Your First Visit to a Cancer Center

Important things to bring to your first visit to a Cancer Center:

  • Medical Records and Written Reports
  • Referring Physician Letter
  • A List of Current Medications: This includes all prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, alternative medications, and supplements.
  • Radiology Tests: This includes X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, ultrasounds, and current mammography. It is important that our physicians review the actual films, either in hard copy or digital format, in addition to the written reports.
  • Pathology Slides and Films: If you have been diagnosed with cancer, then a pathologist has already made a diagnosis by reviewing a biopsy or tumor specimen. It is beneficial to you thatĀ the CenterĀ confirms this diagnosis by reviewing your slides.
  • Insurance ID Card: Please notify your insurance company prior to your visit. They may require a formal referral from your referring physician, and they may give you a formal referral authorization to assure that the cost of your visit it covered.
  • Questions: It is always a good idea to bring a list of questions to ask your physician. In addition, we encourage patients to bring a family member or significant other to help you take notes and ask questions.

Most Centers will also have a new patient coordinator that can provide you and your family an orientation, interpreter services, and answers to questions.

Adapted from the Yale Cancer Center's webiste at

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