Your Initial Appointment
During your initial appointment with your medical oncologist you will have a complete assessment, review treatment options and recommendations, and receive an explanation of the care plan you and your doctor agree on. Treatment planning may include chemotherapy alone or chemotherapy in combination with radiation therapy and/or surgery. It is also possible that no chemotherapy at all will be required. There is no such thing as a “typical treatment plan.” Treatments plans are unique to each patient and are dependent on many factors. Our medical oncologists will consult closely with our radiation oncologists and surgeons to devise a treatment plan that will provide you with the most effective treatment.
Plenty of time is available to answer your questions and address concerns you may have. A recent cancer diagnosis can be stressful and overwhelming. We encourage patients to bring a family member or other support person with them to this and subsequent visits.
Meeting Your Oncology Nurse
Once your treatment plan has been established you will meet with one of our oncology nurses who will provide you with information about the specific chemotherapy drugs you will receive, side effects, and the length of treatment. The oncology nurse will also help you to determine whether or not it will be necessary to enlist the support of family members/friends to drive you to and from treatment. We will work with you to set up your treatment plan to accommodate your schedule. Some treatment appointments may have to be set up in the morning due to the length of time involved in administering the treatment.
Receiving Your Treatment
When you arrive for your first treatment, blood work will be done to measure your blood count to ensure that it is safe for you to receive your chemotherapy. Treatment will take place in our infusion suite. Again, there is no typical length of treatment as it very specific to each patient’s medical history, type of cancer, and treatment goals.
Before your first treatment your oncology nurse will provide you with all the information you need to know about eating, drinking, what to bring, possible side effects and will answer any questions or concerns you might have.