Frequently Asked Questions
Southern Cancer Center strives to meet or exceed the needs of our patients and to help them navigate the journey from Patient to Survivor. Please find some of common questions below.
How do I make an appointment?
Your primary care or specialty physician who refers you to us will make your first appointment. Following appointments will be made by our staff based on your needs. If you need to make changes to an upcoming appointment, please call our office at 251.625.6896.
What should I bring to my first appointment?
Please bring your updated insurance card, driver’s license and a list of all your current medications. These will help you fill out new patient paperwork. We suggest you write down and bring a list of any questions you have for your physician. We also encourage you to bring a family member or friend who will be your support throughout your treatment.
Who can accompany me to doctor appointments?
We welcome members of your support team to accompany you to appointments: spouses, children or friends. Having others involved in your treatment plan can often alleviate patient stress. However, please keep in mind most of our locations cannot accommodate large groups. We suggest you bring 2 people.
Should I eat before my treatments?
Please eat according to your normal schedule. Do not skip meals and continue taking your medications as scheduled. You might find it best to eat lightly the day of chemotherapy. For oral chemo medications, please check with your doctor or Coastal Pharmacy for instructions regarding meals.
What should I bring with me to my treatments and how long will they last?
Depending on your course of treatment, your infusion time could range from just a few minutes to several hours, or in some cases it can last most of the day. We encourage you to bring items to make your stay more comfortable. Patients often bring books, music, tablets, slippers, pillows or their favorite snacks. Some of our offices have personal televisions and iPads in our infusions areas. We provide warm blankets at all locations, but many patients like to bring their own. We suggest you pack a “chemo bag” the night before your treatment so you can have everything together in an easy-to-carry bag.
Who can accompany me into chemo infusion areas?
No one under the age of 13 is allowed in our infusion areas. Most of our locations can comfortably accommodate 1 member of your support team, while our larger locations can often accommodate 2 members.
Can I drive myself to and from my treatments?
Certain treatment plans require medications that may make you feel tired and unsafe to drive. Until you know how chemotherapy will affect you, plan for a driver to accompany you. If your driver is unable to stay with you for the duration of your treatment, we will be happy to call them 30 minutes before you are finished to notify them your treatment is nearing completion. Please have a driver who is accessible and flexible about your pick-up time.
Will there be snacks available?
Yes, a nutrition station is available to patients free of charge in the infusion area. We provide juices, sodas and water along with chips and crackers. Some of our location also have access to vending machines or onsite cafeterias. But we also suggest bringing a few of your favorite snacks with you during treatment.
Who should I ask for questions about my medications?
Your physician and nurses will be able to answer any questions about your treatment plan and the medication you are receiving. Your care team is specifically trained in cancer treatment, including our oncology certified nurses and advanced oncology certified nurse practitioners. You may call us at 251.625.6896 at any time to ask questions or during your scheduled appointments.
For questions about your oral medications, contact Coastal Pharmacy at 251.607.5061 or visit them at our Daphne location. Your pharmacy team deals only with oncology related medications and can educate you on side effects, dosing and medication schedule.
How do I refill my oncology related prescriptions?
Refilling your oncology medication is easy. Call Coastal Pharmacy at 251.607.5061 and speak directly to a staff member to coordinate your refill. Be sure to call 5 days ahead to ensure plenty of time. Prescriptions may also be refilled online, visit www.southerncancercenter.com/coastal-pharmacy. Please have your prescription number when requesting your refills.
When should I call my physician and when should I go to the hospital?
Patients should always call our office first to discuss health concerns and eliminate unnecessary trips to the emergency room. Your physician and care team may be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our offices are open for regular business hours from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday, and a physician or nurse practitioner is always “on call” after hours when our offices are closed. If you call after hours, please leave a detailed message and we will return your call as quickly as possible. Your physician will best be able to determine if hospitalization is required. However, in the case of a life-threatening situation it is always best to go to the Emergency Room at your local hospital.
What if I have insurance or billing questions?
We have an onsite billing department making it easy to get your insurance and billing questions answered. We perform benefits investigation and determine any patient financial responsibilities before your treatment begins. We will always discuss this information with you prior to proceeding. In addition, our patient support representatives and financial counselors will advocate on your behalf for copayment assistance or financial assistance through various cancer foundations to help you when needed. Our billing department can be reached at 251.625.6896.
Can I review my medical chart online?
Yes, through our Patient Portal. Patients can access their health information 24 hours a day 7 days a week, including clinical summaries after each appointment, plus lab and other test results. The patient portal also allows you to request prescription refills, request a new appointment, make changes to an existing appointment and ask questions about your diagnosis, treatment or billing concerns. You are also able to access personalized education specific to your disease, as well as connect with an active community of survivors with your diagnosis.