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Yale Cancer Center

at Smilow Cancer Hospital

We want to provide information that will help our patients prepare for their first appointment at Smilow Cancer Hospital and the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Centers. Our goal is to make sure our patients are fully informed about their treatment and comfortable asking their care team questions if they are unsure of their treatment plan or need help with any issues arising from your cancer treatment. The physicians, nurses, and support staff at Smilow Cancer Hospital are committed to easing the worry of our patients’ cancer treatment and are here to offer the support they need.

Prepare For Your Visit

In order for us to provide the best treatment plan for each of our patients, we need to clearly and completely understand their medical history and the treatment they may have had to date. A nurse coordinator and/or intake specialist will contact patients by phone to assist in gathering the necessary information prior to their first visit and to let them know what to expect when they arrive.

It is important for patients to gather the following items prior to their first appointment:

  • Medical Records & Written Reports
    Our intake specialists will help to facilitate the transfer of records before the appointment.
  • A List of Current Medications
    This includes all prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, alternative medications, and supplements. If preferred, patients can bring the original medication containers with them to the visit.
  • Radiology Tests
    This includes X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, PET scans, ultrasounds, and current mammography. It is important that our physicians review the actual films in addition to the written reports. Our intake specialists will help to facilitate the transfer of records before the appointment.
  • Pathology Slides and Reports
    If someone has been diagnosed with cancer, then a pathologist has already made a diagnosis by reviewing a biopsy or tumor specimen. It is beneficial to our patients for Smilow Cancer Hospital to confirm this diagnosis by reviewing the slides. Our intake specialist will facilitate the transfer of the slides to Smilow.
  • Insurance ID Card
    Patients should notify their insurance company prior to the visit. The insurance company may require a formal referral from the referring physician, and they may give patients a formal referral authorization to ensure that the cost of the visit is covered. A patient registrar will contact each patient prior to the visit to obtain all contact and insurance information. Any co-pays will be collected at the time of the appointment.
  • Questions
    It is always a good idea for patients to bring a list of questions to ask the physician. In addition, we encourage patients to bring a family member or significant other to help take notes and ask questions. The nurse coordinator can help create a list of questions in preparation for the visit.

    Interpreter services are available at no charge, but need to be coordinated prior to the appointment. We ask that patients advise the intake specialist if they would benefit from this service. We prefer to have an interpreter available to patients in addition to the support of their family members.

    Patients should notify patient registration 24 hours in advance if they need to reschedule their appointment. If assistance is needed before the appointment, contact 1-855-4-SMILOW.

Support Groups

A diagnosis of cancer can be stressful to patients and their families. Smilow Cancer Hospital has licensed clinical social workers available to help patients manage their feelings and concerns throughout their cancer care, especially during this challenging time. In addition, our social workers also facilitate many support groups available virtually for your participation. Support groups provide the opportunity to receive emotional and educational support and to talk with others who are undergoing similar treatment or who have successfully completed treatment.

View our support group schedule.

Patient & Family Resource Center

The Patient and Family Resource Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital exists to provide a place where patients and families can obtain information on cancer-related topics as well as hospital and community services, all within a serene, comfortable setting. The Resource Center provides computer workstations with internet access for research purposes or personal business. A lending library offers hundreds of titles containing current information on cancer-related topics, as well as a selection of relaxation/meditation CDs. In addition, the Resource Center is the site of regularly scheduled events, including educational programs, drop-in discussions with hospital staff, and creative activities workshops.

Visitors can browse the collection of cancer-related reading material. Titles include popular releases and cover everything from personal stories about overcoming cancer to science, philosophy, and children's literature.

Here is a list of helpful resources.

A message from our patient advocacy office.