Skip to main content
couple smiling and hugging
couple smiling and hugging

Becoming Our Patient

Coming to a cancer center can be stressful, but you’re not alone. Our team is at your side every step of the way, answering your questions and providing attentive support. We’re here to help you and your family in any way we can during your time with us.

We understand that you have lots of questions as you prepare for your visits to Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center. Find out here what you can expect at your first appointment and what to do as a returning patient. We’ve also provided information about support services, second opinions and more.

Prepare for your first visit

Getting ready for your first appointment at Mays Cancer Center can feel overwhelming. We’ve put together some information to help reduce your stress and make it easier for you to prepare:

  • Your referral and medical records: Our new patient referral team starts by getting all your medical records. We work with your provider so you usually don’t have to bring or send anything to us.
  • Records review: Our team reviews your records, including any diagnoses, to determine which specialist you need to see. Depending on your specific case, you may need to see a surgeon, a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist or a combination of them.
  • Scheduling: We then call you to schedule your first appointment with the appropriate specialist(s).
  • Your arrival: You’ll meet with a new patient coordinator at our Welcome Center. The coordinator helps you register and then takes you to your appointment.

Next steps

Here’s what you can expect as you get started:

  • Evaluation: At your first appointment, you’ll meet your care team, including your doctor, nurses and other care providers. Your doctor discusses your medical history and previous records, answers your questions and performs a physical exam. If you need further testing, your care team schedules the appointments.
  • Oncology nurse navigator: Your care team includes your nurse navigator, whom you’ll meet at your first visit. The nurse navigator works closely with you to understand your needs, especially any issues that might hinder your ability to get care. These issues could be problems with health insurance, a need for transportation or child care or lack of a nearby support system of family and friends.
  • Tumor board: Our cancer specialists meet regularly as a team on tumor boards that review each patient’s specific health needs, diagnosis and treatment options. Your nurse navigator also attends the tumor board to discuss any issues that could affect your treatment plan.
  • Support services and resources: Your nurse navigator finds resources at Mays Cancer Center or in the community so you can start treatment right away. These services and resources can include:
    • Help getting here: Get options for transportation and lodging, and view the services and amenities available at Mays Cancer Center during your visit.
    • Support services: We offer a wide variety of patient and family services during cancer care such as help from social workers, nutrition counseling, wellness programs and classes, financial counseling and much more.

Current and returning patients

If you’ve received care at Mays Cancer Center, it’s easy to return for additional treatment or services. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Schedule an appointment: You can see a cancer specialist in person at Mays Cancer Center, or schedule a video or phone visit. Make an appointment.
  • Send recent records: You or your referring care provider can send any recent diagnostic images or test results to us. Your care team here reviews them before your next visit.
  • Update your insurance: If your health insurance has changed since your last visit, please bring your new insurance card. You can also update your insurance information through MyChart.

Helpful information

As you become our patient, this information can help you make decisions about your ongoing care:

  • Health insurance: We accept all major health insurance plans. See a list of the insurance we accept. If you don’t have health insurance or need financial assistance, call 210-450-1000 and ask to speak with a financial counselor.
  • Second opinion: Our cancer specialists provide second opinions to review a diagnosis or treatment plan and discuss a variety of treatment options. When you come to us for a second opinion, you don’t have to commit to receiving treatment here.
  • Clinical trials: At Mays Cancer Center, our physicians also conduct research to advance the science of cancer care. If you’re eligible for a clinical trial, you may receive new treatments before they are approved for public use. Learn more about our cancer clinical trials and research.
  • Survivorship care: Even after completing cancer treatment, you continue to see your care team. Our survivorship care provides testing and treatment to prevent cancer from returning and support services to help keep you healthy. Read more about our survivorship program for life after cancer.
  • Caregiver support: We provide information and resources for caregivers to support you as you take on new and often stressful responsibilities. Find out more about caring for a loved one.

Advance care planning

Through advance care planning, you consider and discuss your values, wishes and goals regarding future health care decisions. Documenting these decisions helps your loved ones and care providers understand how you want to be cared for in the event you cannot speak for yourself.

You can adjust your advance care planning documents as your health, goals and needs change. Talk with your social worker to get help completing these documents. In Texas, the three types of advance directives are:

  • Medical power of attorney
  • Living will
  • Out-of-Hospital Do Not Resuscitate (OOHDNR) order for adult