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Cancer Clinic Day Expectations

On appointment day, patients will meet with the scheduled physician(s) and clinic staff. After a physical examination, the physician and staff members will assess the patient's status, looking at any workup or treatments undertaken previously. The medical staff will decide if any additional lab work is needed, and any new testing that is determined to be necessary will be scheduled.

During that visit, you may also meet with a medical director of a specialty clinic, if appropriate, who will perform a physical. The medical director may make arrangements for you to undergo diagnostic tests, such as blood work or a chest X-ray, that same day, or have you meet with other specialists. Additional physicians whom you will not meet -- for example, pathologists and radiologists -- also will evaluate your condition and be actively involved in developing your treatment plan.

After members of the medical team collaborate, one of the physicians will discuss the findings and treatment recommendations with you. If there is something you do not understand, just ask. Our staff is available during and after your visit to answer questions and make sure you fully understand your condition and treatment options.

When appropriate, the patient may be provided information about clinical trials under way at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center.

Chemotherapy is provided in the Day Hospital area of the CBCC. Twelve chairs and eight day beds are available for patients requiring chemotherapy. Patients are scheduled for their treatments as ordered by their physicians. Oncology trained nursing staff administer the chemotherapy prepared in the cancer center pharmacy. Patients receive instruction on medications administered and the management of side effects by the nurses providing care. Patients have access to their physicians and nursing staff through a triage nurse in the center who is able to direct their concerns to the appropriate staff.

Radiation Therapy
Patients needing radiation therapy are scheduled for treatment by their radiation oncologist. Patients are evaluated using specialized computers that create images of the cancerous parts of the body. The goal is to radiate only the cancerous area while sparing healthy tissue. Patients are usually scheduled daily for a determined length of time over a period of weeks, again based on an individualized treatment plan. Nursing staff is available at each visit to assist patients with therapy and to instruct patients on management of any side effects.

Your referring or primary care physician will be contacted regarding the outcome of the visit and recommended treatment plan.