What To Expect On Your First Visit To An Oncologist
Oncology is a branch of medicine that deals with the treatment of cancer, therefore your primary doctor for the duration of your cancer treatment will be an oncologist.
Many recently diagnosed cancer patients have no idea what to expect at their first visit to an oncologist. What will this health professional be doing? Will treatment begin today? Will anything hurt?
Your first visit with an oncologist will likely involve meeting the entire cancer care team. In addition to the oncologist(s), this may include physician assistants, residents, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and medical assistants. You may also be introduced to the practice’s financial counselor to review your ability to afford treatment and review any insurance documents.
The first meeting may include an examination, but will mostly be a review of what has already been discovered and a review of the journey (treatment plan) ahead.
Here is what you’ll need to bring:
- New patient forms (you can often obtain these online from the practice’s website before arriving)
- Insurance cards and identification
- Your medical records from your physician’s office
- Contact information for all doctors you have seen
- Any existing X-rays, lab results, and scans
- Pathology slides
- Surgical reports (if applicable)
- List of your current medications
- Questions you wish to ask your cancer care team
- A close friend or family member – you’ll be given a lot of information at this first appointment, and having a close friend or family member to provide you with support is very helpful.
- Don’t forget your RN Cancer Guide!
YOU have the power to make your first appointment much less intimidating, so long as you know what to bring, and what to expect. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact RN Cancer Guides at 813.360.1145.