Scheduling/Appointments

My doctor referred me to Celilo Cancer Center, how soon can I expect a call?
How do I make an appointment at Celilo Cancer Center?
How long will my first appointment take?
What information do I need to bring to my first appointment at Celilo?
How do I reschedule my appointment at Celilo?

Symptoms/Treatment

How should I dress for my treatment?
What should I bring with me to my treatment appointment?
How long will my treatment appointment take?
What should I do if I’m having pain?
I’m receiving cancer treatment, and I don’t feel well. What should I do?
Will I lose my hair?
How do I reach someone after hours?
Is it okay for people to be around me after chemotherapy treatment?
What is an on-body device?
What is a CIVI pump?
Does Celilo Cancer Center have clinical trials?
What if I live out of town?

Labs/Testing

When and where do I get lab work done?
How long will it take to get lab results?
Do I need to fast before I have my labs drawn?.
Can you draw labs ordered by other providers?

Healthcare Providers

When do I need to see an oncologist?
When should I see my primary care provider (PCP)?
What is radiation oncology? How does it work?
Can I or should I get a second opinion?
How long does it take to refill a prescription?
What is supportive and palliative care?
Who will benefit from palliative care?
Who pays for palliative care?

Complementary Care and Services

What is the role of complementary/alternative treatment in cancer?
What do medical social workers do?
Is there a dietitian available to talk to me about nutrition?
Is it okay to exercise while being treated for cancer?
What are nurse navigators, and how can they help me throughout my cancer treatment?
Can you help me get a wig? What will it cost?
Is it okay for me to get a massage while undergoing cancer treatment?
What is Celilo Cancer Center’s Survivorship Program?
What is a survivorship care plan?

Hematology Care/Infusion Center

I don’t have cancer, but my doctor referred me to Celilo Cancer Center for an infusion. What does this mean?

Billing

Will I be able to continue working during my treatment?
I cannot afford treatment for cancer. Can you help?
Is insurance prior authorization required for treatment for cancer?
What if my insurance company won’t pay for the medication I need?
I don’t have insurance. Can I get treatment for cancer at Celilo Cancer Center?

Other

Why should I have my cancer treatment at an accredited facility?
How do I sign up for MyChart?
How can I donate to Celilo Cancer Center?
My friend or family member was diagnosed with cancer. How can I help?
Where should I go for more information on my type of cancer?

Scheduling/Appointments

My doctor referred me to Celilo Cancer Center, how soon can I expect a call?

We begin processing referrals as soon as they are received. You will receive a call from us within one to seven days.

How do I make an appointment at Celilo Cancer Center?

Call:

Radiation oncology: 541-296-7204

Medical oncology: 541-296-7585

How long will my first appointment take?

Your first appointment/new consult is scheduled for one hour. Follow-up appointments are scheduled for 30 minutes.

What information do I need to bring to my first appointment at Celilo?

Please bring a completed copy of the appropriate Health Information Form. We have one for patients being treated for cancer and one for patients being treated for hematological issues.

The correct form will be mailed to you.  You can also download our Celilo Cancer Center Intake Form.

Please bring all of your medication, both prescription and over-the-counter, in their original bottles. This ensures that we have a full and accurate picture of your medications to prevent any drug reactions.

How do I reschedule my appointment at Celilo?

We are happy to help. Call:

Radiation oncology: 541-296-7204

Medical oncology: 541-296-7585


Symptoms/Treatment

How should I dress for my treatment?

Radiation oncology: A gown will be provided if needed; otherwise, wear what you are comfortable in.

Medical oncology: Please wear what you are comfortable sitting in. If you have a port, we do ask for a shirt that is a looser fit or a button-up so we can easily and comfortably access the port.

What should I bring with me to my treatment appointment?

Radiation oncology: Just yourself.

Medical oncology: Depending on the length of your appointment, we encourage you to bring anything that will help pass the time, whether it is a tablet, book, cell phone, knitting, etc. If you will be using a sound device, please bring headphones to help keep the infusion room as quiet and healing as possible. Don’t worry about bringing food. We have a range of snacks to choose from, and we will provide lunch if you are here during lunchtime.

How long will my treatment appointment take?

Treatment times vary depending on the treatment you are receiving and how it is administered. Your care team will let you know how long you can expect your treatment to take when it is scheduled and answer any questions you may have.

