What to expect at your first visit to Upstate Cancer Center

The reception area in the lobby of the Upstate Cancer Center. (PHOTO BY SUSAN KAHN)

Upstate Cancer Center staff members begin preparing for a patient’s first visit soon after the appointment is scheduled. They request radiology and laboratory results and other information from your referring physician, so cancer specialists can review those reports before you arrive.

For your first consultation, please allow at least 1½ hours.

You will meet with a cancer doctor and other members of your treatment team to discuss your options and determine the recommended course of treatment. Patients may be referred or request a second opinion.

How to prepare:

  • Research the type of cancer with which you have been diagnosed before your appointment, because being informed can help you make choices about your treatment options. The Upstate Cancer Center website includes resources in the “Cancer Types” tab.
  • Learn about your physician by typing his or her last name into the “Find a Doctor” section of the main Upstate website.
  • Write down any questions and bring them with you.
  • Invite a family member or friend to accompany you to help listen and take notes during your appointment.
  • Let the appointment scheduling staff know if you need translation services or interpretation for the hearing impaired.

What to bring with you:

  • A completed medical history form (download a blank copy here);
  • A list of the medications you currently take, including over-the-counter medications;
  • Health insurance card;
  • Employer’s name, address and phone number, if you are covered under your employer’s insurance plan;
  • Advance directives, or “living will,” if you have one;
  • Your referring physician’s name, address and phone number;
  • Parking ticket for validation.

How to make an appointment:

Call the Upstate Cancer Center at 315-464-4673 to schedule a consultation.

This article appears in the fall 2016 issue of Cancer Care magazine.

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