If you’ve recently received the news that you have cancer, you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed. Your first step is to make an appointment with a doctor who specialises in the type of cancer you’ve been diagnosed with. Once the date and time have been set, here’s an easy checklist to help you to prepare for your oncologist appointment.
8 things to do to prepare for your oncologist appointment
1. Put together a summary of your medical history
A summary of your medical history is a description written by your doctor (or doctors) detailing your specific condition and general medical history, as well as the treatment you have received. Your medical aid may also be able to help you put this together.
2. Include a list of your current medication
Make sure you bring along a list of all medications that you take, including those prescribed by doctors and those that you buy over the counter (such as vitamins or herbal products). If you are unable to do so, please bring the labelled bottles or boxes with you to your appointment. Remember to communicate anything important regarding medication to your oncologist, for example, medications that you are allergic to or do not react well to.
3. Bring your histology report
Your histology or pathology report analyses the tissue samples from the tumour(s) that were taken at your biopsies or surgical procedures. This is important for your oncologist to have.
4. Bring your radiology tests
These are also important for your oncologist to have. Radiology tests are those that have been taken to produce images of the tumour(s). The images may be on disc or on film. Examples include x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans and bone scans.
5. Gather your medical aid details
Following your diagnosis, it’s important to get in touch with your medical aid to understand the type of cover you have on your current plan. The oncologist needs to know the name of your medical aid, the main member details, the type and option you are on and the membership number. They will also require proof of membership, so be sure to bring your card or a letter from the medical aid scheme. This helps with authorisation checks and submission of your treatment plan at appropriate stages.
6. Write down your questions
You probably have a lot of questions, and that is understandable. Write them all down and bring them with you to your appointment so that you can go through them at your oncologist appointment.
7. Bring a notepad and pen
As you go through your questions, make sure you have something to jot down all the answers so that you can refer back to them if you want to after your oncologist appointment. You can also make a note of any additional information your doctor gives you during your appointment.
8. Bring someone
It’s always reassuring having someone with you at your oncologist appointment, so try to get a friend or family member to go along with you. You will receive a lot of information during the appointment and it’ll be helpful to have someone else with you to listen and take notes.
If you would like to make an appointment at Dr Mboyi Inc, contact us now.