What to Expect: Your First Cancer Appointment

Make an Appointment

Once you have an appointment at one of our clinics, your referring doctor’s office will give you information about where to go to for your appointment.

Preparing For Your First Cancer Appointment

To prepare for your appointment:

  • Get Your Scans: If UVA doesn’t have your scans (CT, PET or other imaging), biopsy slides or doctors’ notes that relate to your diagnosis, please have your referring doctor send them to UVA Cancer Center or bring a copy (CD or DVD for imaging and slides for biopsies) with you.
  • Get Support: Ask a family member or friend to come with you to your appointment to take notes.
  • Get Ready: Bring a list of questions about what you can expect after your first appointment. Also, be prepared to tell the nurse what allergies you may have, the medications you are currently taking and information about your health history and family health history.

What to Bring

Make sure to bring:

  • Someone to help recall what is said
  • Paper and pen to take notes
  • List of questions to ask your healthcare team
  • List of all current medications, dietary supplements (vitamins, herbs) and their doses
  • Medical information: Imaging and test results supplied by your doctor or forms if your cancer team requests them
  • Contact information for your referring doctor
  • Insurance information/card or Medicare card
  • Assistive devices: canes, walkers, crutches, etc.
  • Calendar to keep track of appointments and treatment schedules
  • Items to help pass time (books, crossword puzzles, computer)
  • Blanket

Lodging Options

While receiving care at UVA, you may need to stay in the area. See local lodging options.

How to Get Here

Find clinic directions and parking information. Upon arrival, if you need special assistance getting out of your vehicle, ask an attendant outside the clinic for help.

For Patients Requiring Special Assistance

Remember to bring any assistive devices you may need, and inform a parking attendant if you need help getting to the clinic for your appointment.


Once you're at your clinic location, go to the patient registration desk to check in for your appointment. If you don’t know where to go, ask for directions.

For registration, we will need your:

  • Name and current address
  • Primary care doctor’s name
  • Insurance information, insurance card and prescription card
  • Co-pay for office visit or procedure
  • Social Security number*

* We may ask for your Social Security number to be sure we have the right medical record when two patients have the same name and for some government or other programs. Providing your Social Security number is voluntary, except when government programs require it.

Advance Directive

An advance directive informs healthcare professionals of your wishes for medical care in the event that you are unable to. Everyone over the age of 18 should have an advance directive.  

Your Support Services Team

Our team works closely with your doctors and nurses. We assist patients and their families in coping with the emotional and practical challenges of receiving cancer care.

Online Resources

We encourage you and your family to learn about cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. 

These reliable resources provide up-to-date information and support: