How to Cope with a Cancer Diagnosis
It's hard to hear anything else when the word "cancer" is mentioned, but hear this: UPMC Hillman Cancer Center is here for you. While the news may not be easy to accept, know you're not alone. The countless others who have come before you will attest to our patient-centered care. We will walk side by side with you.
We currently offer the following to assist you through this difficult time:
You'll certainly have many questions and we'll have the answers. We can tell you what to expect along the way. Your process will be completely unique to your situation. Your preliminary appointments will help our expert oncologists and physicians as they collaborate to find the treatment that works best for you. So take a deep breath, you're in good hands at UPMC.
Your First Appointment
It's okay to be a little nervous. This is a new experience for you and you're probably not quite sure what to expect. We will walk with you every step of the way, making sure you understand each and every procedure that occurs. Your first appointment will usually last one hour, a majority of which will be spent with the doctor managing your treatment plan. Make sure you bring a list of medications or prescriptions you are currently taking to your first appointment. Download the new patient form.
When You First Arrive
- A volunteer will greet you and give you a new patient form to fill out. If you want, you can print the form out ahead of time and bring it with you to the first appointment to save time.
- Next, one of our medical assistants will lead you to an exam room to take your weight and height measurements. If you have a support person with you, they can either wait in one of our spacious and comfortable waiting areas or accompany you along the way.
- You will then meet with one of our secretaries to ensure all your personal, medical and insurance information is correct.
- Then, you will be introduced to one of our cancer care nurses, who will go over your medical history with you. Your medical history helps us to care for you in the best way we can and ensure positive outcomes. Your nurse will give you a patient packet that has more information on our team, services and policies.
- Your final stop on your first visit is with your doctor. Your provider will talk with you about options and what treatment they feel is the best for your condition. Feel free to ask any questions at this time. Our social workers and financial counselors can meet with you as well if you have any problems or doubts.
While You Wait
Throughout your treatment period, you may have to wait for small amounts of time, whether we are looking at lab results or you have visits with multiple doctors. A new feature, a "buzzer" system, gives you a handheld device to alert you when your wait time is up. This allows you to explore while you wait:
- Grab a bite at our cafeteria
- Take a walk around our new healing garden
- Visit our gift shop, with a complimentary 10% off coupon
- Pick up your prescriptions at our pharmacy
- Relax on a couch or watch TV in our den; vending machines and drinks are available.
We aim to make this the most comfortable experience possible for you and your family. If there's anything we can do to make it better, please let us know! We'll be glad to attend to any need you may have.
UPMC is committed to providing patients and their families a comfortable experience during a stay at our cancer centers in Williamsport and Wellsboro, PA.