Patient Resources

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Thank you for selecting the Community Cancer Center to help you with your health care needs. The Community Cancer Center offers the most comprehensive cancer-care program in Central Illinois, serving patients from around the region, state and the nation.

Support Groups & Educational Programs Flier

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Support Groups Services

Resource Center

Researching and Finding Specific Information

The Resource Center at the Community Cancer Center provides timely, authoritative, high quality healthcare information. It is one of the many resources available to our patients and their caregivers to enhance the quality of care.

The Resource Center, located on the first floor of the CCC, provides comprehensive, up-to-date information through its books, magazines, CancerHelp Online Patient Resource and internet access.

Patients, family members and friends are encouraged to visit the CCC to assist them in their research and information gathering as they learn about their disease and diagnosis. Information is available on a variety of types of cancers, medical tests, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, alternative medicine, spirituality and support. Our wonderful collection of cookbooks to enhance dietary/nutritional education is not to be missed!

Easy access and self check out makes our Resource Center incredibly user friendly. Please stop by and take a look. Our volunteers are always available to assist you or provide additional information.

Appointments

Requesting an Appointment

When seeking treatment from a physician at the Community Cancer Center, callers should be prepared to provide the following information, which will be used to make appropriate appointments:

  • Patient name, address, phone number, date of birth and Social Security number
  • Patient insurance information, including policy ID number and group number
  • Date of diagnosis if the patient has been diagnosed with cancer
  • Information about diagnostic tests or previous cancer treatment the patient has received
  • Patient medical records for physician review before first visit

For information about scheduling a medical visit with a physician at the Community Cancer Center, click on the links below.

Waiting Time for Appointments

Because patients often are anxious about a cancer diagnosis, our staff will strive to arrange appointments with appropriate physicians quickly. Frequently, patients may have to wait only a few days for an appointment. However, one- to two-week waiting times are not unusual, particularly in the case of less urgent conditions. Please know that we will respond to your needs as efficiently as possible and expedite the appointment process to the best of our ability.

Release of Medical Information

In order make an appointment, we may need to see records from your physician or the physician who diagnosed cancer. In accordance with federal guidelines, you must request that your physician send these records to you or to your physician at the Community Cancer Center.

Language Assistance Program

At the Community Cancer Center, we recognize that our patients and families come from diverse backgrounds and speak a variety of languages.
If you are a patient who needs help communicating with our staff, we can arrange for an interpreter. Our interpreters:

  • translate any language, including sign languages
  • can assist you in person or by telephone
  • can also translate important forms, brochures, and other written materials

How to Receive Language Assistance

You can indicate your need for language assistance at any time throughout the course of your care, from the time you register as a patient at the Community Cancer Center.  We will also note your language preference in your electronic medical record.
To arrange interpretation services, please ask a member of your health care team to contact the Language Assistance Program at 309.451.8500 or 309.451.2231.

Your First Visit

In preparation for your first visit with us, and to speed the registration process, please bring the following with you to your doctor appointment:

 What to Bring With You

  • Picture ID
  • Insurance cards
  • Referral from your primary care physician (if required by your insurance plan)
  • Co-payment (if required by your insurance plan)
  • List of medications and dosages
  • A copy of your Advance Directive (Living Will and/or Power of Attorney for Health Care), which may be placed in your permanent record

If requested, please bring:

  • X-ray (actual films or CD) and X-ray reports (i.e. MRI, PET scan, CT, bone scan, mammogram, diagnostic reports)
  • Pathology report and slides
  • Medical records

You are encouraged to bring a family member or friend with you to your appointment. Your companion can help you travel to the cancer center, share in listening and asking questions during your consultation, and provide you with the support you may need while trying to make decisions about your health care.

Upon arrival at the Community Cancer Center:

A volunteer will greet you at the main desk and direct you to your doctor’s office. They are also available to help you with any questions you might have about your visit.

During the visit:

  • Take notes, or have a family member or close friend come with you to take notes, or ask to tape record the visit
  • Ask any questions and be sure you understand the answers
  • Tell your doctor how much information you want to know; some people want to know all the details while others may want a general overview

Questions to Ask Your Doctor:

  • What kind of cancer do I have?
  • How far along is my cancer (What stage is it?)
  • What are all the possible treatments for the type of cancer I have?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
  • How long will I receive treatment, how often, where, and how will it be given?
  • When will you know if it is working and how?
  • What will happen if this treatment doesn’t work?
  • What are the benefits of these treatments?
  • What are the risks?
  • Are there any supplemental treatments, vitamins or nutritional aids that would help my treatments?

