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
  • What to bring to all of your appointments
  • 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 (you will need to show your Health Card at every appointment)
  • Your appointment sheet (if you have one)
  • Your family doctor’s name and phone number (will be confirmed at each appointment)
  • Your address and phone number (will be 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 to travel to and from the Regional Cancer Centre
  • Prescription medications in their original containers including, drops, creams, inhalers, or a complete list
  • Vitamins, herbal products or other treatments you are using
  • Over-the-counter or non-prescription medications (including herbal medications and aspirin), or a complete list
  • 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 remember to ask during your appointment
  • Arrive 15 minutes early in order to have time to:
    • find a parking spot
    • check in at the Regional Cancer Centre Reception Desk
    • complete the Your Symptoms Matter assessment
  • Bring a pen and some paper to take notes
  • You are encouraged to 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 3 of our Hospital:

  • Enter Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre through the Main Entrance (revolving doors)
  • Ahead of you and slightly to the left is the Regional Cancer Centre
  • Go slightly left through the glass doors opposite the Main Entrance to the Regional Cancer Centre’s Garden of Hope
  • From this point, you may take the stairs on the right or the elevator straight ahead up to Level 3, where you will arrive at Main Reception


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 this orientation the volunteer will bring you to our Supportive Care Program where a supportive care team member will spend 15 minutes to:

  • explain how you and your family can get help with emotional, practical, nutritional, and smoking cessation services
  • help you complete the Your Symptoms Matter assessment on the computer. The assessment asks about how you are feeling. It helps us 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 care team plan your treatment
  • You may need to sign consent forms. If you find the forms too confusing, please let us know.
  • 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


Future Appointments

Always arrive at least 10 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. You will be asked to confirm your address, phone number, preferred pharmacy and family doctor/primary care provider.

After registering with the clerk, you must complete the Your Symptoms Matter assessment on the computer or iPad. Volunteers and staff are trained to help you 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 the 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
  • ask how you are doing
  • the doctor may also do a physical examination

You may have other appointments within the Regional Cancer Centre.

Appointment Changes

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, so 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 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.