Your Referral ...
Most referrals we receive are from your surgeon once he/she has diagnosed your cancer. Referrals to the Algoma District Cancer Program occur by telephone, fax or mail. The oncologist then reviews the chart and a first appointment is made for you.
Our New Patient Referral Clerk registers you and prepares your chart by gathering information such as your diagnostic tests. All new referrals are triaged according to the urgency of your diagnosis. A referral can be held up if all the tests results are not available when a referral is made.
- You will be phoned about your first appointment.
- Make sure that you bring your Health Card and information about any insurance coverage with you.
- You will be asked to verify your family physician’s name, your address and phone number at the time of the first call.
- We will provide you with directions about where to come for your first appointment.
- Please be aware that cancer patients undergoing treatment have weakened immune systems and are vulnerable to viruses and infections. Make sure to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you visit the cancer centre.
Seeing Your Oncologist ...
The oncologist will plan your treatment with you after your examination and test results are completed. It is possible that you may be referred to another Cancer Centre for care and treatment. If this is the case, your oncologist will explain everything to you. If you are required to travel to your treatment, you may be eligible for assistance through the Northern Ontario Travel Grant.
You may also be eligible for a research study called a clinical trial, which is voluntary. Treatment options, benefits and risks will be explained to you. If surgery is needed after your initial consultation with the oncologist, you will be referred back to your surgeon for further follow-up. You may return to the cancer centre once the oncologist and surgeon feel further treatment is necessary.
Your First Appointment ...
Checking in at Reception
Go to the Main Reception desk of the Algoma District Cancer Program for your first appointment. Canadian Cancer Society volunteers are available to give you a brief tour of the centre, answer any questions, or help you with your forms. They also provide a refreshment service that consists of coffee, tea, water and cookies.
Your New Patient Package
You will receive an orientation package during your first visit. It contains information for new patients and their families, what to expect during treatment and community supports and resources available to you.
Additional Information for Patients
Patient and family information is located in the main reception area of the Algoma District Cancer Program. Pamphlets, books and videos on several types of cancer, treatment and support services are available in the resource centre.
- Try to bring a family member or a friend to your appointment as you may have difficulty absorbing all the new information you are given. You may also want to keep a diary or bring a pen and paper to take notes. Have the oncologist and nurse write down details about your treatment to help you explain your experience to your family and friends.
Your Follow-up Schedule ...
Once the oncologist determines that your treatment and ongoing care can be managed by your family physician, he or she will explain this to you. After your treatments are done you will be closely monitored, in collaboration with your other specialists, through appointments at the Algoma District Cancer Program every 3 to 12 months. You should also see your family doctor for regular check-ups after your treatments are done and for other health needs you may have.