We suggest that somebody accompany you to your first appointment to help remember important information. A “first consultation” will often require more than one visit due to the need for further investigations.
It is important to provide us with all reports that you may have. Your oncologist will review the results of investigations confirming your diagnosis (histology reports, blood tests, radiology reports etc.). Your previous and current medical history and treatment will be reviewed. It is important to provide a list of all your current medication (conventional and alternative/natural), any chronic medical conditions, and any serious prior illnesses. A family history of cancer and any other illness that may run in the family should also be provided.
It is important to provide us with The following:
Medical aid card
Results of investigations: Blood tests, histology- and radiology reports
Once your oncologist is certain about your diagnosis and has assessed you medically, the stage (i.e. extent of spread) of your disease needs to be determined. You may be referred for further investigations before this can be determined.
Sometimes further tests may be requested on the biopsy specimen that was obtained to make the diagnosis. This may take a few days.
The first consultation will focus on your diagnosis and the treatment options available to you. These options may include treatment by another speciality such as surgery or radiation therapy. You will then be referred there. In other instances medical oncology treatment may not be necessary.
In the event that treatment is recommended, the treatment will be discussed in broad outlines, and any questions you may have will be answered. A more detailed discussion usually follows at the second visit; this allows you the opportunity to be better prepared, as many questions arise after the first visit once you have time to digest, think, and obtain more information.
Should treatment be suggested, a treatment plan will be sent to our authorisation department, who will forward it to your medical aid for approval. We will let you know as soon as the treatment is approved and arrange for you to come in and start your treatment. You may follow-up with your medical aid about progress with your authorisation.
Before starting treatment, you will generally be seen again by your medical oncologist to answer any questions you may have, and to discuss your treatment again. Specific attention will be given to the management of side effects, what to look out for, and what to do should side effects occur. You will also be given contact numbers to phone during and after hours should the need arise.