What to Expect
Our new patient coordinator will be the first one to reach out to you. They will gather information and request you to join our patient portal so forms can be filled electronically. Before you even step into our office, we will work hard at compiling all the necessary information related to your referral, including imaging reports, pathology reports, and clinical notes.
Your first visit with the doctor will be a detailed visit where he will listen to your story and review the information he has received to confirm it and fill in any gaps. Never withhold any information – this is a great time to build a strong rapport with your oncologist. The doctor will spend time making sure you understand your particular diagnosis and explaining various treatment options available to you along with the success and side effects of each outcome.
Your Treatment Journey
Together, we will decide what the best possible treatment regimen for you would be, and a plan will be made. At this time, the doctor may order more tests. If infusion treatments are needed, the physician assistant will schedule a visit with you where she will review the plan and side effects, explain the treatment schedule, and answer any questions you may have. You will also have a chance to meet the nurses who will be taking care of you during the infusions.
Our Chemo Care Totes, given to each of our patients starting treatment, are personalized and prepared with compassion and care. They are filled with specific therapy information, treatment planners, wellness information, and stress relieving activities.
Frequently asked questions
No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Often patients forget the order of events while at a doctor’s office. It is helpful to write down your medical history and the timeline. If you have symptoms, write those down as well. If you have had any recent tests or labs, it is helpful to know where they were done and who ordered them.
If you are currently taking any medications, including over-the-counter pain relievers, vitamins, herbs, and supplements – bring a list including the names and dosage. Some medications or supplements may interfere with some treatments.
We, as hematologists/oncologists are committed to discussing your disease, treatment options, and prognosis. The prognosis depends on the type of cancer, the stage when first diagnosed, and how you respond to treatment. Though some cancers are not curable, treatment may provide a better quality of life (and relief of discomfort?). We are always honest and hopeful. Each individual is unique, and each may respond differently to therapy. We will always strive to do what is best for you.
Some cancers are caused by things people do or expose themselves to. For example, tobacco use can cause cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, bladder, kidneys, and many other organs. Of course, not everyone who uses tobacco will get cancer, but it greatly increases a person’s risk. It increases their chance of developing heart and blood vessel disease, too.
Spending a lot of time in the sun without protection can cause skin cancer. Melanoma is a very serious form of skin cancer linked to UV light from the sun and tanning beds.
Certain chemicals have been linked to cancer, too. Being exposed to or working with them can increase a person’s risk of cancer. About 5% to 10% of all cancers are linked to genes that are inherited from parents.
A person’s signs and symptoms are not enough to know whether they have cancer. If your health care provider suspects cancer, you will need more tests, such as imaging studies, blood tests, or a biopsy.
Biopsies are done generally to see if cancer cells are present. Imaging tests can measure the size of the cancer and can often show if it has spread to nearby tissues. Blood tests can tell providers about your overall health, show how well your organs are working, and give information about blood cancers.
Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are the 3 main types of cancer treatment. A person with cancer may have any or all these treatments. In choosing a treatment plan, the most important factors are the type of cancer and the stage (amount) of the cancer.
In our office, we have an infusion suite dedicated to our patients. Our specially trained nurses and pharmacy technicians work closely with our physicians to deliver the best possible care.
Our patients are referred to surgeons, radiation oncologists, and other specialists as needed. These physicians loosely form a team specialized in ensuring the best possible outcome for our patients. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines are followed closely to provide the most current and recognized treatments.
Each type of cancer treatment has different side effects. It’s hard to predict what side effects a person will have; even when people get the same treatment, they can have different side effects. Our doctors will carefully go over the side effects with you, and you will always be able to reach out to a member of your healthcare team to discuss side effects.
When something is wrong with your blood, it can affect your total health. People may be affected by many different types of blood conditions and blood cancers. Common blood disorders include anemia, bleeding disorders such as hemophilia, blood clots, and blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma.
We accept most insurances, including Medicare, Medi-Cal, Hills Physician Medical Group, United Health Care, Imperial, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, & many others. Please call our office – we are more than happy to reach out to your insurance company to do benefit eligibility and verification.