My Cancer Journey has a wealth of information and resource for you and your family. It has been developed by patients, family members, and our care team to guide you through the cancer experience and give you information and community resources that will help you along the way.
What to Expect During Your Visits
After checking in at the Main Lobby – Registration Desk, your first visit to the Cancer Centre will include an orientation where you will meet with a Supportive Care staff member and a volunteer.
You will meet a volunteer who will show you the Cancer Centre and answer any questions you may have about the Centre.
You will then have a nursing assessment and a consultation with an Oncologist and/or a Nurse Practitioner, and together you can discuss the most effective care and treatment for you. At this time we strongly recommend having a family member or friend with you. They can help complete the “Patient Information Form” and can write down the answers to your questions.
Your first consultation visit will take approximately 3 hours. Delays may happen, so it is recommended that you do not schedule other activities or appointments that day.
The Oncology Nurse gathers information and will take a detailed medical history. They may provide some general information as to what to expect during the plan of care, and outline additional supportive care services that may be helpful depending on your Oncologist’s treatment recommendations. Your Oncologist will be made aware of any concerns requiring further assessment.
About Your Treatment
Systemic therapy includes:
Your care team will decide and explain which systemic therapy will work best for you and your type of cancer.
There are several ways systemic therapy is given:
Systemic therapy may be given in cycles. A cycle means you will receive treatment for a period of time, such as a few weeks, and then take a break from treatment. Then you will begin again, followed by a break, and so on. Your care team will tell you how many cycles you need.
Not all of the systemic therapy will be used up in your body. Some of it will still be in your body fluids. To protect your family, you will need to follow your care team’s advice for a short period of time. Your Nurse may give you more details about this, depending on your type of treatment.
Once you and your Oncologist have decided on chemotherapy, your treatment will be booked. The Cancer Pharmacist and Nurse will talk to you about the drugs and their side effects and explain how to deal with them.
Each chemotherapy visit will begin with a blood test to see if your blood counts are at the correct levels to receive treatment. Blood should be drawn and processed by the hospital. This ensures faster results and the availability of results directly through the hospital computer system.
The time a chemotherapy treatment takes depends on the drugs being used, and can be from one hour to six hours.
Your treatment visits will be booked ahead of time. Each time you are at the Cancer Centre, the Clerk will give you a time for your next visit.
It is important to us that we answer your questions and make you as comfortable as possible. We can also arrange for visiting Nurses or other help at home during or after your treatment.
Treatment Day Instructions
Thank you for being an active participant in your care and respecting the needs of yourself and other patients.
Radiation therapy uses high energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells.
Go to the Radiation Reception Desk on the ground floor of the Cancer Centre. This is where the clerk will check you into the computer. This tells the treatment team that you have arrived. Remember to bring your appointment card.
Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of patients who are diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses. This medical approach looks at each individual as a whole – physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.
The goal of palliative medicine is to provide education and help you and your family make proactive and informed decisions about managing your illness and symptoms. These symptoms may include pain, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, physical stress, or mental stress. These symptoms may come from the disease itself, or from the treatments used to treat the disease. Medication, radiation therapy, and other complementary therapies may be used to manage symptoms.
The Palliative Care Team is made up of specialized physicians and nurses who work very closely with your larger care team, including oncologists, social workers, dietitians, and the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) or other community service providers. Our palliative care team works to understand your concerns, needs, and wishes, and creates an environment in which you feel comfortable asking questions and actively participating in your own care. Once symptoms have been well managed, many people experience an improved quality of life and reduced anxiety.
If you have cancer you may get side effects from treatment or symptoms from the cancer. Cancer Care Ontario has created patient guides to help you and your loved ones manage your symptoms. The guides are filled with easy to understand, practical tips for what you should do and when to get help from your care team.
Please note: There is no delivery service.
There is a lab located in the Main Hospital where you should have your blood drawn 24 - 72 hours before your chemotherapy treatment.
Please ensure that you arrive at least 10 minutes before the close of the Lab, in order for your labs to be drawn.