What should I do if I’m having pain?

Please consult with a physician regarding what studies or interventions would be most appropriate to help with your pain. If you can’t wait until your next appointment, call during business hours 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at our regular numbers (radiation oncology: 541-296-7204 or medical oncology: 541-296-7585). There is someone available after hours through the operator. Call 541-296-1111, and ask for the medical oncologist or radiation oncologist depending on which doctor you need to speak with.

I’m receiving cancer treatment, and I don’t feel well. What should I do?

Discuss this with your treatment team! From 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, call radiation oncology at 541-296-7204 or medical oncology at 541-296-7585. You will be connected to the charge nurse. We aren’t able to get into specifics without first evaluating the patient.

Will I lose my hair?

Not all treatment for cancer will cause you to lose your hair. It is dependent on the type of cancer you have and the type of treatment that is necessary to treat your cancer.

How do I reach someone after hours?

While it is best to call during business hours–8 a.m. to 4 p.m.–at our regular numbers (radiation oncology: 541-296-7204 or medical oncology: 541-296-7585), there is someone available after hours through the operator. Call 541-296-1111, and ask for medical oncology. You will be connected to a nurse helpline that can assist you.

Is it okay for people to be around me after chemotherapy treatment?

Yes, it is okay for people to be around you after chemotherapy. There are minimal risks.

What is an on-body device?

It is a device that is used to administer a white blood cell booster medicine called Neulasta. It is placed on the back of your arm or on your abdomen. It will stay there for 27 hours, until the medication is instilled into your tissue.

What is a CIVI pump?

A CIVI pump is a continuous intravenous infusion pump used to give you chemotherapy over a period of time. You take this pump home with you. It will run for the time it has been programmed. You will then return to Celilo Cancer Center when the medication is complete, and the pump will be removed.

Does Celilo Cancer Center have clinical trials?

Clinical research advances science and patient care. Patients are screened throughout their treatment and referred for clinical trials for which they may be eligible. Patients may also request to be screened for available clinical trials.

By volunteering to enroll in clinical trials, people help others by contributing to the advancement of medical research, gain access to new treatments and research, and play an active role in their own health care.

Want to learn more about clinical trials? Follow these links:

American Cancer Society: https://cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/clinical-trials.html.

National Cancer Institute: https://cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/clinical-trials.

What if I live out of town?

Celilo Cancer Center will work with your schedule. We will do our best to schedule your appointments to be convenient for you. We can also help with overnight stays at the Celilo House or a local hotel.


Labs/Testing

When and where do I get lab work done?

We have our own lab located on the second floor at Celilo Cancer Center.

How long will it take to get lab results?

In general, most labs take one hour, 15 minutes to result; some specialty labs take longer.

Do I need to fast before I have my labs drawn?

We do not require fasting for most labs. Your care team will inform you if you need to fast.

Can you draw labs ordered by other providers?

We are happy to draw labs for other providers if you are already here for a lab draw for one of our providers, and/or have a port. We kindly ask that all other lab orders are drawn at Lab Express conveniently located across the parking lot.


Healthcare Providers

When do I need to see an oncologist?

When you have a diagnosis of cancer after an imaging study or biopsy.

When should I see my primary care provider (PCP)?

You should continue to see your primary care provider even after you are diagnosed with cancer. Your PCP will care for your other medical needs and help with decision-making. When you complete cancer treatment, your PCP will provide all of your care and will refer you to your oncologist as needed or for scheduled follow-up.

What is radiation oncology? How does it work?

Radiation oncology generally uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation oncologists are oncologists (cancer doctors) who specialize in treating cancer with radiation. Cancer treatment requires consultation among a multidisciplinary team that includes surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, and other cancer specialists. This results in improved patient care.

Can I or should I get a second opinion?

It is always appropriate and encouraged to get a second opinion if it is feasible and helpful for you in making a decision. Very frequently, oncologists get second and third opinions themselves in terms of the most appropriate treatment given the complexity of options currently available.

How long does it take to refill a prescription?

We do our best to approve refill requests as they come in, but it can take up to three days for a provider to refill your prescription. We recommend you request refills when you have a week supply left.

What is supportive and palliative care?

