Windsor Regional Internet Site

Programs, Services and Resources

Prevention and Screening

During Treatment

Throughout Your Journey 



A healthier lifestyle can help reduce the chance of a recurrence or secondary cancers. 40%-50% of primary cancers could be prevented.

How to lower your risk:

Be Smoke Free

  • Smoking is the biggest cause of cancer.
  • Not smoking lowers your risk of lung, esophageal, kidney, mouth, throat, stomach and pancreatic cancers.


  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Work a goal, like going for a daily brisk walk, into your routine.
  • Think of exercise as an appointment you can’t miss!

Eat Healthy

  • Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits daily.
  • Limit red meat (beef) to 18 ounces or 500 grams per week.
  • Avoid processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and lunch meats.
  • Enjoy high fibre foods like whole grains, lentils and legumes often.
  • Limit salty foods and foods processed with salt.
  • Do not add salt at the table.
  • Speak to your health care provider regarding supplements.
  • Avoid sugary drinks.

Stay at a Healthy Weight

  • Aim for a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
  • Aim for a waist that is less than 88 cm (35 inches) for women and less than 102 cm (40 inches) for men.

Do Not Drink Too Much Alcohol

  • Men, no more than 2 drinks per day.
  • Women, no more than 1 drink per day.

Do Not Stay Out in the Sun Too Long

  • Try not to be exposed to ultraviolet or UV rays from the sun, especially when outdoors for a long time for things like golfing, gardening, playing baseball or fishing.
  • Talk to your doctor about any changes to your skin.
  • Wear sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more.
  • Wear UV protecting sunglasses.
  • Try to stay in the shade.


Screening [top]

Ontario’s screening programs give people of a certain age with no symptoms the chance to get tested for three types of cancer: breast, cervical and colorectal. These tests find changes that could lead to cancer, or cancer at an early stage, when there is a better chance of treating it.

Breast Screening – The Ontario Breast Screening Program

Women between the ages of 50-74 are at risk for breast cancer. They should be tested every two years through the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP). This includes women:

  • With no history of cancer
  • With no symptoms
  • With no breast implants
  • Who have not had a breast cancer test in the past 11 months

Women between the ages of 30-69 are at risk if they have a family or personal history of breast cancer. They should be tested every year with a mammogram and MRI. If you think you may be at risk, talk to your healthcare provider about seeing the Ontario Breast Screening Program’s High Risk Screening Centre.

Women over 50 years of age can book their own mammogram at:

  • Bluewater Health: 519-464-4515
  • Chatham Imaging Centre: 519-354-2493
  • Chatham-Kent Health Alliance: 519-437-6089
  • Clear Medical Imaging (1568 Ouellette Ave.): 519-256-4914
  • Clear Medical Imaging (13278 Tecumseh Rd. E.): 519-256-4914
  • CMR HealthCare - 700 Tecumseh Road East: 519-258-4515
  • Erie Shores HealthCare: 519-322-2501 ext. 4000
  • Windsor Regional Hospital: 519-253-0903

The Ontario Cervical Screening Program

Starting at the age of 21, women who have been sexually active in any way, including skin contact, should have a Pap test every three years. Contact includes intercourse, intimate touching or oral sex, with either men or women.

A Pap Test is done at your doctor’s office. Based on your results, the doctor will tell you if you need to have another Pap Test or if you need to see a specialist. If you don’t have a family doctor, make an appointment at your local health unit.

Women between the ages of 9 – 54, and men between the ages of 9-26 should think about protecting themselves against the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV by getting their HPV Vaccine. The vaccine is free of charge to all boys and girls in Grade 7 through the school based clinics. Those who missed the shot in Grade 7 are eligible to catch up missed doses through the local public health unit, free of charge until the end of Grade 12. Cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable through regular Pap Tests and the HPV vaccination.

Colon Cancer Screening: ColonCancerCheck

ColonCancerCheck says that all Ontario men and women aged 50-74 should be tested for colorectal cancer. Those at normal risk for the cancer should do a simple at-home test called the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) every two years.

For an FOBT kit, talk to your healthcare provider. If you don’t have a family doctor, call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-828-9213.

For those at higher risk because of family history, where one or more close family members (parent, sibling or child) has had colorectal cancer, a colonoscopy may be needed.

To learn more, visit:
What is My CancerIQ?

My CancerIQ is a website that helps you understand your risk for cancer and what you can do to help lower that risk. The website can be found at 

It will tell you how your risk compares with other Ontarians of the same sex, age 40 and over. At the end of each test you will get results and a plan with tips and resources based on your risk factors. My CancerIQ will not tell you whether you will get cancer or not, but it can help you learn about changes you can make to lower your cancer risk and live a healthier life.


Genetic Testing [top]

Our Genetic Counsellor provides services to patients who are concerned about their personal and family history of cancer.

The Genetic Counsellor reviews your family history to see if your cancer might have a hereditary cause. This information can be helpful when making medical decisions and managing your risk of getting cancer for both you and your family members.

