What to Expect at your First Oncology Visit

You may feel overwhelmed and anxious before your first appointment to an oncologist. By preparing in advance, you can make the most of your initial appointment and continuing visits. Consider bringing a friend or relative with you to help you absorb all the information you'll receive.

What to 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

  • 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

List of questions to ask your oncologist

  • What is ovarian cancer?
  • What is the stage of my cancer and what does that mean?
  • What are my treatment options and what do you recommend for me?
  • What are the side effects of those treatments and how can I alleviate them?
  • How long will my treatment last?
  • Have you treated other women with ovarian cancer?
  • How do my existing health conditions affect my cancer treatment?
  • 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?
  • Am I eligible for participation in clinical trials?
  • Do you suggest any complementary therapies?
  • Do my diet/nutritional requirements change?
  • Can I exercise? Engage in sexual relations?
  • Can you recommend a counselor for me to talk to?

 

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