The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve physical and emotional suffering and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their loved ones, regardless of the stage of cancer. Palliative care can be delivered along with life-prolonging treatments.

Supportive and palliative care is comprehensive care designed for improving life and providing comfort for cancer patients and their families by:

  • Providing resources to help cope with the stress of cancer.
  • Enhancing and encouraging good communication between the patient, their family and the medical team.
  • Providing emotional and spiritual support.
  • Providing expert treatment of symptoms, including:
    • Emotional distress.
    • Pain.
    • Shortness of breath.
    • Medication side effects.
    • Trouble sleeping.
    • Loss of appetite
  • Facilitating preparation for the future.
    • Advance Directive/POLST.
    • Living wills.
  • Helping you make important decisions about your health care based on your personal values.

Who will benefit from palliative care?

You or your loved ones may benefit from palliative care if you have had a recent diagnosis of cancer and:

  • Need help understanding your condition or prognosis.
  • Experience uncontrolled discomfort or other symptoms.
  • Need help making complex medical decisions.

Who pays for palliative care?

Most insurance plans cover all or part of the palliative care treatment, just as they would for other services. Medicare and Medicaid also typically cover palliative care. If you have concerns about the cost, our billing department will be happy to meet with you.

Talk to any member of your care team at Celilo and let them know you are interested in learning more about palliative care. Or call us Monday through Friday for more information: 541-296-7585.


Complementary Care and Services

What is the role of complementary/alternative treatment in cancer?

The role of complementary medicine is to add supportive care from different traditions to the treatment you are getting for your cancer. Oncologists often collaborate with these providers to help the patient get the care they need. Alternative medicine is sometimes administered instead of standard/allopathic medicine. It is highly encouraged that you at least have a consultation with an oncologist prior to pursuing alternative therapies used instead of standard treatment so that you can be fully informed. Some alternative therapies have not been proven to be effective and can lead to harm or financial gain at the expense of patients, which can be hard to fully recognize.

What do medical social workers do?

As part of your comprehensive care here at Celilo, we have an oncology social work team to support patients, their families and caregivers. Social workers bring compassionate understanding to your cancer care: supporting you in reducing stress, coping with your diagnosis, and connecting you to community programs and resources.

We offer:

  • Cancer survivor support in all areas of health and wellness including physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual well-being.
  • Supportive counseling services for coping, adjusting and planning for life with cancer.
  • Advocacy during medical conversations and treatment decisions.
  • Navigation through your social security benefits, disability benefits and insurance coverage.
  • Palliative care.
  • Grief and loss support.
  • Planning for life as a cancer survivor.

We can help you access:

  • Financial assistance.
  • Advance directives and end-of-life planning.
  • Community mental health and counseling services.
  • Spiritual care.
  • Transportation, lodging and housing resources during treatment.
  • Caregiving services, home health and hospice care.
  • Other relevant information and community-based referrals.

Is there a dietitian available to talk to me about nutrition?

Yes. Your nutrition needs and goals may change throughout your therapy. You can request to make an appointment with a dietitian at any time during your therapy by asking any Celilo staff member. This service is complimentary.

Is it okay to exercise while being treated for cancer?

Yes! Exercise is encouraged while going through treatment for cancer. It has been shown that moderate exercise while having treatment can decrease the fatigue and allow you to actually feel somewhat better.

Some programs we have to support you are our Medical Exercise program at Water’s Edge, Strength after Breast Cancer and 20 complimentary visits to Water’s Edge Fitness Center.

What are nurse navigators, and how can they help me throughout my cancer treatment?

The nurse navigator provides a close working relationship between you and the members of your care team and can be your point person to guide and direct you to the information you need to make treatment decisions.

Can you help me get a wig? What will it cost?

Yes! We have a wig program at Celilo for our patients undergoing cancer treatment. We provide one wig at no cost to our cancer patients experiencing hair loss.

Is it okay for me to get a massage while undergoing cancer treatment?

In most situations, it is okay for you to get a massage. There can be a few instances where a massage is not ideal for your situation; therefore, it is always a good idea to check with your oncology team before getting a massage.

What is Celilo Cancer Center’s Survivorship Program?

Finding a New Normal.

Three out of four families will have at least one family member who is diagnosed with cancer and is a cancer survivor. A survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. Healthy survival is not just about surviving; it is also about thriving and living well.

