Diagnostic Assessment Units (DAUs)

Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) offers Diagnostic Assessment Units (DAUs) for Breast, Chest, Colorectal and Thyroid to speed up the care for patients who may have cancer.

Breast Diagnostic Assessment Unit (Breast DAU)

Many patients start to worry as soon as they discover anything unusual with their breasts. Our Breast Diagnostic Assessment Unit (Breast DAU) works to ensure you and your referring doctor will have a diagnosis of the problem within seven days of your visit to our unit.

Our Breast DAU is overseen by a team of highly trained clinicians who specialize in breast cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. Members include diagnostic imaging specialists, general surgeons, pathologists, medical oncologists, nurses and clerical staff.

As soon as we receive your referral, we arrange  for you to be assessed. Our clinic staff includes our General Surgeons, a Navigator and a nurse. When you come to the clinic, our Navigator ensures that the investigation proceeds smoothly and in a timely manner. The Navigator works with you to arrange all the required tests such as  mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies are scheduled. Seven days later, you discuss your diagnosis with the surgeon and nurse. The navigator again ensures that if surgery is required that you are scheduled promptly. Additional visits to specialists are also scheduled so that you can be assured all aspects of your care have been looked after. If you do not need surgery but you need ongoing monitoring, this is also arranged with you and communicated to your family doctor.   We ensure that you receive excellent care in a timely manner.

Family Physicians can refer patients directly to clinic using downloaded referral form or an office referral form if the patient has any of the following: Palpable Breast Lump; Suspicious Mammogram/Ultrasound; Drainage from Nipple; Abnormal/Change in Breast Appearance.

Chest Diagnostic Assessment Unit (Chest DAU)

Patients are referred to the Chest Diagnostic Assessment Unit (Chest DAU) because they have had an x-ray that shows something abnormal in their chest or they have symptoms of chest diseases, such as coughing up blood. There are a number of different diseases that could produce symptoms, ranging from scar tissue, infections and cancers. Our team ensures that you will receive state of the art diagnosis and treatment when you are referred to us.

Our program is supervised by a highly trained team of doctors who specialize in diseases of the chest. Our team of surgeons, respirologists, respiratory therapists collaborate to decide the necessary tests to diagnose your condition. The Navigator works with you to schedule all of the needed tests and procedures in a timely manner and in the right order so that your condition is diagnosed as quickly as possible. If surgery is needed, you will be scheduled promptly. Our team will also ensure that you are enrolled in additional treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation when these are required. If you do not need surgery, we ensure that you are scheduled for ongoing monitoring of your condition and we communicate this to your family doctor.

Collaboration between Michael Garron Hospital and Lakeridge Health means patients living in East Toronto, Scarborough and West Durham are now able to receive world-class thoracic surgical service right in their own community. Depending on where you live, you could be matched with the Chest Diagnostic Assessment Unit at Michael Garron Hospital or the program at Lakeridge Health. You will be seen quickly by our thoracic experts who will care for you from diagnosis to treatment, close to your home.

Colorectal Diagnostic Assessment Unit (Colorectal DAU)

When your family doctor decides that cancer of your bowel or rectum should be ruled out, you will be referred to our Colorectal Diagnostic Assessment Unit (Colorectal DAU). Our program is supervised by a team of highly trained doctors, surgeons and nurses who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer.

We review your referral within 24 hours of receiving it. Our nurse navigator will contact you within 1-2 business days to arrange your appointment. Your family doctor will give you instructions on how to prepare. In addition, our nurse navigator will help you prepare for your appointment. Once your appointment is finalized, the nurse will make sure that you understand when to arrive and how to prepare for your procedure and for your discharge home. The nurse navigator answers your questions and helps you obtain information if you need it.

A colonoscopy is a safe, effective way to examine the full lining of the colon and rectum (bowel). A long, flexible tube with a small camera inside is used during the procedure. Most patients are sedated to make them more comfortable. The procedure usually takes less than one hour. The doctor may remove polyps or take biopsies as necessary. Following the procedure, there may be slight discomfort, which quickly improves when you expel gas.

Your results are often available immediately after the procedure. The doctor who did the examination will discuss them with you. If you need further testing to complete your diagnosis and treatment plan, we will ensure the appointments are set up. If surgery is needed, you will have high priority. If you do not need surgery but you need further follow up or monitoring, we will ensure that you and your family doctor are informed.

 

Thyroid Diagnostic Assessment Unit (Thyroid DAU)

Our Thyroid Diagnostic Assessment Unit (Thyroid DAU) offers access to the services of a team of highly trained clinicians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid lumps or tumors. Members include Surgeons, Endocrinologists, Diagnostic Imaging Specialist, Pathologists, nurses and clerical staff. Michael Garron Hospital is affiliated with Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre. 

Once your family doctor sends us a referral with your test results, our Navigator will contact you and set up your first appointment usually within 2 weeks at your convenience. We will ensure your questions are answered and that you are informed of the progress of your investigation so you can make decisions about your care. If you need surgery you will have high priority. If you do not need surgery, but need further follow up we will ensure you are monitored by our endocrinologists and that your family doctor is informed.

 

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