Getting Started With Cancer Care

Receiving a cancer diagnosis or awaiting a diagnosis for concerning symptoms can make it feel like time has stopped. What are your next steps? When do you start treatment? How will your life change?

At Henry Ford Health, we understand that you may feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. That’s why our cancer nurse navigators are here to help you begin your cancer journey. From diagnosis through treatment planning and beyond, we guide you at every stage.

Step 1: Connect with a cancer nurse navigator

If you’ve been newly diagnosed with cancer, need a diagnosis or want a second opinion, your first step is to speak with one of our experienced nurse navigators. Call (888) 777-4167 or request an appointment online.

Your cancer nurse navigator begins by reviewing your medical history, medical records and diagnosis, if you have one. They may order additional diagnostic tests, which you can get at a facility close to your home or at the Henry Ford cancer pavilion.

At this stage, we determine what type of cancer expert you’ll see at your first appointment. You may meet with a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgeon or another specialist. Your nurse navigator schedules this appointment for you and lets you know what to expect.

Step 2: Review your insurance plan

When facing a cancer diagnosis, you don’t want to worry about how to pay for your care. You may also be concerned about covering living expenses, especially if you need to take time off of work during treatment.

At Henry Ford, we try to relieve some of this stress by connecting you with a financial navigator. Your navigator can help you review your insurance coverage, provide information about financial assistance and, if needed, connect you to programs that assist with living costs such as groceries and utilities.

Henry Ford partners with most major insurance plans. We encourage you to check your coverage before your first appointment.

Step 3: Your first oncology appointment

At your first appointment, your team of specialists explains your diagnosis and the cancer stage (if and how far it has spread). We review each case at our multispecialty tumor boards. At these meetings, we carefully assess your case and discuss the best treatments for your needs.

During your appointment, your doctor explains your treatment options. You can ask questions and learn what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

Some questions to ask your oncologist (cancer doctor) include:

  • What type and stage of cancer do I have?
  • What treatments are you recommending and why?
  • What are the risks and benefits of each treatment?
  • What side effects can I expect?
  • When will I start treatment?
  • How long will treatment last?
  • Do I qualify for any cancer clinical trials?
  • What is my prognosis (possible outcome)?

Take the next step

Contact the cancer care team 24/7 by calling (888) 777-4167 or request an appointment online.

Why choose Henry Ford for cancer care?

You didn’t choose cancer, but you can choose where you receive treatment. Henry Ford is a leader in cancer care, both in Michigan and in the Midwest. Our cancer experts use the latest evidence-based techniques to screen, diagnose and treat all types of cancer, focusing on your needs and quality of life. We’re often the first in the state to pioneer new surgeries and therapies, and we continually participate in clinical trials and research. Your best hope for the future starts here.

Newly diagnosed?

Contact the cancer team 24/7 by calling (888) 777-4167.


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