The Celilo survivorship program is about helping patients live well through the physical, emotional and practical challenges of finding a new normal. Other topics include joyful living, meeting the spiritual challenges of post-treatment, coping with fear of recurrence, pain and fatigue, nutrition, improving body image and personal confidence, and reestablishing/establishing intimate relationships.

At Celilo, patient navigators, social workers, nurses and other health professionals educate and support survivors with their personal journeys. Cancer survivors have an opportunity to meet individually with a resource guide and/or social worker for an assessment of needs as they transition from active treatment to post-treatment. Survivors are linked with community support services and integrative therapies available at MCMC, which support a healthy lifestyle and cancer-risk reduction.

As patients improve their understanding of disease management and follow-up care, it is hoped that remission improvement and cure potential will be advanced. Further, it is hoped that effective guidance and survivor coaching will lead to improved coping and improved quality of life.

What is a survivorship care plan?

Survivorship care plans (SCP) provide a comprehensive summary of treatment that reflects the treatment received and addresses post-treatment needs and follow-up care to improve health and quality of life. Each patient is offered an appointment with our director of survivorship to discuss their personalized SCP.

The SCP meets stringent requirements set by the Commission on Cancer and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

As the only Commission on Cancer and National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers accredited program in the Columbia River Gorge, we are required and yet privileged to offer this personalized document. We also provide copies of this document to your primary care provider and other providers who are part of your care team.

To build your own survivorship general care plan based on cancer type, click here and follow the prompts.


Hematology Care/Infusion Center

I don’t have cancer, but my doctor referred me to Celilo Cancer Center for an infusion. What does this mean?

Celilo Cancer Center provides infusions for many other medications that are NOT cancer related. Your provider has chosen an IV medication that needs to be given at an infusion clinic, and Celilo is able to provide those services for you.


Billing

Will I be able to continue working during my treatment?

In most cases you will be able to continue working through your treatment. There are a few situations, also depending on the type of work you do, where working may not be the best for you and your body. This can be discussed when deciding on your treatment options.

I cannot afford treatment for cancer. Can you help?

Absolutely. We have a staff member available to assist patients in finding resources to help cover the cost of treatment. There are many resources available as well as financial assistance through Mid-Columbia Medical Center when other options have been exhausted.

Is insurance prior authorization required for treatment for cancer?

The answer to this question varies from person to person based on their insurance plan. Should a prior authorization be required, we have the financial navigator coordinate with insurance to get authorization for coverage of services needed. If the insurance does not approve authorization, we will discuss options with the oncology team. If MCMC is not covered by an insurance plan, the patient may be required to seek care elsewhere. The patient can speak with their insurance plan directly to ask questions about coverage and cost also.

What if my insurance company won’t pay for the medication I need?

There are grants, co-pay assistance, free-trial cards, patient assistance programs and manufacturer assistance that our financial navigator explores for patients.

I don’t have insurance. Can I get treatment for cancer at Celilo Cancer Center?

Yes, you can still receive treatment. There are financial resources available to assist in the cost of treatment.


Other

Why should I have my cancer treatment at an accredited facility?

Celilo Cancer Center is accredited by the Commission on Cancer (CoC) and the National Accreditation Program for Breast Center (NAPBC). Receiving care at an accredited center ensures that patients have access to:

  • Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services.
  • A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options.
  • Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options.

How do I sign up for MyChart?

Go to the following link and follow the prompts: http://mychartmcmc.cc.ohsu.edu/.

How can I donate to Celilo Cancer Center?

You can write a check to the Celilo Fund. Bring your donation to our director or body image specialist, or you can mail it to Celilo Cancer Center, 1700 E. 19th Street, The Dalles, Oregon 97058. Thank you for thinking of Celilo Cancer Center and our patients.

My friend or family member was diagnosed with cancer. How can I help?

The most important way you can help just being there for them and listening to them. The American Cancer Society and our social workers can provide information and support. Here are a few resources:

Where should I go for more information on my type of cancer?

Your care team at Celilo Cancer Center is always available. The American Cancer Society is a great place to start searching for information on your cancer diagnosis. There are many places online to find information on cancer, but many of them are not reputable sources, so please use caution; and only go to known and reputable cancer websites.