Patient & Family Education, Cancer
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Chemotherapy Patient Guide

In this guide, you will learn about chemotherapy, how it works, the side effects and more.

Using this guide:

Download a PDF of this guide or read it online by using the navigation links at the bottom of each page.

Your treatment team »

The care we provide at the Odette Cancer Centre is tailored to the needs of each individual patient. Your treatment team work together to provide the best care, education, and support.

Your treatment team may consist of the following healthcare professionals:
  1. Doctors at the Odette Cancer Centre are specialists called oncologists. Our doctors specialize in specific cancer types.
    1. Surgical oncologists: are doctors that perform surgical procedures related to cancer such as biopsies and removal of lumps or tumours.
    2. Radiation oncologists: are doctors that treat cancer with radiation treatments.
    3. Medical oncologists: are doctors that treat cancer using medications, such as chemotherapy.
  2. Site nurses work with medical oncologists to help you and your family identify your individual needs and make decisions about your care.
  3. Chemotherapy nurses will give your chemotherapy. They will also explain and answer any questions about your chemotherapy side effects and antinausea drugs.
  4. Pharmacists provide information to you and your family about your medications. They will make sure you receive the correct medications and help you get the most benefit from your treatment.
  5. Drug reimbursement specialists can help you to access medications not covered by Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) by exploring other drug coverage options. They can help with the cost of some drugs.
  6. Registered dietitians/nutrition technician can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have re. diet, help you deal with eating problems, weight changes, special diets and the use of nutritional supplements.
  7. Psychologists/psychiatrists can help you and your family deal with issues related to cancer including: distress and difficulties coping, stress, and changes in relationships.
  8. Social workers can help you and your family cope with emotional and practical changes that can happen as a result of having cancer and undergoing treatment. They can help support your emotional wellbeing and assist you with a range of community programs and services.
  9. Students: Since we are a teaching hospital, you may meet students from any of the above professions.
  10. Blood Lab Technicians will take your blood and test it before any drugs can be given.
  11. Volunteers can help you to be as comfortable as possible in the chemotherapy unit in a number of ways including getting blankets or drinks or just sitting and talking with you.
  12. Occupational Therapists can help you manage fatigue and any changes you might have with your memory and concentration both during chemotherapy and after it is finished. They can help you continue to do the daily activities that are important to you.
  13. Physiotherapists can help you maintain your physical mobility and independence during and after chemotherapy treatment with a home exercise program.

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