Your first visit to our office may seem overwhelming, so we’ve provided some basic information on what you can expect when you first see us, and how to make the most of your visit.
During your initial visit, your physician will conduct a physical exam, review your medical history with you, go over a plan of care, and answer any questions you may have.
This initial consultation should last roughly 60 to 90 minutes. Please send your medical records to our office prior to your first visit so your Astera physician can review them before your appointment.
Please bring the following with you to your first visit to Astera Cancer Care:
Importantly, if chemotherapy is a part of our treatment plan, your chemotherapy treatment will not begin the same day as your consultation. Chemotherapy often requires additional testing such as scans and biopsies before the treatment begins. It is also necessary to have your health insurance company authorize chemotherapy in advance (this generally takes approximately one week) to ensure that your treatment will be covered by insurance.
The timing of initial chemotherapy treatments varies on a case-by-case basis. After your physician has obtained any required test results and your insurance company has authorized the treatment, you will receive a call from the Astera Scheduling Coordinator to schedule your treatment.
You will begin with a detailed one-on-one chemotherapy education session with one of our Advanced Practice Providers. This session will provide you with information about your specific treatment and allow you to ask any questions you may have.
Once you and your medical oncologist have decided that beginning radiation therapy is an appropriate addition to your course of cancer treatments, your medical oncologist will recommend that you come in for a consultation with one of our radiation oncologists.
The initial consultation is also an opportunity for you to meet our staff and tour our facility. We provide as much time as is necessary to answer your questions in detail and help you make the right choice about radiation therapy.
Simulation & Treatment Planning: Developing the Right Care Plan for You
The next step, which will come after your first visit, is to develop a treatment plan. Your Astera radiation oncologist, radiation therapist, physicist and dosimetrist work together to create a precise, personalized plan.
To start this process, we’ll conduct a CT simulation scan to help define the treatment areas. Then we’ll mark corresponding areas on the skin with small tattoos to precisely guide treatment. We will also create a treatment schedule at this time.
If you have questions regarding the treatment options available at Astera Radiation Oncology, or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our radiation oncologists, please contact us at any time.