What to Expect after a Medical Oncology Appointment

You should leave your appointment with a clear understanding of your treatment recommendation. We understand dealing with your diagnosis and beginning treatment can be a difficult process. You may want to obtain other opinions before choosing the treatment regimen your Pancreas Center oncologist suggests. We encourage you to consider your options before moving forward as it is important that you and your loved ones feel fully informed with your treatment regimen and how it will affect you.

When you are ready to begin treatment, you can call your oncologist to schedule your chemotherapy. Your treatment schedule will depend on the kind of chemotherapy you will receive. The entire process of receiving chemotherapy takes 5-6 hours. You will have your blood drawn to confirm your blood counts are within the limits necessary ensure the safety of your treatment. Assuming your blood counts are normal, you will have an IV inserted in your arm through which your chemotherapy medicines will be administered. This process will occur each time you receive your chemotherapy treatment. Always bring a family member or friend with you when you receive chemotherapy who can help you to and from the medical center.

If you choose to undergo chemotherapy at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, your Pancreas Center oncologist will check in with you during your treatment. You can also expect to have more formal follow up appointments with your Pancreas Center oncologist at the beginning of every chemotherapy cycle during your treatment regimen.

For some patients, your doctor will recommend neoadjuvant chemotherapy to try and shrink the tumor in the hopes of making it small enough to remove surgically. During the course of your treatment your oncologist will consult regularly with your surgeon, and the rest of the Pancreas Center team, to evaluate the effectiveness of the neoadjuvant treatment and determine the optimal opportunity for surgery. Once your treatment team decides you are ready for surgery, your oncologist will refer you to a Pancreas Center surgeon. To learn more about the Pancreas Center surgery program, click here.