May be closed on holidays.
Please note: The Main Hospital Laboratory cannot take lab requests from healthcare providers outside of the Cancer Centre.
Your team of caregivers includes: Nurses, Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Unit Clerks, Pharmacists, Respiratory, Therapists, Registered Dieticians, Chaplains, Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Volunteers.
For Your Comfort
Concierge Service Hours
When a Loved One is Dying
Inside the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County with a difficult, but important conversation about what to expect when a loved one is nearing the end of life.
See inside the Radiation Treatment Room at WRH. Learn what to expect during treatment and see how it all works!
Many misconceptions surrounding clinical trials and cancer. Do you feel like a guinea pig when even just discussing becoming a possible candidate?
Fitness After Cancer
Get your runners on, grab some light weights and get moving with CANSWERS CENTRE LIVE! In this webcast we talk about the toll cancer takes on your body and ways you can regain your strength after cancer. There is also a BONUS WORKOUT with special guests from the RENEW fitness program. They have some easy exercises to get EVERYONE moving after an illness or a period of inactivity.
The benefits and challenges of quitting smoking while dealing with cancer and going through treatment.
Is cancer in your genes? How does genetic testing work? Who qualifies? And what exactly can our genes tell us about our cancer risk?
Hair Loss - The Second Big Blow
At the Wings to Wellness & Mastectomy Boutique - the most common questions patients ask when they start losing their hair!
Plugged in & Social
Exploring the benefits of using social media to share, learn, connect and unwind during cancer treatment. Guest Christy Litster spoke about how a video series highlighting her journey made the experience easier for her, her family, friends and complete strangers.
From the Chemo Suite, with Michelle Prince!
Pulling back the curtains for a peak at life in the chemo suite. Michelle Prince has received her 56th round of treatment and invited everyone to join her for the ride. While receiving treatment she’ll share her story, offer tips she’s learned throughout her journey and answer questions.
Sexuality, Intimacy and Cancer
A sensitive and sometimes difficult to discuss topic with special guest Dr. Anne Katz, author of Breaking the Silence on Cancer and Sexuality and Sex when you are Sick.
Survivorship – The New Normal
We’re discussing life after cancer. For many that means celebration, relief, fear, anxiety and everything in between.
From Partner to Caregiver
From loving spouse to constant caregiver and about how cancer affects relationships.
Nutrition During Treatment
How to get the right nutrition to keep you strong during treatment. A discussion all about staying healthy, being active and eating well.
Cancer at Christmas
We’re talking about what it’s like going through the holidays with cancer and what you can do for the ones you love who are dealing with cancer treatments this holiday season.
I Have Cancer Now What?!
In the first segment of Canswers Centre Live, we discussed what it’s like to receive the news of having cancer. We spoke with Martha Marks cancer survivor and Colleen about what it’s like the first moment when a doctor tells you, you have cancer. There are so many mixed emotions when you or a loved one are being told they have cancer. So many questions that can come to mind and most of all the fears associated with the word CANCER.
Social Workers can help you with:
RENEW is a survivorship program that is held twice a year. The program has been designed for participants who have completed their treatment. It consists of a five-part educational series on general survivorship, nutrition and eating healthy, active living and exercise and cancer genetics and family tree workshop. The program also offers a ten-week exercise program in partnership with a local gym that customizes training to the individual needs of cancer patients.
Please check with your Nurse for dates, times and locations, or for more information or to sign up for a class, please call: 519-253-5253 from Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.
To view videos of past RENEW sessions, please select from the topics below and press "playback":
Your input assists our Patient and Family Advisory Council in making lasting impact improvements for patients with cancer and their caregivers across the Erie St. Clair Region in the areas of prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, palliative and end-of-life care.
Council membership includes patients, family members and caregivers from the Chatham-Kent, Sarnia/Lambton and Windsor/Essex area. Membership also includes cancer program leadership and staff.
Children 18 years of age or under will not be charged. If you cannot pay the fee, the Canadian Cancer Society may be able to help through their Compassionate Program.