After your visit:

  • Keep track of appointments, tests, procedures and treatments performed, including where and when they were done.
  • Always go for treatments, follow-up care. If you cannot make an appointment, let your doctor know.

Questions to Ask

Being educated and informed will help you make the best decisions about your cancer treatment. Get all the information you can as early as possible concerning your diagnosis, treatment, and possible side effects. The sooner you know about side effects and possible treatments, the more likely you are to protect yourself against them, or manage them more effectively.

Your doctor and nurse are your best sources of information, but you must remember to ask questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question. Don’t be afraid to ask anything that is on your mind. To make the most of your opportunities to learn from your health care providers, read as much as you can and make a list of questions before each appointment. Also, ask family, friends, and your support team to help you remember the questions. These approaches will help you talk more effectively with your doctor or nurse. Finally, you or your caregiver should consider taking notes during your visit to ensure you remember what you learned.

The following are some questions, grouped by topic, which you may wish to ask your nurse or physician:

Your Cancer

  • Do you typically treat patients with my diagnosis?
  • What stage is my cancer?
  • Is there anything unique about my cancer that makes my prognosis better or worse?
  • Should I get a second opinion?

Cancer Treatment

  • What is the goal of treatment?
  • What are my treatment options?
  • How can each treatment option help me achieve my goal of therapy?
  • What risks or potential side effects are associated with each treatment?
  • What research studies (“clinical trials”) are available?
  • Are there any clinical trials that are right for me?
  • How long will I receive treatment, how often, and where?
  • How will it be given?
  • How will I know if the treatment is working?
  • How might a disruption in my chemotherapy dose or timing affect my results?
  • How and when will I be able to tell whether the treatment is working?
  • What are the names of all the drugs I will be taking?
  • Can I talk with another of your patients who has received this treatment?
  • Are there any resources or Web sites you recommend for more information?

Tests

  • What types of lab tests will I need?
  • Will I need x-rays and scans?
  • Can you explain the results of my complete blood count (CBC)?
  • Are there tests for the genetic make-up of my cancer?
  • Will I benefit from having my cancer evaluated for its genetic make-up?
  • How frequently will I get the tests?

Side Effects of Treatment

  • What possible side effects should I prepare for?
  • When might they start?
  • Will they get better or worse as my treatment goes along?
  • How can I prepare for them or lessen their impact?
  • Are there treatments that can help relieve the side effects? What are they? Do you usually recommend or prescribe them?
  • Which risks are most serious?
  • Will I require blood transfusions? Why?
  • How can I best monitor myself for complications related to either my disease or my treatment?

Protecting Against Infection

  • Will my type of chemotherapy put me at risk for a low white blood cell count and infection?
  • Can I help protect myself against infection right from the start of chemotherapy, instead of waiting until problems develop?
  • Am I at special risk for infection?
  • What are the signs of infection?
  • How serious is an infection?
  • How long will I be at risk for infection?
  • What should I do if I have a fever?
  • How are infections treated?

Daily Activities

  • How will my cancer treatment affect my usual activities?
  • Will I be able to work?
  • Will I need to stay in the hospital?
  • Will I need someone to help me at home?
  • Will I need help taking care of my kids?
  • Are there any activities I should avoid during my chemotherapy?

What to Expect After Treatment

  • What happens after I complete my treatment?
  • How can I best continue to monitor myself for complications related to either my disease or my treatment?
  • What kind of lab tests will I need?
  • How frequently should I get those lab tests?
  • What types of x-rays and scans will I need?
  • How often do I need to come in for checkups?
  • When will you know if I am cured?
  • What happens if my disease comes back?

After Your Visit

  • Keep track of appointments, tests, procedures and treatments performed, including where and when they were done.
  • Always go for treatments and follow-up care. If you cannot make an appointment, let your doctor know.
  • Find every detail and option. Knowledge is your best friend!

Insurance & Billing

Depending on the services you receive at the Community Cancer Center, you may be billed by more than one medical practice.

There are some payments that may be required from you at the time healthcare services are provided, such as insurance co-pays. If you have insurance coverage, your insurance carrier will be billed soon after services have been provided. Health insurance may help cover some of the costs related to the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Whatever type of insurance you have, you want to get the most from your plan. You will receive the best services if you know the benefits, coverage and limits of your plan. If you have no insurance coverage, you will be responsible for payment.

Each medical practice at the Community Cancer Center has a financial specialist who is available to answer questions about health insurance coverage related to your cancer care. For additional assistance with identifying financial resources for cancer care expenses, contact the social worker at (309) 451-8500.

For questions regarding insurance and billing, please contact your physician’s office directly.

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