Your First Appointment
Thank you for choosing Great Lakes Cancer Care. We know that cancer care can be intimidating. We can help. From the forms you need, to frequently asked questions, we're here to ensure your first appointment-and every appointment-goes smoothly.
To schedule your first appointment please call 716-884-3000 to coordinate the best location and physician for your care. Once your appointment is set, please review the following list of required items to bring with you on your first visit.
- A completed new patient form
- Official photo ID (e.g., passport, driver's license)
- A list of your current medications
- Any imaging studies including X-ray films, CT scans and MRI scans from other groups or hospitals
- Insurance information and card
- Information about what treatments and medications have been used in the past
- Medical records from other visits that you think may be helpful
Billing & Insurance
At Great Lakes Cancer Care, we accept the following insurance plans:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York
- Blue Shield General Motors
- Community Blue
- Empire Plan
- Encompass 65
- Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Independent Health (IHA)
- North AmeriCare
- Private Insurances
- Senior Blue
- Senior Choice
- United Healthcare
- Workers' Comp/No-Fault
If you have specific questions about your payments or your insurance plan, or if you do not see your insurance plan listed above, do not hesitate to contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Convenience. We want treatment to be as simple as possible for our patients. With more than 20 different locations, it's much more likely one of our facilities will be close to where you live.
Visit our New Patients page. There you will find everything you need to prepare for your appointment and save time when you visit.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1,735,350 new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2018. Of those new cases, 110,800 are expected to be in New York, which would make it the fourth highest state in reported new cases.
There are over 100 different types of cancer. Each cancer is named for the different organs or tissues where the cancer originates. For example, lung cancer is cancer that originates in the lungs. Even if lung cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is still considered lung cancer. Cancer can also be named after the types of cells they affect, such as in the case of basal cell carcinoma.
According to the 2018 statistics produced by the American Cancer Society, the following is a list of the top five most prevalent cancers in the U.S. today. The occurrence of these cancers varies each year.
- Breast Cancer: In 2018, Breast Cancer is estimated to be the most common cancer in the United States, with an approximated 266,120 women and men contracting the disease.
- Lung Cancer: In 2018, approximately 234,030 new cases of lung and bronchus cancer are expected to be diagnosed. It's estimated that 154,050 people will die from lung cancer, three times that of breast cancer.
- Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. It is also the third leading cause of death for American men. It's estimated that 164,690 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.
- Colon and Rectal Cancer: Colon and rectal cancers are often grouped together as colorectal cancers. In 2018, an estimated 266,120 people will contract the disease.
- Melanoma: In 2018, it's predicted that 91,270 people will develop a form of melanoma. While melanoma is one of the most common types of cancer, it can also be very curable if it's caught early. Melanoma results in fewer deaths than many other types of cancer.
Below, you will find the four most common types of cancer for men and women across Niagara, Erie, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Wyoming, Genesee and Orleans counties:Men
- All invasive malignant tumors
- Lung and bronchus
- Urinary bladder
- All invasive malignant tumors
- Female Breast
- Lung and bronchus
- 4. Colorectal
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the top three most common cancers among men are prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers.
- Prostate cancer is highest among Caucasians, African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Hispanic males
- It is second highest among American Indian/Alaska Native men
- Lung cancer is highest among American Indian/Alaska Native men
- Second highest among Caucasian, African American and Asian/Pacific Islander men
- Third among Hispanic men
- Colorectal cancer is second highest among Hispanic men
- Third highest among Caucasian, African American, American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian/Pacific Islander men
According to the American Cancer Society, there are seven cancers considered to most often affect women. They are breast, colon, endometrial, lung, cervical, skin, and ovarian cancers.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the top three most common cancers among women are breast, lung, and colorectal cancer.
- Breast cancer is first highest among women of all races.
- Lung cancer is second highest among Caucasian, African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
- It is third highest among Hispanic Women
- Colorectal cancer is second highest among Hispanic women
- Third highest among Caucasian, African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
According to the American Cancer Society, the signs and symptoms of cancer will vary depending on several factors: where the cancer is, how big it is, how much it affects the organs and tissues, and whether it has metastasized.
It is important to note the difference between signs and symptoms. Signs are signals that can be seen by someone else like fever or rapid breathing. Symptoms are signals felt directly by the person to whom it is affecting. For example, feeling short of breath or weak. Symptoms are likely not visible to other people.
