Getting Cancer Treatment from an Oncologist Outside of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK)

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This resource will help guide you when you get some or most of your care outside of MSK.

Who is your primary oncologist (cancer doctor)?

Your primary oncologist is the cancer doctor who prescribes your cancer treatment. Your treatment can include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapy, or targeted therapy. It can be given into a vein (intravenous, or IV), as a shot, or you may take it by mouth.

For your safety, the doctor who orders your treatment and other members of that care team must manage your care. This includes:

  • Examining you to make sure it’s safe for you to get treatment.
  • Ordering lab tests to make sure it’s safe for you to get treatment.
  • Managing your symptoms and any side effects from treatment.
  • Communicating with you about your care.

Shared care with an outside oncologist

Shared care is when you are being cared for by an oncologist outside of MSK for some time and plan to return to MSK for care.

Your MSK doctor will take care of your cancer treatment needs until your oncologist outside of MSK takes over your treatment plan.

When your outside oncologist takes over your treatment plan, your MSK doctor cannot:

  • Prescribe medications, including take-home chemotherapy and targeted therapy.
  • Refill prescriptions.
  • Manage your symptoms or any side effects from treatment.
  • Oversee your care.

Your MSK doctor can still offer their advice and expertise once your outside oncologist takes over your treatment plan. You may contact a member of your MSK care team if you need to. Your MSK care team will talk with you and then contact your current care team to discuss your treatment plan.

For your safety, if you are having symptoms from your cancer treatment, you must contact your current oncologist who is prescribing the treatment.

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Last Updated

Wednesday, September 28, 2022