FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Before Your Treatment - Medical

Contact Jann Parker at (870) 535-2800, ext. 223.

Please bring a copy of your complete medical record, including:

  • Pathology or lab reports
  • Prior treatment notes
  • Films of CT scans, MRI scans, bone scans and x-rays
  • A list of all medications you are currently taking
  • Your health insurance cards
  • Any necessary referrals required by your insurer
Yes, we encourage family members or close friends to participate in the initial consult with Dr. Omar Atiq or Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora, your medical oncologist. Since we share a large amount of information in the first appointment, it may be helpful to have others there to listen with you and to provide emotional support. You are also welcome to come alone, if you wish.

Please remember that we are always available to talk with you throughout your treatment process. We are happy to answer your questions and review anything you may not have understood at your initial consult.
Your first visit to the cancer center will be a busy one. Please plan to spend at least a couple of hours in the clinic. 

When you arrive at the center, check in with the receptionist and then have a seat in the waiting room. You may need to fill out a health questionnaire. Often, your medical records and x-rays have arrived before you and have already been reviewed by Dr. Omar Atiq or Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora. If you have brought any with you, please give them to the receptionist.

You will have your heartbeat, respiration, blood pressure, height and weight checked. You will be called into an exam room when the doctor is ready to see you. 

To develop the treatment plan, Dr. Atiq and Dr. Fora will review your medical records, discuss your medical history with you, and perform a physical exam. You may need to undress for the physical exam and wear a hospital gown. After his evaluation, Dr. Atiq and Dr. Fora will discuss your condition, prognosis and treatment options, including chemotherapy if necessary, and answer any questions you have.

The doctor may order additional blood tests or imaging exams, if needed, as well as discuss the placement of a mediport by a surgeon prior to beginning chemotherapy.
If you would like another consultation regarding your condition, feel free to ask Dr. Omar Atiq and Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora. We provide a second opinion referral service that includes consultation and a thorough review with other specialists.

After Your Treatment - Medical

No. After your last treatment, you will return for a follow-up appointment. Thereafter, you will return as needed for office visits with Dr. Omar Atiq or Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora. At these appointments, the doctor will perform an evaluation and may order scans or other tests, if needed.

Patients who have completed chemotherapy need to continue, at least for a while, some of the special care used during treatment.

You may find that you still need extra rest while your healthy tissues are rebuilding. Keep taking naps as you need to, and try to get extra sleep at night. It may take some time after treatment to regain your strength, so don't try to resume a full schedule of activities right away.

If you followed a special diet during your treatment for nausea or diarrhea, you may need to continue the diet for a time after the treatments have stopped.

If you need any additional instructions, Dr. Omar Atiq or Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora will tell you when your treatments are ending.

After treatment for cancer, you're likely to be more aware of your body and notice slight changes in how you feel from day to day. Dr. Omar Atiq or Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora will want you to report any symptoms. If you have any of the problems listed below, call us right away:

  • A pain that persists, especially if it is always in the same place
  • Persistent lumps, bumps or unusual swelling
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent fever or cough
  • Unusual rashes, bleeding or bruising

During Your Treatment - Medical

Family and friends can be very supportive, and they are always welcome to accompany you to your appointments - although this is not required. Physically, most patients are able to function fairly well. Unless you are feeling ill or exhausted, you should be able to drive yourself home after your appointment.

There may be side effects from chemotherapy. First, it may cause you to feel fatigued. Fatigue occurs in a majority of people with cancer and can be described as a condition that causes distress and decreases your ability to function due to lack of energy. If you become fatigued, make sure you are able to rest adequately. Fatigue is common after chemotherapy or radiation therapy and may persist over a period of weeks to several months.

Side effects may also include allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, loss of hair, loss of appetite, sore mouth and throat, numbness and tingling in your fingers and toes, as well as other side effects depending on the drugs used to treat your cancer. We will provide you with reading material that includes side effects related to chemotherapy. If your side effects are bothering you, or you are experiencing problems you did not expect, please tell any member of your chemotherapy team.

