Frequently Asked Questions
These are some of the more common questions we hear from patients. If your cancer-related question is not addressed here, please feel free to contact us.
Q. What do I do if I need to get in touch with my physician after office hours or on the weekends?
A. We have an answering service that takes our calls during non-office hours. One of our physicians is always on call. Even if the person who calls you back is not your regular physician, he/she works with your doctor and will be able to help you. If your problem is not cancer related, please call your primary care physician and that office will assist you.
Q. Will I lose my hair?
A. It depends on your treatment. Chemotherapy may cause your hair to thin or completely fall out, depending on the kind of chemotherapy drugs you are receiving. You may also lose hair from other parts of your body but hair will grow back after your chemotherapy treatment has been completed. Sometimes the color or texture is slightly different.
Q. What should I tell my children?
A. It depends on the age of your children. If you might lose your hair, it’s important to let them know beforehand so they won’t be frightened. Our experience has been that it’s good to be as honest as you can with children.
Q. What if I think I may be pregnant?
A. Let your physician know immediately. Chemotherapy treatment can be dangerous to the fetus.
Q. Am I going to be in pain?
A. Not necessarily. The disease process and treatment is very individualized, depending on the type of cancer you have. There are many medications used to control pain and keep you comfortable. If you do experience pain, let your nurse know so she can work quickly to resolve it.
Q. I know that chemotherapy can make me more likely to get infections. How can I help prevent infections?
A. Wash your hands often during the day, but especially before eating, after using the bathroom and after touching animals. Stay away from people who have a cold or flu. Avoid crowds. Stay away from children who just received a “live virus” injection such as chicken pox or polio vaccines.
Q. How does my physician feel about me seeking a “second opinion”?
A. Our physicians encourage you to do what you feel is right for you. We will even make suggestions.
Q. What type of clothing should I wear when I come for my treatments?
A. Comfortable loose fitting clothing that can be layered. We have a blanket warmer so you can cover up if you get chilly.
Q. Is there any type of food served at your facility?
A. We have vending machines with snacks and cold drinks and juices. We also have a kitchen area where there is a microwave and small refrigerator so you can bring a meal to warm up or a sandwich. We also provide free coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
Q. Can I eat breakfast before my treatment?
A. Yes, whatever is normal for you in the morning.
Q. When should I call the doctor?
A. If you experience any of the following, please call us:
- Fever, chills or temperature of 100.5 or greater
- vomiting or uncontrolled nausea
- diarrhea not controlled by Imodium AD
- shortness of breath
- feeling dizzy, unsteady or lightheaded
- mouth sores