Cancer - Regional Cancer Program
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For New Patients
Virtual Tours to help you find your way around the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre
Your first visit
Your first visit to the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre will typically be longer than subsequent visits. Please be prepared for this visit to last approximately 2 – 4 hours. During this time, our healthcare team will review your medical history with you, arrange for any required diagnostic tests, and provide you with information to help you understand your treatment plan.

Here are some of the general steps involved in your first visit:
  • You will register with the Welcome Desk, located on the Lobby Level 
  • Your photograph will be taken and kept in your personal electronic health record, to aid identification and ensure that the correct patient is receiving the prescribed treatment.
  • You will answer a short questionnaire before you meet the nurse and the oncologist (a doctor who specializes in cancer care).
  • You may have your height and weight measured, and be asked a few health-related questions.
  • The oncologist will meet with you, take your medical history and may perform a physical exam.
  • Additional investigations that may be ordered or performed at the visit include blood tests, x-rays, and diagnostic scans, all of which will help the oncologist to plan your treatment.
  • The oncologist will discuss treatment options, answer your questions and may arrange a return visit to start treatment or have further discussions about your care.
  • You may receive educational material to meet your needs

What to bring to your first appointment

  • Ontario Health Card (most recently issued)
  • All medicines or a printed list from your pharmacist of all medications you are currently taking, including all over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements, preferably in their original containers
  • A list of your allergies
  • Any Advance Medical Directives you may have such as your living will
  • Name, address and phone number of your family doctor
  • Name, address and phone number of your drug store
  • Group and policy numbers for your drug insurance plan and additional health care insurance coverage
  • Eyeglasses and/or hearing aid, and any other assistive devices, such as a walker, that you may need
  • Equipment you may need (e. g. ostomy bags, oxygen tank)
  • If you are diabetic, please bring meals, insulin and related supplies
  • A family member or someone to take notes during the visit
  • A list of your questions and/or concerns
  • Food, drinks and/or snacks in case you get hungry during your visit as this is a longer appointment 
Cost of Services/Insured Services
At the time of registration for your appointment, it is important that you provide any additional health care insurance coverage you may have. Not all medications that may be recommended for you are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Our staff will do their best to assist you in receiving reimbursement for medications not covered by OHIP.
Subsequent Visits
You will receive a schedule of appointments for each time you are to visit the Cancer Centre.  Our health care team will make every effort to make your visits run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.  We appreciate your understanding and patience on those infrequent occasions when unexpected delays may occur.  
What to bring to every visit:
  • Ontario Health Card (most recently issued)
  • We suggest that you bring a family member or someone who can stay with you and assist by listening, taking notes, or help you communicate issues and concerns to the health care team 
  • Any medication you may need during your visit such as insulin if you are diabetic 
  • Eyeglasses and/or hearing aid, and any other assistive devices, such as a walker, that you may need
  • Equipment you may need (e. g. ostomy bags, oxygen tank)
  • A list of your questions and/or concerns
  • Food, drinks and/or snacks in case you get hungry during your visit especially for longer visits or those scheduled over the lunch hour or if you are diabetic. 
  • Cancelling or Changing Appointments
    If you need to cancel or change an appointment, call the Cancer Centre Link to How to Contact the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre as soon as possible. Cancellation requires 48 hour notice. 

Please let us know the reason you wish to cancel your appointment so that we can best address your needs.  If are feeling too sick to come in for your appointment, a nurse will contact you to discuss your symptoms, and help you to decide whether your treatment should be postponed or if you should still come to the Centre to be seen by the doctor.

Change of Information
In order to keep our information about you up-to-date, please be sure to let us know at every visit if any of your contact information has changed.

For example:

  • Your name, first and last
  • Your home address
  • Your home, cellular and business phone number(s)
  • Your OHIP number or version code
  • Your family doctor or referring doctor
  • Your emergency contact person’s name and/or phone number
Managing Your Symptoms
You will be asked to complete a symptom assessment each time you come to see the doctor.  By telling the health care team how you feel, the team will better understand how to help you with your symptoms.  You will learn about how to complete your symptom assessment at your visit.
Links to brochures:
Before the end of your visits, please check to ensure that you have sufficient medication to last until your next visit with the doctor. If you must get a refill before your next visit, your pharmacy can fax a repeat request to the Cancer Centre.  Please be aware that it may take up to 48 hours before the doctor can authorize the prescription. It is recommended that you use the same community pharmacy for all of your prescriptions.

