Cancer Treatment

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can bring up a lot of questions and anxiety. It is normal to feel that treatment should start right away. However, it is important for your doctors to understand as much as they can about your cancer before treatment begins. This process may take days, weeks, or even longer depending on your situation. Once your doctors have gathered all the information they need, you will meet with an oncologist (doctor who specializes in cancer treatment) to discuss treatment options.

There are many different types of cancer treatment. Your personal treatment plan will depend on the type of cancer you have, how much the cancer has grown, whether or not the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, your health status, and your personal preferences. The doctor caring for you may refer you to a specialist for surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, or another type of treatment. You may receive one type of treatment or a combination of different types.

What can I expect if I am referred to the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre?

An oncologist will review the information provided by the referring physician. Sometimes the oncologist will require more information, such as additional testing or a report that is not yet available. If this happens, the oncologist will order the test or request the report before your first appointment is booked. When they have all the information they need, you will then receive a phone call from the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre with your appointment details.

Learn more about cancer treatment wait times.

If you have questions about your referral, and you were referred to the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre by a doctor or nurse practitioner located outside PEI, please contact the Cancer Patient Navigator.

If you have questions about your referral, and you were referred to the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre by a doctor or nurse practitioner located within PEI, please contact the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre directly at 902-894-2027.

What if I want a second opinion or treatment in another province?

In some cases a second opinion or treatment in another province may be desired, or necessary. Certain procedures require prior approval from Health PEI. Check with your doctor before making any arrangements. Learn more about accessing out-of-province medical services.

The costs of travel and accommodations are your responsibility. If your family income is low, you may qualify for financial support. Please contact the Cancer Patient Navigator for more information.

What can I expect during my first appointment at the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre?

Most patients will be invited to attend a patient orientation session a few days before their consultation with an oncologist. The purpose of this group session is to introduce you to the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre, let you know about resources available to you, answer your questions, and help you prepare for your upcoming consultation and treatment.

Your consultation appointment may take up to two hours.  You will complete important paperwork and a nurse will review your information and do a nursing assessment. The oncologist overseeing your care will examine you, discuss your diagnosis, and discuss treatment options. Depending on your unique needs, you may meet with other members of your cancer care team as well. Most patients will not begin treatment on the day of their consultation.

We recommend that you bring a support person with you to your orientation session and consultation appointment.

When will my treatment begin?

When you and your oncologist have agreed on a treatment plan it will enter the preparation phase. You may require additional tests or imaging, medication approval, or education sessions. Your care team will be working hard behind the scenes to get all the details in place. This phase can take a few days or a few weeks depending on the specific needs of your treatment plan.

Where and when will I receive my treatment?

The PEI Cancer Treatment Centre has two clinic sites. You may receive treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) or at the Prince County Hospital (PCH), or at a combination of both sites depending on your location and needs. Radiation oncology appointments and treatments are only available at the QEH.

The total number and frequency of treatments will depend on your personalized treatment plan. Most treatments are administered on an outpatient basis, meaning you will not stay overnight in hospital. At the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre we provide treatment during regular business hours, which means it is not likely you will be receiving any treatments on weekends or holidays.

Resources

Canadian Cancer Society: Newly Diagnosed

Canadian Cancer Society: Types of Cancer Treatment

 

Published date: 
July 27, 2022
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