How to Prepare for a Medical Oncology Appointment

Understanding your current state of health will help your oncologist design the most appropriate treatment regimen for you. Therefore, it will be important for you to understand your personal health history. During your conversation with a Pancreas Center oncologist, it will be important for you to know what medications you are currently taking, at what dosage, and for what conditions. This includes any supplementary vitamins you may be taking on a regular basis. In order to prepare for this conversation, it may be helpful for you to create a vitamin and medication list that includes the dosage of each medication and the condition for which each is prescribed and to bring this list with you to your consultation. Alternatively, bring all of you medicines with you to the visit including vitamins, holistic medications and regular medicines you are taking for the condition.

If you have recently had imaging studies performed, such as an MRI or CT scan, it is very important to bring a copy of the images as well as the report. If the imaging study was performed here at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, we will be able to access the reports internally. If the study was performed at an outside facility, we strongly encourage you to bring copies of the imaging and reports with you to your consultation.

Similarly, you may have had a biopsy performed at an outside institution, or may have already had a pancreatic resection. If this is the case, we prefer to obtain the physical biopsy and/or pathology slides in addition to the reports. The slides will help us confirm your diagnosis.

The process of requesting images, slides, or reports may take up to a week depending on the facility. Please keep this in mind and request them ahead of time so as not to delay your consultation.

Make sure to bring:

  • Any RADIOLOGY FILMS, CDs or IMAGING STUDIES previously performed
  • A LIST OF MEDICATIONS you are currently taking or the actual medicines.