If you notice anything abnormal, it is very important that you contact us immediately at (870) 535-2800 or (888) 535-8808, go to the nearest emergency room, or call 911.
For your convenience, our facility also provides radiation oncology services, so you benefit from comprehensive cancer care under one roof.
No, there is no need. Once you are scheduled for treatment, your appointment time is yours.
Yes, this is why we ask for both your work and home phone numbers.

The duration of your visit depends on the type of chemotherapy you will receive. You will have your blood drawn and assessed for treatment. This blood specimen will be drawn by either venipuncture or through the mediport.

Your chemotherapy regimen will begin once lab work is reviewed and approved by either Dr. Omar Atiq, Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora, or the chemotherapy nurse. During your treatment, a chemotherapy nurse will be in contact with you at all times to monitor you closely.

During treatment, sunscreen is highly recommended along with minimal sun exposure. Other than that, we encourage you to carry out your daily activities as much as possible, as long as you do not feel stressed or too fatigued. Many patients continue to work without experiencing adverse effects. Remember to balance your daily activities with adequate rest. Dr. Omar Atiq or Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora will tell you if you should limit any activity.
You will be scheduled for a certain number of treatments based on your specific disease. It is extremely important that you receive all of your prescribed treatments. Therefore, if you miss a treatment, it may have to be given at a later date. Please talk to your chemotherapy team about your specific situation. Dr. Omar Atiq or Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora and your chemotherapy team will advise you of your next visit.
You will be scheduled for clinic visits with Dr. Atiq or Dr. Fora regularly during your treatment course to discuss your progress, complications, etc. The first visit is usually two weeks after the therapy begins.

Before Your Treatment - Radiation

Please bring a copy of your complete medical record, including:

  • Pathology or lab reports
  • Prior treatment notes
  • Films of CT scans, MRI scans, bone scans and x-rays
  • A list of all medications you are currently taking
  • Your health insurance cards
  • Any necessary referrals required by your insurer
We will obtain additional records as needed and may order more testing.
Yes, we encourage family members or close friends to participate in the initial consult with Dr. Shahid Hameed, your radiation oncologist. Since we share a large amount of information in the first appointment, it may be helpful to have others there to listen with you and to provide emotional support. You are also welcome to come alone, if you wish.
If you would like another consultation regarding your condition, feel free to ask Dr. Shahid Hameed. We provide a second-opinion referral service that includes consultation and a thorough review with other specialists.

Your radiation therapy, also called your "treatment course," begins with a planning visit. To ensure the radiation therapy you receive can be given the same way each time, your treatment team will fine-tune the location of the treatment and decide on the exact position you'll be in during each treatment.

Dr. Hameed and the radiation therapy team use a special procedure called CT simulation to determine your exact treatment position. The simulator and laser lights are used as guides to move you into correct position. The radiation therapy team then makes notes in your chart so you will be placed in the correct position each time you receive a treatment. Your skin will be marked over the treatment area so each treatment will target the same area. A photograph will be taken of these markings and placed in your medical chart.

While the simulation uses CT images, or x-ray images, to determine the treatment area, the images are not used for any sort of diagnosis or treatment assessment. They are only to ensure you are exactly where you need to be to treat your cancer. Occasionally, the treatment area may change as the treatment progresses. When this happens, Dr. Hameed and the radiation therapy team may change your treatment lines, and a new planning visit may need to be done.

Your first visit to the cancer center will be a busy one. Please plan to spend about one to two hours in the clinic. When you arrive at the center, check in with the receptionist and then have a seat in the waiting room. You may need to fill out a health questionnaire. Often, your medical records and x-rays have arrived before you and have already been reviewed by Dr. Shahid Hameed. If you have brought any with you, please give them to the receptionist.

You will be called into an exam room when the doctor is ready to see you. You will have your heartbeat, respiration, blood pressure and weight checked. During this visit, you will discuss the daily routine of your radiation therapy treatment.

To develop the treatment plan your radiation therapy team will follow, Dr. Hameed will review your medical records, discuss your medical history with you, and perform a physical exam. You may need to undress for the physical exam and wear a hospital gown. The doctor may order additional blood tests or imaging exams, if needed.

