Preparing For Your First Oncology Visit
As a new patient at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, we want you to feel comfortable, cared for, and informed. Our goal is to provide you the most comprehensive care and help guide you through the process.
Your first appointment will be comprehensive, so you should plan to spend an hour or two with us. Please arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to complete a few forms. Or, print and complete our new patient forms from the convenience of your own home to reduce your wait time.
Treatment plans for cancer can be complex, so you may find it helpful to bring another person who will also listen and take notes during the discussion with your cancer care team. We also encourage you, or your support person, to ask questions about any information that is not clear or if you would like a more in-depth explanation of any of the terms or treatments.
Your initial oncology appointment may include:
- A comprehensive meeting and evaluation with your WVCI oncologist – a cancer specialist.
- A meeting with your oncology nurse and other members of your cancer care team.
- Additional tests for an accurate diagnosis to help guide your personalized cancer treatment plan. While at the cancer center, standard tests include blood tests or other diagnostic tests we can perform in our office. For some patients, there may need to be images or other tests performed on another day. Your oncologist will explain what you’ll need and why each test is important.
- A meeting with your financial counselor to discuss insurance and billing.
- Signing up for our secure patient portal for easy access to your patient history, including diagnosis, treatment, medications, and lab results.
If you haven’t already, you can set your first appointment by calling the location in Eugene, Corvallis, or Florence that is most convenient to you. Or you can request your first appointment online, and someone from our office will reach out to set the date and time.
What to Bring to Your First Oncology Appointment
To provide you with the best care possible, your cancer care team must understand your medical history and the previous care you have received. Please bring the following items to your first appointment:
- Medications. Please bring a list or a bag of all the prescription medications you are taking. This should include any dietary supplements (vitamins, herbs, etc.). Please let your oncology care team know if you are allergic to any medications.
- Personal and family history. Be prepared to discuss your prior medical history with your physician. Having information regarding and 1st or 2nd-degree family members diagnosed with cancer is very important to your oncology team, including their age at the time of their diagnoses as well as the type of cancer they had.
- Insurance and I.D. cards. Please bring your insurance card and driver’s license or picture I.D. If your insurance company requires that you have a referral for your first visit, please make sure that your referring doctor has provided this. This will help us verify your insurance coverage and benefits, so you’ll know what out-of-pocket expenses to expect (if any).
- Referring physician information. It is critical for your WVCI oncologist to directly communicate with your primary care or referring physician(s), so information can be shared to determine the best treatment for your disease. Please bring any authorizations and referrals with you, and provide contact information for your other doctors.
- Medical records. You will also want to be sure that your oncologist has your complete medical history. Please call the WVCI location where your appointment is at, and we will help collect your medical records.
Questions to Ask Your Oncologist
There are no silly questions, especially when it comes to understanding your cancer diagnosis and treatment plan. If you’re not sure about something, just ask. If they don’t have the answer, they will find the person who does! And if you think of questions after the appointment, jot them down and call us during office hours so we can answer them for you. We also encourage you to review these frequently asked questions, which you may wish to discuss with your nurse or oncologist during your visit.