What Happens After My Cancer Diagnosis?
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be devastating. At Loyola Medicine, we understand the uncertainty that comes with receiving the news that you or a loved one has cancer. Loyola is committed to working with you to mitigate your fear and answer all of your questions throughout your cancer care.
As a new patient at Loyola, you will likely have questions about your first visit. We strive to make your first appointment as easy as possible and provide you with the answers to your questions and the support you need:
- What can I expect?
- What should I bring?
- Where can I receive treatment?
Why Choose Loyola for Cancer Treatment?
At Loyola, we work as an interdisciplinary team to evaluate and treat every patient, regardless of the type and stage of your cancer. For many cancer types, Loyola offers multidisciplinary cancer clinics. We are one of a select group of institutions nationally that offers a one-visit, one-team approach for patients who have been diagnosed with specific cancer types.
We also offer a unique set of cancer support services, including:
What to Expect
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
No matter which location you are visiting, Loyola’s friendly staff will welcome you and assist you throughout your stay. Once at Loyola, you will meet with the healthcare professionals involved in your care. In most instances, your initial appointment will begin with a personal interview and a physical exam. In addition, diagnostic tests such as blood tests, X-rays or scans may be ordered. Your first appointment will be tailored to your specific medical needs, and you may be scheduled to see more than one doctor.
Your team of specialists may include:
- American Cancer Society nurse navigators
- Genetic counselors
- Medical oncologists
- Oncology nurses
- Radiation oncologists
- Research nurses
- Social workers
- Surgical oncologists
Following your consultation, we will talk with you about your treatment expectations and your individualized treatment plan. When appropriate, you may be given information about clinical trials under way at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center.
What to Bring
What to Bring to Your First Appointment
Cancer is a complex disease and the course of treatment depends on your specific diagnosis. It is important for doctors at Loyola to have as much information about your cancer as possible to ensure a timely, comprehensive evaluation.
As you prepare for your first appointment, please bring the following, as applicable:
- All medications, doses and directions, including over-the-counter medications
- A physician referral, if required by your health plan
- Copies of X-rays or other films, such as an MRI or CT, along with the doctor’s reports
- Name and address of the doctor who referred you for this appointment
- Name of your primary care physician and the last date you were seen
- Operative reports
- Pathology slides and reports
- Written medical records, including lab and treatment information to date
- Your insurance card or other coverage information
It's always a good idea to discuss what to bring with the person who schedules your appointment. You will be asked to verify insurance coverage and instructed to secure a referral from your primary care physician, if appropriate.
It is also important for you to think about the questions you might want to ask your doctors. Writing them down before your appointment can help ease your nerves and help you remember everything you want to ask.