Cancer Care: Patient Journey
For every cancer patient, the journey to diagnosis is unique. For many, it starts with referral to hospital by your general practitioner (GP), while for others it happens through regular screening.
No matter what your journey looks like, we encourage you to be an active participant in your care. Your first appointment at the Cancer Centre can often be very stressful and cause a lot of anxiety. You should never be afraid to ask us questions or for help and advice. If it makes you feel more comfortable, bring a member of your family along to support you.
If you are diagnosed with a cancer, you will be referred to an oncologist for evaluation and treatment recommendations. Your oncologist will vary depending on the type of treatment you are receiving:
- Medical oncologist: this is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy.
- Surgical oncologist: surgical oncology is a specialty that focuses on the surgical treatment of a variety of tumours.
- Radiation oncologist: radiation oncology is a medical specialty that involves treating cancer with radiation. Doctors who specialize in treating cancer with radiation (radiation oncologists) use radiation therapy to treat a wide variety of cancers.
Before your arrival
Please ensure that you bring the following with you for your first appointment:
- Your current medications in their original container/packaging, or a list of medications from your pharmacy.
- Your insurance/medical cover details, if relevant.
- We recommend that you are accompanied by your next of kin or a friend for support.
Unless advised otherwise by your doctor, you may drive to the centre for your treatment.
A member of the Cancer Centre team will greet you at our main reception, where your details will be verified and you will be asked to sign your private health insurance documentation and a general hospital consent form.
If you are a day oncology patient, you are required to have your bloods taken an hour prior to your chemotherapy treatment and you will be directed to our phlebotomy department. Following your blood test, you will be shown to our day oncology ward or Radiotherapy department. If for any reason you would like to be assisted to your designated area, this can be arranged by a member of staff.
If you attend our radiotherapy department for treatment or consultation, you will be greeted by a member of our team and your appointment details will be verified.
Your first visit to the radiotherapy department
On your first visit you will meet with a doctor called a consultant radiation oncologist and members of the team who will look after you. Your past medical history will be reviewed, you will be examined and treatment options will be discussed with you.
Before you start your treatment, you may be asked to attend the Cancer Centre for a scan. This scan will take approximately 30 minutes and will help your consultant to devise a treatment plan for you. Any particular preparation required for this scan will be discussed with you at your initial consultation, and confirmed when arranging your treatment dates.
A letter will be sent to you with the upcoming dates and time of your treatment. When you arrive at the radiotherapy department, you will be greeted by the administration team at the main reception desk. Prior to your treatment or scan, if you have any questions about your preparation, we are happy to discuss this with you.
Your first visit to day oncology
On your first visit to day oncology you will meet the nurse who will look after you on the day. You will be given an introduction to the department, where your surroundings will be made familiar to you. You will be settled into one of our treatment areas and you will then be assessed by your nurse. Your past medical history will be discussed, along with any questions you may have.
Tea/coffee and a light snack will be provided for all our patients during their early morning attendance and a light lunch will be provided at midday. If you have any special dietary requirements, these will be taken into account by our catering staff.
Remember, our team are always happy to talk to you about your cancer and treatment plan. If you need more information, please do not hesitate to ask us at any point before or during your treatment.
The Cancer Centre team is committed to delivering the highest quality care to all our patients, and being part of your cancer journey and enhancing your experience is at the forefront of all that we do.