What to Expect from Women’s Cancers

Personalized care for female cancer starts well before treatment begins.

We want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible from the first visit to the final treatment. Of course, there are a million other places you’d rather be than the hospital. And we want you to be there, too -- as your healthiest self.

The first step to get you there is knowing what to expect before, during, and after treatment. Use the information below as a starting point, and ask your cancer care team any questions you have along the way.

Before treatment

After your cancer diagnosis, your next appointment with us will start before you visit the clinic. Our nurse navigator will reach out before the appointment. The nurse will help you understand what your appointment will entail and what to bring with you.

The nurse navigator is an excellent resource if you have questions. Ask, and we’ll get you the answer -- plain and simple.

What to bring to appointments

There are a few things we ask you to bring when you visit our clinic. Keeping these handy helps get you in and out quicker and more smoothly:

  • Driver’s license or another photo ID
  • Insurance card
  • List of current medications (include vitamins and supplements)
  • Medical records (if you’re not our patient already)
  • Radiology reports, if applicable (films or CDs)

If your doctor needs you to bring in other documents, the nurse navigator will share that with you during the pre-appointment phone call. If you are coming in for surgery, your doctor will provide specific instructions for taking medications, eating, and drinking the day before and morning of your surgery.

During and after treatment

Depending on your type of women’s cancer, your doctor may recommend one or more of a range of treatment options. Some of these treatments include:

You may experience side effects during and after treatment. These will vary depending on your care plan. Some side effects of cancer treatment include:

  • Emotional mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss from chemotherapy
  • Lymphedema, or swelling where lymph nodes were removed
  • Soreness and tenderness from surgery

Remember, you aren’t alone. Sometimes it helps to read stories from people who’ve been in your shoes. We offer patient stories to inspire you to stay positive during recovery.

Clinical Trials

Cancer Institute