What to Expect

During your first appointment at the Ochsner Cancer Institute our specially-trained staff will walk you and your family through the beginning stages of your cancer treatment.

At your appointment with your doctor, you will review the medical history of yourself and your family members. Your physician will conduct a physical exam to examine you and check your vital signs. Laboratory and/or diagnostic tests may be scheduled and ordered. Your physician will potentially discuss a recommended treatment approach and plan. You will meet with both your physician and additional support staff. Please allow at least 45-60 minutes for your appointment.

You can also meet with a financial coordinator to discuss any questions you may have about payment options and insurance plans.

Organize Your Thoughts

Make a list of what you want to tell your doctor and questions you want to ask. Mention how you’ve been feeling recently. Speak up about any changes you’ve noticed, new symptoms you have, or anything else the doctor should know.

Questions that can be discussed with your physician include: 

  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment options
  • Surgical options
  • Laboratory and/or diagnostic testing involved
  • Both short and long term side effects of treatment
  • Survival rates

A Family Member or Friend Can Help

Ask a family member or friend to come with you to your appointment.

They can:

  • Drive you to and from your visit.
  • Make you feel comfortable and more confident.
  • Remind you what you planned to tell or ask.
  • Take notes.