Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

How can patients prepare for treatment?

As a patient, you play an important role in preparing for your cancer treatment. The following are some of the most important things to consider before treatment begins:

  • Find an oncologist and treatment center that offers the latest in research, technology and state-of-the-art treatments. This step is important to everyone with cancer, as the first course of treatment is the most important in controlling your cancer.
  • Get a second opinion at a facility that offers the latest in research, technology and state-of-the-art treatments.  It is common for people diagnosed with cancer to ask another cancer specialist for their opinion. A second opinion can help you to be sure your diagnosis and treatment plans are most appropriate for your individual medical history and profile. Asking for a second opinion also provides more information to consider when making choices about your treatment. Often, your oncologist can help you locate another cancer specialist for a second opinion.
  • Find out about your cancer treatment.  Your cancer care team will help you understand your treatment and answer questions. It also helps to learn about the type of cancer you have, as well as your treatment options, and our two patient resource libraries have a wealth of infomation and will gladly serve individual needs.
  • Find support when you need it.  Cancer treatment can be a long and tiring experience. Many people with cancer need help throughout the process. Finding help from others can make your experience more successful. Support groups for people with cancer are available in many communities. Managing your emotional health, your diet and your finances are all things patients can do to reduce the stress involved in the treatment process. Oncology nurses, nurse practitioners and social workers are excellent resources for locating appropriate support groups.