What to Expect
When you hear the words “you have cancer,” it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. The first step is to find a cancer treatment center that has the experience and expertise to give you the best possible outcome and a warm, compassionate team who will care for you and your loved ones.
Here at Columbia Cancer, we are all with you, all the way. You’ll have a team of experts across all specialties, all dedicated to working with you, from your diagnosis, to treatment, to survivorship.
Below, you will find some additional information about becoming a patient at Columbia Cancer.
Make an Appointment
Navigating cancer care can be overwhelming. Our dedicated team of access representatives are here to help you get the care you need. They will work with you to find the right specialist for you and schedule all the appointments you need, often on the same day.
At Columbia Cancer, we are a team. What’s more, we’re your team. When you come to Columbia Cancer for your care, you’ll have many different specialists working with you to find the best treatment specifically for you. Our doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, and more are all here to help you throughout your cancer journey, from diagnosis to survivorship. Many of our specialists are also Columbia University researchers, so you’ll have access to the newest and most cutting-edge treatments, including the latest clinical trials.
Our patient access team will coordinate your care with the doctor’s office to make sure you have everything you need before you come in for your first appointment.
You can request an appointment callback online or call us at 212-305-5098.
Preparing for your first visit
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, you probably have many questions. Your Columbia Cancer care team is here to help you get answers and the care that you need. Depending on the type of cancer you have, your first appointment will be with either a medical oncologist, a surgeon, a radiation oncologist, or sometimes several of these specialists. Any one of these doctors can help you better understand your cancer, your options, and work with you to design the best treatment plan.
At your first visit, your doctor will ask you about your medical history and your family history. They’ll want to know what symptoms you have had, and if you have had any tests done, like labs or imaging.
You should bring copies of all your reports so the doctor can review them. You should also bring in a list of any medications you take and the dosages, including any vitamins or supplements. You can also bring in the medications themselves if it is easier. Make sure you bring a photo ID, your insurance card, and your prescription card. You’ll also need to fill out a few forms and bring them with you. Your access representative will let you know what forms you need and how to access them when they schedule your appointment.
If you can, bring someone with you, like a friend or family member, who can be with you for support and also as another set of ears in the room. Sometimes the first appointment can be overwhelming, and having someone else there to listen, ask questions, and give support is helpful.
Getting to your first appointment
You should arrive at your first appointment about 30 minutes early to complete the registration process. We have several locations across the New York City area, which makes it more convenient for you to get your care close to home. Make sure you know at which location you are scheduled.
At Columbia Cancer, we know that cancer care is more than just treating your cancer. We take care of all of you, with a comprehensive range of supportive services, from nutrition, to integrative health, to pain management. You can discuss these with your care team, and learn more about the services we offer here.