Although this path is new to you, we have traveled it many times and will be your guide because we know the way. Our physicians and staff look forward to meeting you and beginning the journey together.
Clinic activities and processes can be confusing initially and you may feel overwhelmed. Please don’t hesitate to request clarification about anything that is unclear to you. Feel free to invite a friend or family member along to take notes for you or ask questions.
Because every patient’s situation is unique, your care plan will be individualized to best meet your needs; however, certain procedures can be expected at your first visit.
Your visit to Minnesota Oncology will begin with some necessary paperwork, which you may be able to fill out in advance and bring with you. An administrative staff member will go over some of these forms with you and make copies of your insurance card(s).
The Collaborative Nurse is a vital part of your care team who works closely with your physician. He or she will visit with you, review your medical history and take vital signs such as temperature, blood pressure, height and weight. The Collaborative Nurse will coordinate your care and be your “go to” person for questions and concerns.
You will then have your first consultation with your oncology physician. This may include a review of your health history, your diagnosis, and discussion about the plan of care. Lab tests or scans may be ordered at this time.
As a vital part of the care team, you will meet with a scheduler who will help you coordinate any necessary follow-up appointments such as visits with your physician, chemotherapy class if appropriate, labs and scans.
Because cancer can affect your life in many ways, a variety of non-medical educational and support programs are also available through our Nutrition Therapists, Social Workers, and Patient Financial Counselors. Your nurse or clinic scheduler can help you access these services.
With recent advances in technology and medical expertise, more and more cancer therapies can be administered on an out-patient basis. And, because many treatment options require shorter hospital stays — or no hospital admission at all — the quality of life of the patient is often improved.
At Minnesota Oncology, we offer a full range of diagnosis, treatment, care, and support services all in self-contained, convenient locations. This environment enables close coordination of treatment by the cancer care team, and enhances treatment for the patient who may require multiple therapies.
However, because most cancers are best treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of the two, our centers focus on these options, supported by a full-service laboratory and, in some locations, an on-site pharmacy and comprehensive radiology department. In addition, we emphasize education for patients about their disease along with treatment options and support programs to aid patients and their families.