Preparing for Your First Visit

Every newly diagnosed cancer patient has many, many questions.  Some questions can't be answered until you have further testing or see a cancer specialist who will help you decide on the right course of action and treatment plan.  Your first appointment with your oncologist or surgeon is an important step in your cancer journey.

Expand all

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Being told that you have cancer can be scary and stressful.  You probably have a lot of quesitons and concerns.  It's important for your to be able to talk frankly and opening with your doctor and all the providers on your care team. We are here to help answer all of your quesitons, no matter how minor they might seem to you.  To help us in your care, it can help to know what quesitons you should ask.  Outlined below are some common quesitons that you can use to better understand cancer and yous care options.  Don't be afraid to take notes and tell your care team when you don't understand what they are saying.
The questions below are grouped by where you are in teh process of cancer treatment.  Not all of these quesitons will apply or be relevant to your care, but they should help to get you started. 
When you've been told you have cancer:
  1. What kind of cancer do I have?
  2. Where is the cancer located?
  3. Has the cancer spread beyong where it started?
  4. What's the cancer's stage adn what does that mean?
  5. How does this affect my treatment options and long-term outcomes/prognosis?
  6. How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  7. Will I need other tests before we can decide on a treatment plan?
  8. What are my treatment options?
  9. What treatment do youi recommend, based on my specific cancer, and why?
  10. What's the goal of my treatment?
  11. How do I get a copy of my medical report?
  12. Should I be thinking about genetic testing?
  13. Should I get a second opinion?  Who do you recommend?
  14. Should I think about participating in a clinical trial?

Bringing a family member or support person

During your first appointment, your provider will often review a lot of information about your disease and the different treatment options available to you.  Many patients bring a family member or friend (support person) as a "second set of ears" to listen and ask quesitons that you may not think of.  Family and friends can also take notes while your provider is discussing your care, so you can focus on the conversation.   

Requesting an interpreter

M Health is committed to ensuring effective communication between all patients and their care teams by providing qualified interpretation services.  We provide medical interpreters free of charge for limited English proficiency and deaf or hard-of-hearing patients. Please ask your Cancer Care team to assist you in arranging for an interpreter, or you can contact our Interpreter Services directly.  

Important reminders when visiting our clinics

  • Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the building or on the campus grounds. 
  • We are a fragrance and latex free facility.  Please avoid wearing perfume or aftershave.  Do not bring latex balloons as gifts.  
  • To ensure a quiet, comfortable, healing environment, cell phone use is strongly discouraged in patient care areas.  Guests and visitors may be asked to step out to a public area when using cell phones. 
  • Anyone with an infectious illness or recent exposure to contagious disease, such as chickenpoc, flu, or measles, should not visit the hospital.  
  • Visitors may be asked to leave the room during tests or treatments.  

Children in the clinic and infusion areas

We are committed to providing a safe and healing environment for all patients receiving care in our infusion areas, as well as ensuring the safety of our visitors.  

  • Children ages 12 and under - may visit the infusion area for a maximum of 30 minutes per day.  They must have an adult, other than the patient, present and with them at all times.
  • Children ages 13-15 - may visit the infusion area for any length of time.  They must have an adult, other than the patient, present and with them at all time.
  • Children ages 16-18 - may visit the infusion area for any length of time and do not need to have an adult with them.