Patients & Caregivers
Preparing for your first appointment
We are here to help you prepare for your first appointment with us. Learn about what you need to bring and other things to consider prior to your first visit at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center.
Following the merger of long-time partners, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the organization was renamed to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. We are an independent, nonprofit organization that also serves as UW Medicine's cancer program.
Sign In medicine, a sign is something found during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. In medicine, a sign is something found during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. Some examples of signs are fever, swelling, skin rash, high blood pressure and high blood glucose.
What to do in advance
- Transfer your medical records. This may require a Release of Information form. Your patient care coordinator will contact any other health care providers to get additional pertinent medical records.
- Check your insurance coverage or investigate other ways to pay for your care. You will be asked to sign a financial consent form at registration.
Planning your Seattle stay
- Check your Fred Hutch itinerary; it lists times and locations for your appointments.
- Plan for travel, including a ride from the airport.
- Reserve housing if you’ll need it.
- Get a visa if you need one.
- If you need an interpreter for yourself or a family member, we will arrange it.
What to bring to your appointment
- Comfortable clothing and shoes. Wear them to your first visit and dress in layers.
- Financial information: Your insurance information, photo ID, referral from primary care provider if required by your insurance company, and money for parking. For information on insurance coverage and financial assistance, see Insurance and Billing.
- Medical information: List of your current medications(prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements) and any medical history form you’ve been asked to fill out.
- Questions for your doctor.
- A friend or family member for support and a notebook and pen to take notes during your appointments.
- A book, computer, music player or handwork to pass the time between appointments. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the clinic.
Biopsy The removal of a sample of tissue or fluid that is examined to see whether cancer is present. This may be done with a large needle or through surgical removal of tissue or fluids. Patient navigator A person who helps guide a patient through the health care system. This includes help going through the screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of a medical condition, such as cancer. A person who helps guide a patient through the health care system. This includes help going through the screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of a medical condition, such as cancer. A patient navigator helps patients communicate with their health care providers so they get the information they need to make decisions about their care. Patient navigators may help patients set up appointments for physician visits and medical tests and get financial, legal and social support. They may also work with insurance companies, employers, case managers, lawyers and others who may have an effect on a patient’s health care needs. Also called a patient advocate. Symptom A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. Some examples of symptoms are headache, fatigue, nausea and pain.
Other things to consider
- Pathology slide review before your first appointment: If you’ve had a biopsy or tissue specimen taken at another facility, in most cases, Fred Hutch will need to perform a second interpretation and confirmation of your diagnosis. If a second interpretation is needed, we will request your pathology slides from the facility where your biopsy or procedure was performed. If you’re unsure whether your pathology slides have been requested, please contact your scheduling team at (206) 606-7222.
- If your pathology slides are ordered for review at our pathology laboratory, you and/or your insurance company will be financially responsible for the charges incurred even if you cancel or fail to keep your appointment.
- You and/or your insurance company will receive a bill from UW Physicians as our pathology laboratory is located at University of Washington Medical Center.
- The cost of the pathology review is variable and depends on the number of slides and the type of testing required. If you have any questions, please contact your insurance provider.
- Know our guidelines to protect patients, such as alerting staff when you have cold symptoms. We ask that you not smoke, wear fragrances, bring fresh flowers, weapons, or illegal substances to any Fred Hutch clinic.
- Complete a living will and power of attorney for health care, which lets you state your wishes regarding your care and appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to. Bring copies if you want these placed in your medical record.
- Contact Fred Hutch patient navigation team: Patient navigators are culturally-sensitive staff who are here to help guide you through your time at Fred Hutch, so you can focus on taking care of yourself. They help with medical transportation and lodging, financial and insurance concerns, medication co-pays and other practical issues when people face a cancer diagnosis.