For more information or to register for this service, please call 1-800-263-6750.
Kingsville Wellness Programs (Hospice Program)
Wellness Centre Programs at Kingsville Community Church
1860 Division Rd. N. Kingsville, ON N9Y2Z1
Kingsville satellite Wellness programs currently include:
Basic Functional Fitness,
Guitar Lessons, and
Ovarian Cancer Canada
Windsor-Essex Prostate Cancer Support Group
P: Preston and Germaine: 519-839-5723
Don Batten: 519-776-8834
Wayne Zimney: 519-996-5795
Losing hair is one of the most stressful side effects of cancer treatment.
There is no best way to deal with hair loss. The best way is the one that is most comfortable. It depends how comfortable you are with baldness and keeping your head warm in cooler weather.
If you would like a wig, the best time to buy one is before you lose any hair, especially if you want a wig that looks like your style and colour. It helps the stylist create the best match. Some women use the change to try different styles and colours!
Many insurance companies pay for a wig when there is a written prescription from your Oncologist.
Hats, Scarves and Turbans
Some people find that the easiest and most comfortable choices are hats, scarves or turbans. You may have these already, or buy custom items made for people who are getting chemotherapy.
You can visit the Women’s Resource Centre in the Cancer Centre lobby. There you will find a brochure called "Community Resources for Wigs, Hats, Scarves and Turbans." It has a list of local people and companies who sell these items.
The Psychosocial Health Services department also has hats and scarves for patients.
The Look Good Feel Better Program helps with ways to tie scarves, and ways to make you look and feel better while losing hair during and after chemotherapy. It is a free program held once per month at the Cancer Centre. Ask a member of your care team for more information.
A breast prosthesis is a breast form that can be used after a mastectomy to replace the removed breast. You can use two if you had a double mastectomy. This can help to balance the body and to protect against back and neck pain and a sagging shoulder. It may also help bras and clothing to fit better. Breast prostheses come in many shapes, sizes, and materials.
You can visit the Women’s Resource Centre in the lobby of the Cancer Centre. There you will find a brochure "Community Resources for Breast Prosthesis". The brochure has a list of local people and companies who sell breast prostheses. They also sell healing kits for after surgery
For more information about ADP, contact:
Assistive Devices Program
Social Services Benefits
Please note that you will not receive a call from your care team with normal test results. The care team will only contact you directly if a test ordered by an Oncologist comes back abnormal.
Your Oncologist, by the very nature of their training and expertise, follows evidence-based treatments and guidelines for their recommendations. Cancer Care Ontario also outlines Evidence-Based Guidelines, which can be found here.
Your Oncologist also has the opportunity to discuss treatment options at Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences that are attended by cancer specialists. Some of these disciplines may include Oncology, Surgery, Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging and so on. Multiple experts provide a consensus opinion in the decision-making process for cancer treatment.
If you have a cancer related health concern (or if you have a health concern related to your cancer diagnosis), and it cannot wait until your next visit, please call the Cancer Centre at 519-253-5253. Telephones are answered Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm by Call Centre Clerks. The Call Centre will give your message to your care team. Calls are answered in order of importance. You will be called back within 1-3 business days.
If you need a cancer related prescription renewal, please let your pharmacy know at least 3 business days before your prescription runs out. If required, the pharmacy will contact the ordering Oncologist.
To protect your confidentiality, we need your permission if we are to speak to a family member. If you wish to appoint one family member as your spokesperson, please tell us who that person will be. Please talk to a member of your health care team about your wishes regarding confidentiality.
What if I have a non-cancer related health concern?
Windsor Regional Cancer Centre
Main Line: (519) 253-5253 (Mon – Fri excluding holidays)
1995 Lens Avenue
(Alsace Avenue Entrance)
Note: All non-urgent phone messages taken after hours are held for processing until the next business day.
METROPOLITAN CAMPUS: 1995 Lens Avenue, Windsor, ON N8W 1L9
1030 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON N9A 1E1