After receiving a cancer diagnosis, you most likely were referred to a surgeon or a cancer doctor, called a medical oncologist. Whether you have had surgery, need a medical oncologist and treatment plan, or you need cancer treatment, Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers can help. We provide personalized cancer treatment plans and cancer treatment for all patients, regardless of where you were diagnosed or previously treated. We see most new patients within 24 to 48 hours.
At your first appointment at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, you’ll sit down with your cancer care team who will develop a customized treatment plan for you. Our treatment plans are created for each patient based on the type, size, and stage of your cancer as well as additional testing such as tumor markers, genetic testing, and other individual factors such as your personal health history and family history. Your opinions and your personal goals for treatment are a valuable component of your treatment plan.
Every treatment plan developed and administered at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers throughout Colorado adheres to evidence-based treatment guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
It is recommended you bring a loved one with you to this appointment to listen, lend support, and take notes. We also connect patients with our team of experienced oncology social workers , who are readily available to help you understand your treatment and answer questions. During the meeting, your care team will review your diagnosis with you, including the type and stage of cancer you have. You’ll then discuss the goals of treatment. Some cancers are treated with the goal of ridding the patient of the disease (curative) while others are treated to slow their growth or minimize symptoms (palliative).
Identifying cancer treatment options based on tumor markers and other factors
Depending on your treatment goals, your care team will present your treatment options, which may include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, immunotherapy, or some combination of these. Your options will depend on several factors, including:
- Cancer type and location
- Tumor markers and results of imaging cancer tests and biopsies
- Staging and whether or not the cancer has spread and to where
- Genetic testing of cancer
- Overall health and other chronic diseases
- Whether or not you’ve tried other treatments and how your cancer responded
- Availability of clinical trials
- Your treatment goals
Your care team will recommend a course of treatment based on your individual situation and explain what’s involved. You’ll have plenty of time to get all of your questions answered. You should also feel free to speak up if you are uncomfortable with any part of the plan or wish to get a second opinion.
Advance care planning
This treatment planning session may also include a discussion about advance care planning. This topic also may be discussed at a separate meeting with a social worker or advanced provider.” Advance care planning assists your medical team in making decisions regarding your care in the event you become unable to make decisions for yourself. Legal documents allow you to outline how you’d like to be cared for in certain situations and name a medical power of attorney to make decisions on your behalf. Advance care planning is a standard part of every treatment plan, even if your cancer is highly treatable. It does not mean you are going to die and we have found that having this discussion early is more comfortable for families.
Detailed personal treatment plan
Once you’ve decided how you’d like to move forward, your care team will provide you with a treatment plan that outlines:
- A brief summary of your diagnosis
- Your treatment goals
- The type of treatment or treatments you will have
- Possible side effects
- A schedule or timeline of when treatments and follow-up tests will occur
- Your care team, including their contact information and roles
- Cost estimates
Your treatment plan is designed to guide you through what’s sure to be a physically and emotionally demanding process. Keep in mind that your treatment plan may need to change, depending on how your cancer and you respond to treatment. And understand you can ask to revisit or amend your treatment plan at any time.
Read more about what to expect from your first appointment , including what to bring with you.
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers is Colorado’s largest community-based cancer center , so we are often able to provide care at a lower cost than other health care facilities. In addition, there are many resources available to help patients offset the cost of cancer treatment. Our on-site Patient Financial Counselors are available to:
- Meet one-on-one to discuss cost estimates and what you’ll be responsible for paying
- Assist with acquiring pre-authorizations for treatments
- Connect you with other financial resources, including grants from outside organizations and assistance from drug manufacturers
RMCC’s Patient Financial Counselors stay up to date on these kinds of grants, and can help patients find resources and access funds.
Supportive care team at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers
Cancer care is about more than just your medical treatment plan. It is also an emotional journey full of ups and downs. Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers’ dedicated supportive care team of licensed oncology clinical social workers is available for you, your family, and your caregivers. The supportive care team is here to help minimize the impact of cancer on you, including helping you learn ways to cope with stressors and changes that result from a diagnosis of cancer. We can help you:
- Understand your treatment plan and clarify your treatment goals
- Find ways to talk about your cancer diagnosis with your children, friends, or co-workers
- Cope with concerns about body image as well as anxiety
- Understand how your treatment affects your fertility
- Find supportive community resources for transportation, meals, and more
The supportive care team also offers:
As part of our comprehensive and personalized treatment planning, your physician may refer you to our genetic counseling services. This service can help inform the treatment planning and management, including surgery decisions. It also can help determine risk for future cancers and risk for family members to develop certain cancers.
You may be referred to genetic counseling if your doctor sees a need. Some of the conditions that may indicate a genetic counseling referral include:
- Early onset cancers (ex. Breast cancer before age 50)
- Rare cancers (ex. Ovarian cancer or pancreatic cancer)
- Multiple primary cancers in one person
- Multiple generations affected
Learn more about genetic counseling services at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.