Keeping Medical Insurance and Copies of Your Medical Records

At some point after your treatment, you may find yourself seeing a new doctor who doesn’t know about your medical history. It’s important to be able to give your new doctor the details of your diagnosis and treatment. Gathering these details during and soon after treatment may be easier than trying to get them at some point in the future. Make sure you have this information handy and always keep copies for yourself:

  • A copy of the pathology report(s) from any biopsies or surgeries
  • Copies of imaging tests (CT or MRI scans, etc.), which can usually be stored digitally (on a DVD, etc.)
  • Copies of lab tests showing hormone levels both before and after treatment
  • If you had surgery, a copy of the operative report(s)
  • If you stayed in the hospital, copies of the discharge summaries that the doctor prepared when you were sent home
  • If you were or are taking medicines to treat your tumor, a list of the drugs and drug doses
  • If you had radiation therapy, a summary of the type and dose of radiation and when and where it was given
  • The names and contact information of the doctors who treated your tumor

It’s also very important to keep health insurance. Tests and doctor visits cost a lot, and even though no one wants to think of their tumor coming back, this could happen. For more about costs and health insurance, see Understanding Health Insurance.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: May 8, 2014 Last Revised: December 17, 2014

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