What happens at my first appointment?
Most patients are first seen in an outpatient clinic by a physician or a surgeon. You may also meet your key worker, who is usually the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) for your type of cancer.
These clinics can be very busy and you may have to wait for your appointment. We recommend that you allow at least two hours for an outpatient appointment.
You may have some tests and scans on the same day. At your consultation, your symptoms and possible treatments will be discussed with you, and you will be given some information to take home to read.
How long do other appointments last?
If you are having a radiotherapy planning appointment, you can expect it to take about an hour. If you are having radiotherapy treatment, the time in the radiotherapy machine normally lasts about 15 minutes.
Chemotherapy can be given in a number of different ways, and chemotherapy appointments vary in length depending on your treatment.
Who to bring
Please feel free to bring a friend, relative or carer with you.
It is the Trust’s policy not to use family members to translate information during consultations. If you would prefer to be given information in your own language, please tell the doctor. They will arrange an interpreter who will translate at your consultation.
What to bring
- your appointment letter
- a list of medications you are taking, including medicines you have been prescribed by your GP or other specialist together with any alternative or herbal remedies and anything you have bought over the counter
- a written list of questions you would like to ask.
Unfortunately, thieves can target hospitals. Please do not bring valuables or large sums of money to the hospital. Always be aware of where your possessions are.
What to wear
- you may need an examination, so we advise women to wear something simple to slip off, such as trousers or a skirt, rather than a dress
- a member of staff of the same sex will remain with you if you need an intimate examination.
Eating and drinking
Please do not eat or drink before your appointment if you have been asked not to do so, as this may result in us having to cancel your appointment. If you are not sure whether you can eat or drink, please call and check, or ask on the day of your appointment.
Practical, emotional and psychological support
For many patients and their loved ones, this is a difficult time. If you feel you need some support, we provide a range of practical and emotional support. To find out more, talk to your key worker – usually your clinical nurse specialist (CNS) – or contact Dimbleby Cancer Centre.