Oncology and Haematology Clinic

Making an appointment 

Your care team will set up any appointments or consultations you may need with our team.

Your first visit: what to bring 

  • A list of your current medicines, and herbal/vitamin supplements
  • Imaging from other hospitals including mammograms, ultrasounds, or x-rays
  • Contact information of your family doctor or any specialists you are currently seeing or have seen
  • Drug store name, address, and phone number
  • A notepad and pen to take notes; this can help you remember everything your health care team tells you when you go home
  • OHIP card, drug insurance card, or any other method of payment for possible prescriptions
  • Family member or friend may come if you wish.

What to expect

  • Please check in at the reception desk.
  • You will be asked to wait in the waiting room until your name is called.
  • Your first visit to the clinic will likely be a consultation with an oncologist or hematologist. These are doctors who specialize in treating cancer.
  • The doctor will discuss your case with you and determine the next steps.
  • The doctor will explain if you require treatment and what your options are. If  you require treatment, they will tell you about the benefits and side effects. You will not receive any treatment during this first visit.
  • You will be provided with any necessary follow up appointments.

Chemotherapy Treatment

Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in your body. Chemotherapy is most often used to treat cancer, since cancer cells grow and multiply much more quickly than most cells in the body. Many different chemotherapy drugs are available. Chemotherapy drugs can be used alone or in combination to treat a wide variety of cancers.

Chemotherapy is used to destroy cancer cells in people with cancer. There are a variety of settings in which chemotherapy may be used in people with cancer:

  • To cure cancer without other treatments. Chemotherapy can be used as the primary or sole treatment for cancer.
  • To destroy hidden cancer cells following other treatments. Chemotherapy can be used after other treatments, such as surgery, to destroy any cancer cells that might remain in the body. Doctors call this adjuvant therapy.
  • To prepare you for other treatments. Chemotherapy can be used to shrink a tumor so that other treatments, such as radiation and surgery, are possible. Doctors call this neoadjuvant therapy.
  • To ease signs and symptoms. Chemotherapy may help relieve signs and symptoms of cancer by killing some of the cancer cells. Doctors call this supportive or palliative chemotherapy.

Teaching appointment

If you require chemotherapy, you will be given a teaching appointment. At this appointment you will learn about chemotherapy, its potential side effects and the treatment that you will be receiving. We recognize that receiving a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and unfamiliar so you will be given some information and contact information at this time.

Preparing for your chemotherapy treatment

Most of the time you will be asked to come to the clinic the day before your treatment to have your blood work done. Sometimes treatment has to be delayed due to changes in your blood counts. This is nothing to worry about - the nurse will call you and tell you not to come to the treatment and give you a new appointment date and time. 

what to bring to your visit:

  • Ontario Health Card.
  • Drug insurance information (i.e. Group and policy numbers for private insurance plans, Trillium, Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program etc.) You are responsible for the cost of drugs prescribed that are not covered by Ontario Health Insurance. If you do not have drug coverage, please let us know.
  • Name, address and phone number of your family doctor, next of kin, and emergency contact.
  • A list of medicines you are currently taking including over the counter drugs.
  • Equipment you need (i.e. oxygen tanks etc.)
  • Snack/lunch or a drink, or you can buy food at MGH, on the ground floor, prior to your treatment.
  • Book, magazine, iPads, etc.
  • Money for parking or anything else you may buy on site, or you can use the bank machine on the ground floor.
  • Family member or friend may come if you wish.

Check-in 

  • Please check in with the receptionists at the front desk.
  • You will be asked to wait in the waiting room until your name is called.
  • Tell us how you're feeling: After checking in at reception, please take a moment to complete the Symptom Screening at the kiosk. Our volunteers and staff would be happy to help if you need assistance. You will be asked questions about your symptoms, such as your pain, appetite and well-being. Your responses will help the healthcare team understand how you are feeling at today's visit and track changes over time so that your symptoms can be managed appropriately. The "Your Symptoms Matter" survey was designed by Cancer Care Ontario to help assist conversations with your care team. Symptom guides are available from Cancer Care Ontario to help you manage any symptoms you experience.

during your chemotherapy treatment

  • A nurse will bring you into the chemotherapy suite.
  • Once you are settled in your chair, a thin tube will be inserted into your vein. This is called an intravenous line (IV). It is how the chemotherapy will enter your body. Instead of an IV, you might have a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) or a small device placed beneath your skin called a Port-a-Cath.
  • A nurse will check on you frequently to make sure you are not having any problems related to the medicine.
  • If you feel uncomfortable at any time during your chemotherapy, please let someone on your healthcare team know.
  • You are welcome to relax, read, or eat while receiving your treatment.
  • A member of your health care team will always be available to answer any questions or concerns that you have.

Visitors 

  • Visitors are welcome but might be asked to leave periodically for the team to be able to conduct their work.
  • One to two visitors are permitted due to limited space.

Electronic Devices

  • Computers, mobile phones, and other devices may be used, but MGH is not responsible for the loss of these items or any other valuables

After your chemotherapy treatment:

  • After your treatment, your IV will be removed and you will be able to go home.
  • You might need to pick up your medicines from the pharmacy before you go.

going home after your treatment

Everyone responds to chemotherapy differently, and some of the side effects can be unpleasant. It is good for you to know which side effects require the help of a health care professional. Please seek medical attention from your nearest emergency department if you experience the following symptoms: 

  • A fever above 38° C or 100.5° F and/or you feel chills (Do NOT take Tylenol. Make sure you tell the staff, particularly if you go to the emergency that you are receiving chemotherapy)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours after chemotherapy and you are losing a lot of fluids
  • No bowel movements for three days
  • Pain not controlled by prescribed medication
  • Blood in your vomit or black stool
  • Bleeding gums, a bleeding nose of if you’re bruising for no reason
  • Dizziness, extreme tiredness or shortness of breath
  • A congested chest, non-stop cough or yellow, green or rusty-coloured mucous
  • A painful throat or mouth causing you not to be able to eat or having problems swallowing
  • A burning feeling when you urinate, blood in your urine or less urine than usual

*Please call a member of your healthcare team if you experience any health problems that concern you.

Phone
416-469-6580 ext. 2624

Physicians:

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