1_1 whattoexpect

Your First Visit to UPMC CancerCenter

When you come to UPMC CancerCenter for the first time, you should know you'll be in good hands.

Our caring staff will do their best to help you relax and let you know exactly what to expect during visit.

New patient visits may last two to four hours because you will meet with multiple members of your cancer care team. You may also need onsite tests or scans during your visit.

What to Bring to Your First Visit to UPMC CancerCenter

Before your first visit, make sure to gather the following and bring with you:

  • Insurance card and identification.
  • Lab results.
  • List of your current medications.
  • Medical records from your other doctors.
  • New Patient Assessment Form.
  • Pathology slides and written reports.
  • Questions to ask your care team.
  • X-rays and scans on a CD. Please ask your imaging facility to provide these scans in DICOM (digital imaging and communications in Medicine) format.

What to Expect When You Arrive at UPMC CancerCenter

When you first arrive for your appointment, please sign in at registration.

Once you sign in, we will:

  • Check you in for your appointment.
  • Verify your demographic and insurance information.
  • Take your height, weight (no shoes please), and blood pressure.
  • You might also need to complete more paperwork.

Your Assessment by the Cancer Care Team

Once you're in an exam room, multiple members of your cancer care team may assess you.

During this time, they will:

  • Review your medical history.
  • Perform a physical exam.
  • Discuss potential cancer treatment options. Not all patients will require treatment.

Most times, you can schedule follow-up visits at the discharge desk prior to leaving UPMC CancerCenter.

What to Expect if You Need Lab Work or Cancer Treatment

Having your blood drawn is a vital step to ensure you receive the most accurate cancer treatment.

If you need lab work:

  • Sign in for your appointment at the front desk and have a seat in the reception area.
  • A member of your care team will direct you to the room to draw your blood.
  • It may take up to 30 minutes to review your labs and give you the results.

When you come to UPMC CancerCenter for treatment, a member of your cancer care team will:

  • Take your vitals, height, and weight at each visit.
  • Review your lab work before providing your treatment.
  • Go over education materials about the drugs that you will be receiving.

Based on your specific cancer treatment plan determined by you and your care team, injections may take 30 to 60 minutes.

All other treatments may take two to eight hours.

Participating in a Cancer Research Trial

You may be eligible to take part in a cancer research study. Research is crucial to finding new and better cancer treatments.

Research studies require a unique treatment plan with more steps and procedures than traditional cancer treatment. Please be aware that you might need to spend extra time during each visit.

Your research nurse will describe the details of your specific treatment.