During Your Treatment - Radiation

Family and friends can be very supportive, and they are always welcome to accompany you to your appointments - although this is not required. Physically, you will be able to function normally and will not be groggy. Unless you are feeling ill or mentally exhausted, you should be able to drive yourself home after your appointment.
You will be scheduled for a certain number of treatments based on your specific disease. It is extremely important that you receive all of your prescribed treatments. Therefore, if you miss a day, it must be made up and your last day of treatment will be extended.
No, there is no need. Once you are scheduled for treatment, your appointment time is yours.
Yes, this is why we ask for both your work and home phone numbers.
You will be scheduled for weekly physician visits throughout the course of your treatment.

Each visit takes 15 to 30 minutes. Additionally, you will meet with Dr. Hameed, your radiation oncologist, regularly during your treatment course to discuss your progress.

Undergoing treatment is very similar to having an x-ray exam. The treatment will cause no pain or discomfort.

During your treatment, your radiation therapist will be in continual contact with you. You will be monitored through closed-circuit television. There is also a two-way intercom system so you can communicate with your therapist. If you have any problem, we will turn off the machine immediately and help you. When the machine is turned off, the radiation stops right away.

Normally, treatments are given daily, Monday through Friday, with a rest on weekends. Your therapist will notify you of any holidays on which you will not receive treatment. We will try our best to make your daily appointments convenient for you. If you find it necessary to change your treatment time, please ask your therapist.

There are some side effects from radiation therapy. They generally happen to the skin and tissues in the treatment area. Dr. Hameed and your radiation therapists will discuss specific side effects with you when you begin treatment.

One side effect of radiation therapy is that it may cause you to feel fatigued. Fatigue occurs in a majority of people with cancer and can be described as a condition that causes distress and decreases your ability to function due to lack of energy. If you become fatigued, make sure you are able to rest adequately. Fatigue is common after chemotherapy or radiation therapy and may persist over a period of weeks to several months.

If your side effects are bothering you, or you are experiencing problems you did not expect, please tell any member of your radiation therapy team.

A common misconception is that radiation therapy makes you radioactive. This is not true if you are receiving your radiotherapy from a machine.

We encourage you to carry out your daily activities as much as possible, as long as you do not feel stressed or too fatigued. Many patients continue to work without experiencing adverse effects. Remember to balance your daily activities with adequate rest. Dr. Hameed will tell you if you should limit any activity.
In most cases, you will receive chemotherapy from our medical oncologist, Dr. Omar Atiq and Dr. Ahmad Ali Fora, right here in our office, so you benefit from comprehensive cancer care under one roof.
If you notice anything abnormal, it is very important that you contact us immediately at (870) 535-2800. Remember, we are always available - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After Your Treatment - Radiation

No. Approximately three to six weeks after your last treatment, you will return for a follow-up appointment. Thereafter, you will return as needed for office visits with Dr. Shahid Hameed. At these appointments, the doctor will perform a physical exam and may order scans or other tests, if needed.

Patients who have completed radiation therapy need to continue, at least for a short while, some of the special care used during treatment.

If you experienced skin irritation during treatment, this could persist for several weeks after treatment is completed. You should continue to be gentle with the skin in the treatment area until it has healed. We recommend using a good moisturizer for local skin irritation.

You may find that you still need extra rest while your healthy tissues are rebuilding. Keep taking naps as you need to, and try to get extra sleep at night. It may take some time after treatment to regain your strength, so don't try to resume a full schedule of activities right away.

If you followed a special diet during your treatment for nausea or diarrhea, you may need to continue the diet for a time after the treatments have stopped.

If you need any additional instructions, Dr. Shahid Hameed will tell you when your treatments are ending.

After treatment for cancer, you're likely to be more aware of your body and notice slight changes in how you feel from day to day. Dr. Shahid Hameed will want you to report any symptoms. If you have any of the problems listed below, call us right away:

  • A pain that persists, especially if it is always in the same place
  • Persistent lumps, bumps or unusual swelling
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent fever or cough
  • Unusual rashes, bleeding or bruising

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