Your First Appointment at Comprehensive Cancer Centers
Expect to do a lot of listening during your first appointment. In most cases, the patient or their family member has researched the type of cancer and treatment options using online tools such as our own. However, every patient’s situation is different. While there are some typical cancer treatment protocols, they don’t apply to everyone perfectly. During your first visit, you should plan to spend an hour.
Your oncologist will spend time explaining what they know up to this point about the type of cancer you have, and they may even be able to talk about the various treatment options that exist. They may not, however, have enough information yet to make a recommendation for a specific treatment plan. This may have to come after reviewing the results of additional tests at a future appointment.
We strongly suggest that you bring a supportive relative or friend to your first appointment. Not only will this person serve as an extra set of ears to make sure you don’t miss any details, he or she will also be able to ask questions you may not think to ask and discuss the appointment with you after it’s over.
You will meet with the financial team called patient benefit representatives to outline what you can expect for treatment costs and you can spend time talking to them about payment options.
Here is what you can expect at your first appointment:
- Initial meeting and evaluation with your physician
- Tests taken to determine an accurate diagnosis which will help guide your treatments
- Meeting with your nurse and other members of your medical team
- Meeting with your financial counselor to discuss your insurance and billing questions
- If your treatment process requires chemotherapy, you will meet one-on-one with a nurse or nurse practitioner to better understand chemotherapy and the treatment process as well as how to manage and side effects.
Some of the topics covered in the chemo class include:
- Chemotherapy at a glance
- Infusion room guidelines
- Information about laboratory values
- This to report to your physician
- Managing the side effects of chemo
- Healthy eating habits
- Local resources for cancer patients
At Comprehensive Cancer Centers, we will do all we can to make the first visit a smooth and comfortable experience for you and your family. You will be warmly welcomed into our extended family and treated with compassion by a team of caring oncology professionals.
Please arrive at the office at least thirty minutes before your appointment to allow time for the registration process.
Here are some other helpful resources to make your first visit a comfortable experience:
Consider A Clinical Trial
Clinical trials help uncover various new cancer treatment options for a variety of cancers, and give many patients the opportunity to receive newly developed cancer treatment therapies or investigational drugs not yet available outside the study. Typically, a cancer clinical trial isn’t the first or best option for newly diagnosed patients. Talk to your oncologist to determine if you’d be a good candidate for treatment via clinical research.
Join a Cancer Support Group
We know this is a difficult time, but you can do this. We also know that having support can make a difference. Many hospitals, cancer centers, community groups, and schools offer cancer support groups. American Cancer Society is a great place to search support groups in your area. We have patient resources that our team can recommend for you, and they will help you to stay connected during and after your cancer treatment journey.
Always remember that our team of cancer specialists are here to answer all of your questions and connect you with the resources you’ll need while navigating your cancer treatment journey.