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Cancer Center Frequently Asked Questions – MEDICAL ONCOLOGY

Medical Oncology

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is my chemotherapy appointment?

Each treatment is based on individual diagnosis and needs. Please call East Hawaii Health Cancer Center and ask.

Can I be around family after my chemotherapy treatment?

Yes, you can be around your friends, family and loved ones during and after chemotherapy treatment.

Can I get my COVID shot if I am receiving chemotherapy?

Yes, 1 week before or 1 week after you receive your chemotherapy. If you are still unsure, please call us at East Hawaii Health Cancer Center and we will answer more pointed questions.

Am I supposed to come into my chemotherapy treatment on an empty stomach?

Please continue your normal eating routine, do not eat anything too heavy or greasy.

How will I know my schedule?

Your team of clerks, nurses, and clinical support staff will schedule all of your appointments for treatments and let you know.

What do I bring to my chemotherapy treatment?

Bring food and drink. We have warm blankets, pillows, Wi-Fi and tablets (education and entertainment) along with snack and basic beverages.

When is your new building to be completed?

The new medical oncology department for East Hawaii Health at Hilo Benioff Medical Center is to be completed Summer of 2022.

Is East Hawaii Health Cancer Center hiring anymore physicians?

Yes, we are actively recruiting a Medical Oncologist at East Hawaii Health Cancer Center.

What kind of clothes do I wear to my chemotherapy appointments?

Wear a button down, or loose-fitting clothes, especially if you have a port. Comfort is key!

What are the chemotherapy side effects?

Chemotherapy works by destroying cancer cells; However, it cannot distinguish the difference between a cancer cell and a healthy cell. The most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue, and low white blood cell counts. Some side effects may be temporary. Other side effects can be life threatening. If you are experiencing side effects, please call us at East Hawaii Health Cancer Center, so we can help you to manage them!

What is a serious side effect of chemotherapy?

One of the most serious potential side effects of chemotherapy is neutropenia, or a low white blood cell count. This can put the patient at serious risk for infection or treatment interruptions. It is important to remember that you can successfully manage side effects by working with the healthcare team at East Hawaii Health Cancer Center, and by staying in close communication throughout your treatment cycles.

How is chemotherapy administered?

Chemotherapy drugs are administered via pill or oral medication, shot (injection), or IV (delivering liquid medicine through a tube into a vein). Ask your provider at East Hawaii Health Cancer Center how your treatment is going to be administered.

What are your Policies with COVID-19?

The COVID-19 Policies for Hilo Benioff Medical Center and East Hawaii Health can be found on our polices page

How do I connect to a TeleHealth call Via Zoom?

EHHCC: Zoom Instructions for Participants


Before a videoconference:

  1. Participant will need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with speaker or headphones. Participant will have the opportunity to check the audio immediately upon joining a meeting.


  1. Participant will receive notice for a videoconference or conference call via email from a staff member at the East Hawaii Health Cancer Center. The notification will include a link to “Join via computer” as well as phone numbers for a conference call option. It will also include the 9-digit (usually) Meeting ID.


To join the videoconference:

  1. At the start time of the meeting, click on the link in your invitation to join via computer. Participant may be instructed to download the Zoom application.


  1. Participant will have an opportunity to test your audio at this point by clicking on “Test Computer Audio.” Once the participant is satisfied that the audio works, click on “Join audio by computer.


Participant may also join a meeting without clicking on the invitation link by going to on any browser and entering the Meeting ID provided by the East Hawaii Health Cancer Center.

If the participant is having trouble hearing the meeting, the participant can join via telephone while remaining on the video conference:

  1. On phone, dial the teleconferencing number provided in your invitation.
  1. Enter the Meeting ID number (also provided in your invitation) when prompted using the touch-tone (DTMF) keypad.
  1. If the participant has already joined the meeting via computer, the participant will have the option to enter 2- digit participant ID to be associated with the computer.


Participant controls in the lower left corner of the Zoom screen:

Using the icons in the lower left corner of the Zoom screen, participant can:

  1. Mute/Unmute microphone (far left)
  2. Turn on/off camera (“Start/Stop Video”)
  3. Invite other participants • View Participant list – opens a pop-out screen that includes a “Raise Hand” icon that individual may use to raise a virtual hand
  4. Change screen name that is seen in the participant list and video window
  5. Share screen somewhere on Zoom screen
  6. Individual will also see a choice to toggle between “speaker” and “gallery” view. “Speaker view” shows the active speaker. “Gallery view” tiles all of the meeting participants.