cancer resources in the community?

We can refer you to support groups, community social services, or other resources based on your needs.

What if I have questions about billing?

For billing questions, please call your insurance provider directly. 

Answers when you need them most are #LivingProof.

The AHN Cancer Help Line does not replace a physician’s care, and callers will be referred back to their oncologist whenever appropriate. AHN Cancer Help Line nurses do not make diagnoses or deliver prognoses. For current AHN patients, this service is provided in addition to the AHN Cancer Institute Navigation Program.

*The clinic is open only to patients being treated for cancer at Allegheny Health Network.