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What Happens After Cancer Diagnosis

Ask Questions

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is difficult. Being educated about your type of cancer and options for treatment is very important. Any cancer questions you have are legitimate and valid; don’t be anxious about asking. We suggest that you bring a list of all your questions to your first visit.

Depending upon your type of cancer, your practitioner may refer you to a surgeon, a medical oncologist (who treats with chemotherapy or immunotherapy), a radiation oncologist (who treats with radiation therapy) or to a combination of these specialists. If you are not currently a Bassett patient, we will ask you to sign a release so that we can obtain your medical records. Once your records are obtained, your first visit will be scheduled.

Your First Visit

Your first visit will last about one hour. The practitioner will review your medical records, examine you, describe your type of cancer, and discuss your treatment options. You will be receiving a lot of information very quickly. We recommend bringing family member, friend, or loved one with you to your consultation as well as a notebook to take notes.

After your visit, the practitioner may request that we perform blood tests, radiology scans, or other procedures prior to beginning any possible treatment. These will be performed or scheduled before you leave. If your practitioner orders treatment, we will work with your insurance company to obtain prior authorization for these services before calling you with a treatment start date. Prior authorizations can take up to three business days to obtain.

You will also complete a social services questionnaire and see a cancer care social worker who will help you identify any barriers to care and can help you obtain resources if you need them. You may also be allocated a clinical dietician, a financial counselor, or a nurse navigator to help coordinate your care.

Treatment Visits & Follow-Up Care

During treatment, a variety of cancer support services and professionals will be involved in your care, including your oncologist, consulting physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, technicians from various disciplines, social workers, dieticians and at your request, spiritual care, and pet therapy staff. If you are interested, you may also be introduced to our survivorship program and cancer support group. You will continue to see your primary care practitioner for non-cancer related issues, who will work closely with your oncologist.

During your course of treatment, you will have regular blood tests and/or radiology scans. Our staff always tries to coordinate appointments to avoid duplicate trips; however, some procedures require a separate visit.

At the conclusion of treatment, your oncologist will recommend a follow-up appointment schedule, and you'll be introduced to our Survivorship Program. For follow-up appointments, you will alternate between seeing your nurse practitioner/physician assistant and seeing your oncologist. You may also be recommended to our Cancer Survivor Wellness Program, a fitness program designed to help survivors regain their strength after treatment.

Print our List of Questions to Ask Your Oncologist

Print our list of questions to ask your oncologist, and add any additional questions you may have. If you don’t understand what you are being told or want more information, it is important to let them know and ask them to explain the information again, more clearly. Call (607) 547-3336 to schedule an appointment with your oncologist. 

Bassett Healthcare Network’s oncologists guide and treat patients who have been diagnosed with cancer throughout Central New York, including in Herkimer, Cobleskill, Oneonta, and Cooperstown.