We believe that the treatment and visit experience is enhanced by our patients being knowledgeable about their treatment options. We welcome and encourage you to use every visit as an opportunity to ask questions of any member of the healthcare team. As you may have additional questions or concerns that arise during the course of your treatment, we would encourage you to write them down and raise them with a member of the healthcare team at your next appointment.

Out-Patient Clinic Visit Prior to Chemotherapy Treatment
You may have an appointment in the Out-patient Clinic on the day prior to your treatment to complete require blood work and see the oncologist.  The main purpose of this visit is to ensure that you are physically and emotionally prepared for your chemotherapy treatment. 
Your Out-patient Clinic appointment will typically involve blood-work, waiting time (it usually takes 1-2 hours for your blood work to be analyzed) and a consultation session with the medical oncologist. This visit allows time to interpret your blood results, ensure that the appropriate dose of chemotherapy is safe to be given the next day and will also significantly reduce wait times on treatment days. 
Pre-chemotherapy Teaching Program
You will be scheduled to attend a pre-chemotherapy teaching program presented by a health care professional.  The program explains common chemotherapy drugs, common side effects, what to expect during chemotherapy treatment, coping strategies and scheduling.  You may have a family member or friend attend the session with you.
Chemotherapy Treatment
Chemotherapy treatments, administrated in the Chemotherapy Suite, may vary in length from 30 minutes to 7 hours, depending on your specific needs. The nurse will inform you of the expected length of time required for your treatment visits.

It is recommended that you dress in layers, as you may feel hot and cold at times during your treatment. You will not be permitted to leave the chemotherapy unit while your medications are being infused.
You may have one support person with you during your treatments. For safety reasons, children under 12 years of age are not allowed in the chemotherapy treatment area at any time.

If your appointment is over the lunch hour, you may want to bring a lunch or have your visitor go to the Places to Eat at Southlake for you. You may also wish to bring your own water bottle.
For more information about Chemotherapy 

Radiation Planning and Treatment

Your first Radiation appointment, known as a “planning appointment”, generally takes 1 hour. This appointment allows the Radiation Oncologist and Radiation Therapist to accurately determine the treatment area through the use of a CT Simulator.

Once the treatment area is identified, marks will be placed on your skin. As these marks can wash off, it is necessary to give you very tiny permanent tattoo marks using a fine needle. The Radiation Therapist will explain this procedure to you.

The healthcare team will continue to use the information captured during the CT scanning process to develop a plan that is specific to you. Following this appointment, you will be contacted with the date and time of your first Radiation Treatment appointment.

Pre-Radiation Teaching Program
You will meet with a health care professional who will explain radiation treatment, common side effects, what to expect during radiation treatment, coping strategies and scheduling dates.
Radiation Treatment
The initial Radiation Treatment appointment is typically longer than subsequent treatments, lasting about 20 – 45 minutes. The Radiation Therapist and other members of the team will check all of the details of the treatment plan and using a CT Scanner that is attached to the treatment machine, will verify your treatment area before every treatment.

Subsequent appointments are usually 15 – 30 minutes. The actual duration of your daily treatment depends on the radiation dosage and your treatment plan. The treatment beam is usually turned on for a short period of this time.

Receiving a radiation treatment is like having an x-ray taken. There is no pain or any sensation involved, and you do not become radioactive. It is important that you stay relaxed, breathe normally and remain in the treatment position. You will not see or feel anything during treatment.
Please feel free to bring in your own music, which can be played while you are having your treatment.

The Radiation Therapists will not stay in the room with you, but they can see you at all times on a video screen just outside the room. There is an intercom in the room that you may use at any time to speak with the Radiation Therapist.

For more information about Radiation Treatment
Southlake Regional Health Centre
596 Davis Drive, Newmarket, Ontario   L3Y 2P9
Tel: 905-895-4521   |   TTY: 905-952-3062
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