There are many people involved in your cancer care. The cancer care team works together to give you and your family the best care and support during your cancer journey.
You and your family are the most important members of your cancer care team. You know best about your health, your values and your needs. The rest of the cancer care team will strive to work with you in order to give you care that centers on your needs.
The number and type of professionals on your cancer care team depends on your individual situation.
- An oncologist is a doctor who specializes in caring for people who have cancer. There are several different kinds of oncologists, including radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, surgical oncologists and gynecologic oncologists.
- A hematologist is a doctor who cares for and treats people with blood diseases, like leukemia.
- A palliative care doctor specializes in looking after the symptoms, side effects and emotional problems related to your cancer and its treatment.
- General practitioners in oncology (GPO) are doctors who work with oncologists and the cancer care team to plan and manage your cancer care.
- Nurses provide cancer care to patients in a variety of settings, including the Cancer Centre, hospitals and the community. Many nurses that you meet will have special training in caring for people with cancer. Nurses at the Cancer Centre work in the clinics and Chemotherapy Treatment Area. Some nurses have special roles, such as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) or a Nurse Navigator. These nurses may have special education and usually work with specific groups of patients.
- Clinic assistants and personal care assistants (PCAs) support the cancer care team in taking care of you while you are at the Cancer Centre or hospital. Clinic assistants work with the cancer care team in the clinics. Personal care assistants work as part of the cancer care team on inpatient units.
- Radiation therapists deliver radiation therapy to patients, develop treatment plans, and provide patient education and support if you receive radiation therapy.
- A medical physicist confirms your radiation treatment plan as part of the radiation safety process. Medical physics staff also ensure the equipment used for radiation therapy is working properly.
- Pharmacists check orders for cancer drugs prescribed by your oncologist and assist oncologists with questions about your cancer drugs. They also explain to you how cancer drugs work, possible side effects, instructions for taking medications and answer questions you have about your medications. Pharmacy technicians prepare cancer drugs and other medications in the pharmacy.
- A drug access navigator helps patients to assess their drug coverage and to explore other drug coverage options so they can access medications not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP).
- The aboriginal navigator provides support to people with cancer and their families who identify as having First Nations, Inuit or Metis ancestry. Support is provided by going to appointments, explaining medical information, seeking Traditional practices in care, and more. You will be supported from an Indigenous perspective by someone of Indigenous ancestry. It’s your cancer journey, guided by you with support to address the health of your spirit, your mind, your emotion and your body.
The aboriginal navigator works with patients and families by telephone or in person. You can refer yourself by calling 613-549-6666 or 1-800-567-5722 extension 3851, or by talking to a member of your health care team. Skennenkowa (great peace to you).