Medical Oncology

Medical oncologists use drug and hormone combinations to treat cancer. They monitor progress during and after treatment and can also assist in symptom management and pain management. Medical oncologists work in collaboration with other providers including surgical and radiation oncologists to provide comprehensive treatment.

Medical oncologists use the following treatment options:

  • Biological therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Targeted therapy

The Guthrie medical oncology team is dedicated to providing the highest standard of care for cancer treatment. During your first appointment, your medical oncologist will:

  • Review available biopsy results and blood work.
  • Discuss your family history of cancer.
  • Explain recommended treatment plans.
  • If available, discuss options for clinical trials.
  • Arrange additional tests and procedures, if needed.

At your first appointment, your surgical oncologist will review any previous tests, procedures, or treatments. If you are a Guthrie patient, your physician has access to your electronic medical record. If you received treatment elsewhere, you will need to bring the following to your first appointment. Our team can assist you in gathering this information to prepare for the first appointment.

Medical Summary

This is a description written by your physician detailing your medical conditions and any treatment you received. A medical summary will be needed from your primary care provider and any specialists seen.

Your Medication

Please bring a list of all medications you currently take, including:

  • Prescribed medications from a physician.
  • Over-the-counter medications.
  • Vitamins.
  • Herbal products.

Your medication list should indicate the following information:

  • The name of each medicine.
  • The dose you take.
  • How often you take it.

Diagnostic Tests

Diagnostic tests include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, PET scans, bone scans, stress tests, echocardiograms and electrocardiograms. Please provide images on disc or on film.

To obtain your diagnostic tests:

  • Contact the hospital or radiology center where the images were taken.
  • Request for the images and a written report on disc. If the images are not available on disc, then ask for the actual films.

Pathology Slides from Any Biopsies or Surgical Procedures

If you had a biopsy or surgery at another facility, please contact that office to request slides and a copy of the written report.

Insurance Card and Photo ID

We will need the name of your health insurance company, along with other information that appears on your health insurance card. In addition, please bring a photo ID. If you are covered by more than one insurer, please bring both cards.

Other Ways to Prepare for Your Appointment Include:

  • Arrange for a friend or family member to come with you. You will receive a lot of information and it is helpful to have someone else there to take notes.
  • Bring questions you may have. We welcome all questions.

What can chemotherapy achieve?

Chemotherapy is a curative treatment options for some cancer types. Chemotherapy can also reduce the size of tumors, preventing future growth. When the tumor shrinks so much that it cannot be detected by examination and x-rays, it is called a “complete remission.” A complete remission does not necessarily mean cure.

How long will treatments last?

We tailor chemotherapy treatment to meet your needs. Some types of chemotherapy are given every three weeks, but sometimes a better result can come from smaller doses every week. Your physician will discuss these options with you before starting treatment.

When will we know if the chemotherapy is working?

This will vary from patient to patient. Your physician will outline a treatment plan with you and will do follow up tests (ex: CT scan, x-ray, MRI, PET-CT) at different intervals during your therapy.

Will chemotherapy make me sick?

Not all types of chemotherapy cause nausea and vomiting, but Nausea can be an uncomfortable side effect of chemotherapy. However anti-nausea drugs can minimize nausea and vomiting.

Will I lose my hair?

Hair loss can be temporary side effect of some chemotherapy agents. Your physician will discuss all possible side effects with you. If your chemotherapy causes hair loss or hair thinning, Guthrie offers wigs, scarves, bandanas and other hair accessories at no cost.

What can I do about loss of appetite?

Loss of appetite is a possible side effect of chemotherapy and sometimes is the result of your disease. Chemotherapy may cause your favorite foods to become tasteless or even disliked. We recommend eating balanced meals on a regular basis even when you prefer not to eat or do not feel hungry.

What do I do for fatigue and weakness?

Fatigue and weakness are common side effects of chemotherapy or the cancer itself. We recommend continuing to eat balanced meals and getting plenty of rest. Inform your doctor or nurse if the fatigue persists or worsens.

Do you offer chemotherapy at a location close to me?

Guthrie offers chemotherapy at convenient locations throughout New York and Pennsylvania including:

New York:

  • Guthrie Corning Cancer Center


  • Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital
  • Guthrie Wellsboro

For your convenience, Guthrie medical oncologists are available for new patient and follow-up visits in many locations, including

New York:

  • Guthrie Corning Hospital


  • Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital
  • Guthrie Wellsboro

Transportation is a problem for me. Are there organizations to help me get to chemotherapy appointments?

American Cancer Society (ACS) may be able to help. Depending on where you live, the ACS offers Road to Recovery, a program that provides free transportation for patients to cancer treatments. For information about Road to Recovery, call 1-800-227-2345, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.