What to Expect on your First Visit to an Oncologist

You may feel overwhelmed and anxious before your first oncologist appointment.  By now, you probably have received confirmation of the presence of cervical cancer. Your oncologist will be one of a team of Riverside medical professionals prepared to help determine the extent of your cancer and to provide effective, individualized treatment.
 
By preparing in advance, you can make the most of your initial appointment with your oncologist.  Consider bringing a friend or relative with you to help you absorb all the information you'll receive.

What you should bring to your appointment
  • A list of your current medications
  • Any and all x-rays, MRIs or other imaging films (including written report)
  • Information about what treatments and medications have been tried in the past and medical records that you think may be helpful
  • Insurance information and card
  • Referral from your primary care physician, if applicable
 
What to expect on your first visit
  • You'll complete basic paperwork
  • The nurse will take your vital signs in order to prescribe accurate therapy dosages
  • Your oncologist will review and discuss your test results
  • Your oncologist will discuss further testing to stage your cancer, if needed
  • You and your oncologist will begin discussions about your treatment plan
  • You'll be encouraged to ask questions
 
Some questions you might want to ask your oncologist:
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the cervix?
  • Can the stage of my cancer be determined and what does that mean?
  • What are my treatment choices?
  • What treatment do you recommend and why?
  • What risks or side effects are there to the treatment you suggest?
  • Will I be able to have children after my treatment?
  • What are the chances my cancer will recur (come back) with the treatment programs we have discussed?
  • Should I continue to take prescription medications for other medical conditions?
  • Will I be able to work? Care for my family?
  • What will the cost of my treatment be?
  • Can you recommend someone to help me navigate my insurance coverage?
  • Do you suggest any complementary therapies?
  • Do my diet/nutritional requirements change?
  • Can I exercise? Engage in sexual relations?
  • Can you recommend a counselor?

 

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