Your Appointments

On behalf of our Regional Cancer Care team, we welcome you to Regional Cancer Care Northwest. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible care, support, and information, ensuring privacy, dignity, comfort and safety during each of your visits.

This page includes the following topics:

  • What to Bring to All of Your Appointments
  • Tips for Your Appointments
  • Your First Appointment
  • Orientation
  • Meeting with your Care Team
  • Future appointments
  • Appointment changes
  • Telemedicine Services
  • Tests and Lab results

To find out important information about the Regional Cancer Centre, our programs and services as well as information about the people who work here, please click on the links in the menu on the main page.


What to Bring to All of Your Appointments

  • Your Health Card (show your Health Card at every appointment)
  • Your appointment sheet (if you have one)
  • Your family doctor’s name and phone number (confirmed at each appointment)
  • Your address and phone number (confirmed at each appointment)
  • The name and phone number of at least 2 contact people if we cannot reach you about an appointment change
  • Your list of questions, if you have been keeping a list
  • Reading glasses, notebook and pen to take notes
  • Portable oxygen if you need it
  • Your medications or an up-to-date list, including:
    • all prescription medications
    • all over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal remedies
    • all topical creams and inhalers
  • Feel free to bring snacks. Light refreshments are provided by the volunteers.

You can download a printable checklist of these items here.

Tips for Your Appointments

Here are some helpful and important tips for patients to remember before each and every appointment:

  • Make a list of questions you want to ask during your appointment
  • Arrive 15 minutes early in order to have time to:
    • find a parking spot
    • check-in 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled appointment time
    • complete the Your Symptoms Matter assessment before seeing your doctor
  • Bring a pen and some paper to take notes
  • Bring a family member or friend to each appointment for support or to help you discuss your care with the cancer care team

Your First Appointment

Please check in for your first appointment at the Regional Cancer Centre’s Main Reception Desk, located on Level 2 of our Hospital:

  • Enter the Hospital through the Main Entrance revolving doors
  • Once inside, go directly ahead and you will find the entrance to the Regional Cancer Centre
  • Go through these doors to find the Regional Cancer Centre’s Main Reception Desk. This is where you will “check-in”, for your appointment.
  • The clerk who registers your arrival will also direct you to the correct location to wait for your appointment.

Orientation

Our volunteers wearing green lanyards will welcome you and provide a brief 10-minute orientation, helping you become familiar with the Regional Cancer Centre.


After the volunteer orientation a supportive care team member will provide 15 minute oreintation about:

  • How you and your family access emotional, practical, nutritional, and smoking cessation services.
  • How you are to complete the Your Symptoms Matter assessment. This assessment asks about how you are feeling, and helps us better manage any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Meeting with Your Care Team

After orientation, you will meet with a nurse and cancer doctor. Together with you, they plan your treatment and co-ordinate any tests and services you may need. The doctor and nurse will ask questions about your present and past health. This is the time to talk about your health and any concerns.

Although your doctor or surgeon has sent your medical information to the Regional Cancer Centre, the cancer doctor may need more information, tests, or blood work to plan your treatment. You may also need to see other team members for more discussion and review of treatment options.

There is a lot of information to remember. We recommend you bring a family member or friend to all appointments to listen and take notes.

Key points:

  • You will be given written information
  • You may need to make decisions to help your health care team plan your treatment
  • You may need to sign consent forms. If these forms are confusing, please let us know – we can help.
  • If you do not need treatment at this time, you may be asked to come back for a follow-up appointment
  • Bring a family member or loved one to your appointments to listen and take notes

Appointments

Future Appointments

Always arrive at least 15 minutes early for your appointment at the Regional Cancer Centre.

  • Bring your Health Card to each appointment.
  • Check in with the clerk at the Main Reception Desk.
  • The clerk will ask you to confirm:
    • your address and phone number
    • preferred pharmacy
    • family doctor or primary care provider

After registering with the clerk, you must complete the Your Symptoms Matter assessment on the computer or iPad. Ask the volunteers or a staff member if you need help to log on to this program.


The computer or iPad may prompt you to complete a short patient experience survey called Your Voice Matters. This survey gives you the chance to share your thoughts about each visit to the Regional Cancer Centre. Please complete this 5 minute survey so that together we can improve the patient experience for everyone.


When meeting with your nurse and cancer doctor, they will:

  • review your medications
  • ask questions about your health and how you are doing
  • the doctor may also do a physical examination

Appointment Changes

At the Regional Cancer Centre we try hard to make sure that your appointments go ahead as planned, but changes can happen.

  • We will give you as much notice as possible if your clinic appointment needs to be changed.
  • Your doctor works as part of a team and you may on occasion see a different doctor.
  • Appointments can be mailed to you up to one year in advance. Please mark these appointments in your calendar.
  • If you need to change or cancel an appointment, call the Regional Cancer Centre as soon as possible. You must call at least 24 hours ahead of your appointment time.

To cancel or change an appointment, please phone (807) 684-7200 or toll-free 1-877-696-7223.

Telemedicine Services

Telemedicine Services uses special video monitors and equipment. This service connects patients with doctors and health care professionals so patients do not have to travel long distances to their health care appointments.

  • Patients living in Northwestern Ontario may be scheduled to visit their local hospital or clinic to use the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) or the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Telemedicine Network (KOTM, serving Indigenous communities).
  • These Telemedicine systems make it easy for patients to participate in health care appointments with their doctor and other health care professionals.

For more information about Telemedicine Services, please speak to your health care team.
Click to learn more about Telemedicine Services

Tests and Lab Results

We understand that waiting for test results can be difficult. Test and lab results are usually given during clinic appointments with your doctor or you may be called at home.


Our lab is located in the Regional Cancer Centre on Level 3.

  • Please arrive at the scheduled time for your lab appointment. This will decrease the time you will wait for these services.
  • If you do not have a scheduled appointment, it is best to come in the afternoon when the lab is less busy
  • If you are going to the Chemotherapy Unit for treatment, lab work may be done on a different day prior to the day of your treatment
  • Please note: our lab is used only for tests ordered by your Regional Cancer Care doctor. Tests ordered by your family doctor or primary care provider must be done at a community lab.