Frequently Asked Questions
Where is MD Anderson located?
Do you have a location close to my home?
Do you have doctors that specialize in my type of cancer?
Our faculty and staff include experts in all types of cancer, common and rare.
Do I have to have a confirmed diagnosis to come to MD Anderson?
No, many of our centers will see patients with a suspicion of cancer by a doctor or benign tumors.
How long will it take to get an appointment?
The hospital average is seven to 10 days; however, it varies for each center.
How long will I need to be in Houston for my first appointment?
Patients are normally here between three to five days on an outpatient basis.
Do I qualify for any clinical trials?
We have more than 700 current clinical trials for all types of cancer. You must be a MD Anderson patient before you are eligible to participate. Once you make your first appointment with us, you will be able to discuss clinical trial opportunities with your MD Anderson physician.
Where do I stay if I become a patient?
Generally, your first appointment and many of your treatments can be done on an outpatient basis. If you're traveling a long distance, check out our lodging and travel information for hotels, RV parks and other facilities in the Houston and Medical Center areas.
There are also several low-cost and long-term lodging options offered by MD Anderson. Our existing patients can contact the Social Work department for information about courtesy or low-cost housing, and other services that may be available to them. The Social Work department can be reached at 713-792-6195 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.
How can I participate in the Moon Shots Program?
The Moon Shots Program consists of certain clinical trials/research for specific types of cancer. Patients need to be an existing patient at MD Anderson to participate in a moon shot clinical trial. Once you become a MD Anderson patient, your care team will talk to you about whether or not you are eligible.
Do you take my insurance?
If you are enrolled in a managed care plan (HMO, PPO or POS), your treatment at MD Anderson may be covered by insurance. Check our list of currently accepted insurance plans. If you don’t see your plan listed or you have insurance questions, call 888-242-6032.
Please note that this list is not comprehensive. It is typically up to the insurance company to determine if the plans they offer will allow access to MD Anderson. Insurance is also verified when going through the new patient appointment process. Please contact your insurance carrier to verify your coverage and/or benefits.
For many patients and caregivers, the first
visit to MD Anderson can be a little
daunting. On top of wondering how you and your family will cope with
diagnosis, you may be worried about everything from parking to
what to expect on your first day to whether your doctor will listen to
Below, several patients and caregivers share what they wish they'd known before coming to MD Anderson. We hope their insight helps make your first visit a little easier.
You're not just a number
"I wish I'd known that it's pretty easy to be a patient here. I was intimidated by stories of how going to MD Anderson is like being in a cattle call. I did not find that to be true at all. It's peaceful and, even though the size can be intimidating, there are so many forms of help and ways to ease the visit. MD Anderson is a place where I feel listened to and not like a number."
-- Brandie Sellers, two-time breast cancer survivor
We want to help you
"I wish I'd known how helpful and friendly all of the volunteers and staff are. If you're lost, just ask anyone you can find with an MD Anderson badge, and they will be happy to help you find where you are going."
-- Sandra Bishnoi, breast cancer patient
Research treatment options beforehand
"I wish we would have done more research on treatment options. While the doctors at MD Anderson are the best, it would have been nice to be able to participate more in the conversation regarding treatment options."
-- Jennifer Martin, cancer caregiver
Get your blood drawn early
"The Rotary House has a lab where you can get your blood drawn the evening before your clinic appointments. This can help you avoid a wait, and the lab results will be ready when you see your doctor."
-- Holly Easley, myelodysplastic syndrome survivor
Cheaper parking options exist
"Parking can get expensive. But you can save money by parking at the South Extension Lot at 1522 Braeswood Blvd. A free shuttle that will take you back and forth to MD Anderson throughout the day."
-- Terry Arnold, inflammatory breast cancer survivor
"It's cold, so bring a sweatshirt. Also, you may wait a long time. But if you're physically and mentally prepared to wait, then it's not a big deal."
-- Megan Silianoff, ovarian cancer survivor
It's okay to laugh
"No one is going to arrest you for laughing in the waiting room. Your first visit (and subsequent ones) can be very overwhelming and emotionally draining. It's important to make the most of it anyways. During my fiancé's drug trial at MD Anderson, we made an effort to enjoy our uninterrupted time together and find moments of joy within the dark ones. Although it was the hardest time of our life -- most days filled with bad news and tears -- we also remember it fondly because that time allowed us to connect in a much deeper way."
-- Katie Narvarte, cancer caregiver
Request an appointment at MD Anderson online or by calling 1-877-632-6789.