The important thing to remember is that having any general signs or symptoms of cancer does not mean that you have cancer. If you experience prolonged fever, fatigue, pain, skin changes or unexplained weight loss, please see a doctor to explore the cause. If there is no other cause you can identify, the sign or symptom lasts over a prolonged period of time or gets worse over time, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Cancer care is the entire process of caring for your cancer, including diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care and everything in between. Each patient's experience will vary based on their individual situation.
A surgeon who specializes in performing surgical procedures in patients with cancer, including biopsies, is referred to as a surgical oncologist. Like other oncologists, surgical oncologists can specialize in specific areas of the body such as the heart or chest cavity. This type of surgeon would be referred to as a thoracic surgical oncologist.
The term oncologist refers to a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer. Oncologists can specialize in a particular type of cancer, treatment style or age group. For example, a medical oncologist is a doctor who has specific training in diagnosing and treating cancer in adults using chemotherapy and other forms of therapy. Similarly, a pediatric oncologist would be a doctor who has special training in diagnosing and treating childhood cancer. Often times, several oncologists work together on a case in order to provide the best treatment.
The American Medical Association defines a patient navigator as someone who provides one-on-one guidance to patients and families as they go through the health care system. These navigators can provide professional support and experience with medical, legal, financial or administrative questions. They can be someone who has faced health care challenges in the past or can be hired by an organization to provide support. Often times, patient navigators can work with patients and families to help answer insurance questions, find healthcare providers, explain treatment options, manage medical and administrative paperwork or be a liaison when communicating with a healthcare team. Because the role of patient navigator depends on a variety of factors, it is best to speak with your provider to ensure the patient navigator can support your specific needs.
Metastasized is the term used when cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.
If you have chemotherapy by infusion (chemo infusion), the medication is delivered to your bloodstream through a needle in a vein from your arm or a central line.
Chemotherapy (chemo) refers to the use of strong drugs to treat cancer. Chemo may be used to keep the cancer from spreading, make the cancer grow slower, kill cancer cells that may have spread to other parts of the body (metastasized).
Chemotherapy, or chemo, works by targeting fast-growing cancer cells. It can also affect healthy cells that grow fast, like the cells that make hair or blood.
There are more than 100 chemo drugs used today. Doctors choose what drugs to give you based on the kind of cancer you have and how much cancer is in your body (the stage).
Most chemo drugs are given in one of these ways:
- Pill or liquid format so you can just take it home. But, you must be careful to follow directions.
- As a shot, in your doctor's office, hospital, clinic or home.
- Most often, chemo drugs are put into your blood through a tiny plastic tube called a catheter that's put into a vein. This is called IV chemo.
Intravenous chemotherapy, also known as IV chemo or chemo infusion, is the process by which chemotherapy drugs are injected directly into your bloodstream through a tiny plastic tube called a catheter.
Radiation therapy is the use of radiation to treat cancer and other problems. There are different types of radiation and the one that is most commonly known is x-rays.
Radiation is used to kill cancer cells. Special equipment sends high doses of radiation to the cancer cells or tumor. This keeps the cells from growing and making more cancer cells. Radiation can also affect normal cells near the tumor. Normal cells can repair themselves but cancer cells cannot.
Radiation therapy isn't painful, but some of the side effects it causes can be. For instance, head and neck area radiation may cause a sore throat or mouth sores. These can hurt. If you have pain, talk to your doctor or nurse. Cancer treatment should not be painful. Get help if you have pain.
Side effects of radiation include feeling tired, skin changes and appetite loss. Other side effects are dependent on the part of the body being treated. For example, radiation treatment on your head, might cause hair loss. Most side effects go away in time.
Nausea and vomiting, hair loss, bone marrow changes, mouth and skin changes, changes in your sex life, fertility problems, memory changes and emotional changes are all common side effects of chemotherapy.
In cancer care, surgery is most commonly used to remove malignant tumors from the body. It is also used to diagnosis cancer through a procedure called a biopsy. A biopsy is performed by removing a tissue sample and analyzing it for the presence of cancer cells. Depending on the cancer, and how its presence affects the patient's body, there may be additional surgical needs.
Typically, when surgery is used to take out cancer, other treatments like chemo or radiation may be used after it. These treatments help kill any cancer cells that may be left behind. Radiation or chemo may be used before surgery in order to shrink a tumor so it is easier to take out.