What To Expect As a Cancer Patient

You are why we are here.

Being diagnosed with cancer may suddenly seem to put the control of your life into the hands of others, but we want to make you as comfortable as possible throughout your cancer journey. Learn what to expect as a cancer patient at 21st Century Oncology and how to prepare for your specific treatment as designated by one of our integrated cancer care providers.

Becoming a Cancer Patient

Your initial consultation

21st Century Oncology cancer patients are typically referred by their Primary Care Physician to a provider within our network. Whether you are referred to a Surgical Oncologist, Breast Surgeon, General Surgeon, Urologist, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist, Colorectal Surgeon, Gynecologic Oncologist, Pulmonologist, Head and Neck Surgeon, Medical Oncologist or Radiation Oncologist, the appropriate team will work together to develop a treatment plan specific to your needs. To get started, simply call us directly or ask your doctor to give us a call to set up your initial consultation.

Your physician may require you to see multiple physicians within our network. During these visits, you will meet your 21st Century Oncology team and discuss your specific type of cancer, the most effective types of treatment, the results you might expect from your cancer treatment, and what will happen to you physically as you go through treatment. After you give us permission, we can also obtain copies of all the necessary health records from your other doctors. By the time your initial consultation is over, you will be well informed about your diagnosis and why the treatment recommended is the right choice for your particular situation. In most cases, you will not receive a treatment at your initial consultation.

”You never give up. You don’t ever think, whatever your diagnosis is, that it’s something you can’t overcome.”


Jackie, Lung Cancer Survivor


Preparing for your consultation

  • Ask a friend or family member to come with you. He or she can help you prepare for your treatments, remember instructions and be there for you with emotional and practical support
  • Have your medical records and imaging from your regular doctor or Oncologist (or ask that they be sent to us beforehand)
  • Do not forget your insurance card and any referral forms your insurance provider may require, as well as any co-pays. Feel free to call our office before you come in. A member of our staff will figure out what you need to bring and can help you with any insurance or referral paperwork.

Bring questions! In the days before your consultation, write down any that come to mind.

Sample questions to ask

  • How will I feel during cancer treatment?
  • What are the side effects from my particular form of treatment?
  • What should I eat while undergoing treatment? Are there any foods I should stay away from?
  • What will my insurance cover? Is financial support available?
  • Should I continue my current medications?
  • How will my cancer treatment affect my other health conditions?
  • Will I be able to drive myself to my treatments?

Learn More About What to Expect

Your Cancer Care Team
Your Nutrition
Financial & Insurance
Common Questions for
Cancer Patients
Patient Resources
Tips for Caregivers

The more you know about what to expect during your radiation therapy before it actually begins, the less stressful it will be.

We go to great lengths to make sure you know what to expect as a cancer patient at 21st Century Oncology by preparing you with detailed information and answering all of your questions. As always, we encourage all of our patients to reach out to their 21st Century Oncology team whenever you feel uncertain or you are not sure what to do or what comes next.

Patients tell us they value our:

  • Highly-experienced, team approach to your cancer treatment program
  • Proven track record treating common and uncommon types of cancer
  • The most sophisticated radiation treatment planning and delivery technologies in the world
  • On-staff professionals for help with nutrition, counseling, paperwork and insurance-related matters