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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

Frequently Asked Questions


What does the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center offer that I might not find elsewhere?

The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is part of the UC Davis Health System, which includes one of five academic medical centers in the UC system. Our mission is not only to provide the best care possible, but to discover new ways to prevent, detect, treat and, ultimately, cure this disease. As such, we offer several benefits, including:

  • State-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment, including new therapies that may not be available elsewhere
  • Experience treating all cancers, from those affecting a few hundred Americans each year to those affecting tens of thousands
  • A range of services for all your needs as a cancer patient, including counseling, pain management, rehabilitation and assistance in returning to life after cancer
  • Treatment by a multidisciplinary team, including oncologists, nursing staff, social workers and dietitians
  • Faculty physicians whose three-fold mission — taking care of patients, studying cancer and teaching young doctors — puts them at the top of their profession

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What kind of treatments do you offer?

Available options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, biological therapy, immunotherapy or a combination of these, depending on the type and stage of cancer. Clinical trials (see below) offer additional choices to patients. Your particular therapy will be determined after you meet with the oncologist.

If you would like information about a specific treatment, please call the New Patient Referral office at 916-734-5959 or toll-free at 800-770-9261. We shall do our best to help you.

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What kind of clinical trials do you have?

The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center conducts adult and pediatric clinical trials on cancers both rare and common. Studies are conducted in cooperation with the American College of Surgeon's Oncology Group, Southwest Oncology Group, Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, Gynecologic Oncology Group, the Children's Oncology Group and the National Cancer Institute as well as with pharmaceutical companies.

The Cancer Center is also a member of the California Cancer Consortium, a group of researchers from UC Davis, the University of Southern California, the City of Hope National Medical Center, the University of Pittsburg and Penn State. This consortium is engaged in National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trials of novel cancer therapeutic agents, including clinical trials developed by our own UC Davis oncologists.

As the only facility in California’s Central Valley with the infrastructure to safely conduct highly complex early phase trials, the Cancer Center is the host location for the Sacramento Citywide Oncology Phase I Program, or SCOPE. SCOPE is an alliance of area oncologists with physician representatives from UC Davis, Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente, Dignity Health and Sierra Hematology & Oncology, whose mission is to improve cancer care in the greater Sacramento community and beyond through widespread access to rigorous and efficient studies of new agents and treatments.

You can see what trials are available by visiting the clinical trials page. You can download and print out a complete list of open trials by clicking here.

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Do you accept my insurance?

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center accepts a variety of private and public insurance plans. To find out if yours is one, please call our New Patient Referral office at 916-734-5959 or 800-770-9261.

We work with patients to make sure they are getting the full benefit of their health plan. Please remember that insurers have different requirements that need to be met before your appointment.

If your health plan will not pay for treatment, we suggest you ask your insurance company if it will pay for a second opinion or consultation at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Consultation appointments are also available on your own expense.

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Do you accept patients on Medi-Cal or other public programs?

Approval may depend on where you live and the type of public assistance program. To be sure, call the health department of the county where you live or our New Patient Referral office at 916-734-5959 or 800-770-9261.

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Do I need a physician's referral to make an appointment?

Most patients are referred by their physician; however, a physician's referral is not required. Patients may self-refer if their insurance plan allows that flexibility.

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How can I get information on a particular doctor?

We encourage you to first visit our physician directory to search for a particular doctor by name. In addition, you can visit our specialties section to locate a doctor by a particular specialty. If you still need more information, contact us at 916-734-5959 or 800-770-9261 and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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How long will I have to wait for my first appointment?

We know a diagnosis of cancer creates anxiety and fear. We will schedule you as quickly as possible given your particular condition and the availability of our cancer specialists.

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What should I bring to my first appointment?

When making your appointment (depending upon individual situation), our New Patient Referral Office will inform you on what you should mail and/or bring. They will also mail you a new patient information packet.

You will also need to bring your health insurance identification card; a form from your referring physician (if applicable); the name, address and phone number of a person to be contacted in case of an emergency; and the name of the person finally responsible for your bill.

You will be asked to fill out a medical history questionnaire. Please complete the questionnaire and bring it to your appointment.

Once you arrive at the Cancer Center, a receptionist will greet you at the front desk and direct you to where you will need to go. If you are a new patient, please plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled first visit.

Please see our your first appointment section to better help you prepare for your visit.


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Do you have wheelchairs available?

Yes. If you need a wheelchair or an escort, talk to the receptionist at the information desk just inside the front entrance. Passengers can be dropped off at the main entrance of the Cancer Center, or you may park temporarily (parking is limited to 20 minutes) in the circle driveway while you get a wheelchair. For questions, call the information desk at 916-734-5959.

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Where can I stay? 

For information on accommodations near the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, click here.

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If you need surgery.

Cancer treatment often requires surgery. If you need surgery, it will take place either in the UC Davis Health System's outpatient surgery center or Main Hospital. A team of nurses and surgery coordinators will work with you and your physician to help plan your surgery.

You can expect outstanding treatment and care at the surgery center and the Main Hospital. Our depth of expertise and resources, including our use of advanced medical technology, has enabled UC Davis to be one of U.S. News and World Report's top hospitals in the nation for 16 consecutive years.

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