An oncology consultation clarifies your health situation and what to expect by the end of the consultation. Yet, you may worry about what to do during your first oncology consultation. This article explores ways to prepare and enjoy the full benefits of your first visit to an oncology consultant.

Prepare Well

You may feel overwhelmed as you prepare for your first time oncology consulting. You can relieve stress by knowing what to expect and managing the expectations. Activities during the first oncology consulting include:

  • Examination for affected parts and swellings in areas like the neck and armpit

  • Scans and tests if your oncology consultant needs more information

  • Discussions about treatment procedures and cost

  • Prescription for pain relief and symptom management

Carry a pen and notepad to write specific instructions about the steps above. Then, you can refer to the notes later if you have any doubts or need clarification.

Carry the Right Items

Oncology consultants must examine you thoroughly and ask questions to understand your condition. A few things you can carry to ease the process include:

  • Medications. Carry your list of prescription medications, including dietary supplements. Also, let your oncology consultant know if you are allergic to any drugs.

  • Insurance card. If your insurer needs you to have a referral, ask your doctor to provide the referral. The insurance helps your oncology consultant verify coverage and inform you if you should expect out-of-pocket expenses.

  • Personal and family history information. Inquire about first or second-degree relatives diagnosed with cancer. Have a record of the age and time of diagnosis if any of your family members had cancer.

The correct items lessen your oncology consultant's time to get the required information.

Ask the Right Questions

Ask anything you want to know about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Inquire about general information, treatment, and lifestyle advice. Questions to ask include:

  • What type of cancer do I have, and what is the stage?

  • How much time will each procedure take?

  • What steps should I take if I experience unbearable symptoms?

  • Which treatments do I have to undergo, and how long will each treatment last?

  • What is the approximate cost of medicines, procedures, and drugs?

  • Should I observe dietary restrictions during treatment? 

  • What exercise should I do, if any, and which should I avoid?

You may not recall everything you need to ask during your first consultation. So, jot down your questions, and if you remember more after the consultation, don't hesitate to call the office.

As part of your consultation, your oncology consultant discusses your treatment and prognosis. You get the best out of oncology consulting if you prepare well. So, use the above tips as a guideline for successful oncology consulting.