Arriving at the Grand River Hospital’s regional cancer centre
At your first visit you will need to register at the main registration desk in the main lobby of the cancer centre. After you have registered, a volunteer will guide you to your clinic appointment where you will wait until the doctor is ready to see you. At each subsequent visit you must check in at main registration desk.
Meeting the oncologist and specialized oncology nursing team
When it is your turn to see the doctor, you will be called into an examination room. We encourage you to bring a family member or a friend to support you during your appointment. It is at this time you will meet your oncologist and a member of your nursing team. You will likely be examined and then they will talk to you about your treatment options.
It may be possible for you to reach a decision about your treatment plan at this visit, or you and the oncologist may need more time to decide on the best treatment plan for you. We want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of your diagnosis and the recommended treatment plan.
Once a plan is created, you will be asked to sign a verification of treatment form, also known as a consent form. This form verifies that you understand the treatment risks, benefits, and alternatives, and that you agree to have the treatment. You may withdraw your consent for treatment at any time if you change your mind.
Sample questions to ask at your first appointment
It is helpful to bring a list of questions to discuss with your oncologist on the day of your first appointment.
Here are a few questions you many want to ask:
- What is my diagnosis?
- Is there any evidence the cancer has spread?
- What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why?
- What are the expected benefits of each treatment?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
- Will I have to change my normal activities? If so, for how long?
- What can I do to prepare for treatment?
- How often will I have treatments?
- How long will my treatments last?
- Is there a cost to the treatment?
- Can I still engage in sexual activity?
- Is infertility a side effect of cancer treatment? If so, can anything be done about it?
You will have many opportunities to ask the oncologist and your inter-professional care team to explain things to you and to get more information.