Further information can be found here.

How do I Make an Appointment?

We can only take patients sent to us by Oncologists and other healthcare providers. You should talk about your concerns with your doctor or Oncologist.


Symptom Management Resources [top]

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.

To view the Symptoms Management Resources online, please click the icons below:


The guides are available for download in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Tamil, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese at

Your care team can also provide you with a paper copy of these guides.

The information in the guides is not medical advice. Please discuss your side effects and symptoms with your care team.

 Additional Resource Guides
- Intimacy and Sex - A guide for people with cancer and their partners
- Exercise - A guide for people with cancer - Information
- Exercise - A guide for people with Cancer - Exercise Tracker


Pharmacy Services [top]

There is a Pharmacy located in the Cancer Centre for cancer patients.

All Cancer Centre patients are encouraged to use the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Pharmacy for their treatment related medications, including anti-nausea medications and oral chemotherapy.

Benefits include:

  • Dedicated team of pharmacist and pharmacy technicians with expert knowledge of chemotherapy medications
  • Assistance in managing side effects from treatment
  • Excellent working relationship with the physicians at the Cancer Centre
  • Dedicated Drug Access Coordinators to assist patients with insurance and coverage for medications

Oral Chemotherapy

All oral chemotherapy medications are prescribed electronically and submitted directly from the physician’s office to the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Pharmacy. If you are being treated with an oral chemotherapy agent, the prescription goes through a detailed safety check by the pharmacist. This check is very thorough, including reason for taking the medication, drug-drug interaction checks, lab values, etc. This detailed check can also be time consuming. For this reason, and to ensure your utmost safety, oral chemotherapy prescriptions at Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Pharmacy may take up to an hour to be thoroughly checked before being provided to you.

Drug Costs

Our Pharmacy Technicians have detailed information about drug plans. Please talk to them or other members of your care team if you have questions about drug costs and coverage. Our Drug Access Coordinator will work closely with you and help you find all the ways that are available to cover these costs.

Getting Refills

If you are getting your refill at your local pharmacy, you will need to contact it 3 business days before you will run out of the medication. Pain medication refills need to be placed by Thursday so we do not run out of them over the weekend.

Oncologists and Nurse Practitioners are only able to renew prescriptions they have written. All prescriptions for narcotic medications will be faxed directly to your pharmacy.

Hours and Location:

  • Cancer Centre, Level 1, just off the elevators.
  • Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
    Closed on holidays

Please note: There is no delivery service.


Laboratory Services [top]

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.

Hours and Location:

  • Main Hospital, 1st Floor, Meconi Laboratory
  • Effective January 16, 2017:
    Monday - Friday: 7:00 am – 3:00 pm
    May be closed on holidays

Please note: the Main Hospital Laboratory cannot take lab requests from healthcare providers outside of the Cancer Centre.


Psychosocial Health Services [top]

Our Psychosocial Health Services team gives free and private support to patients and their families for practical, emotional and nutritional concerns to help with adjusting to cancer.

Practical and Emotional Support

A cancer diagnosis is hard on both you and your family. Often, people have a lot of questions and feelings, like anger, fear and sadness. The cancer journey also affects everyday life - like work, money and the need for more healthcare support. The cancer program’s Social Workers can help you with this.

Social Workers can answer questions about:

  • Anger, fear and sadness
  • Coping
  • Money concerns
  • Sexual concerns related to cancer including body image, intimacy and relationships
  • The need to learn more about next steps
  • The need to talk to someone outside the family

Social Workers can help you with:

  • Advocacy support
  • Coping
  • Counselling and dealing with a crisis
  • Dealing with the healthcare system
  • Filling out paperwork and forms
  • Programs to help you with financial assistance
  • Quitting smoking
  • Showing you community resources and support groups
  • Talking to children or teens about your cancer

Nutritional Support

Eating health and making sure you do not lose weight are very important. Eating well can help you feel better. Cancer and cancer treatment might make it harder to eat or make you feel less hungry. Our Registered Dietitians can help you with this.

Registered Dietitians can help you with:

  • Problems chewing or swallowing
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling less hungry
  • Nausea or throwing up
  • Gas or bloating
  • A sore or dry mouth
  • Taste changes
  • Weight loss because of cancer or treatment

Making an Appointment

To see a Social Worker or Registered Dietitian, please ask your care team to make an appointment. You can also call the Cancer Centre at 519-253-5253.

Any patient can get these services once they have been referred and registered at the Cancer Centre. Emotional support is also available for family members.

If you are an inpatient on 4 West, speak to your Nurse about these services.


Inpatient Unit - 4 West [top]

Windsor Regional Hospital’s dedicated inpatient unit on 4 West serves those patients with cancer who need to be hospitalized. The inpatient unit helps different types of patients including those who are just diagnosed, those who are getting treatment, and those who need follow-up or end-of-life care.

Your team of caregivers includes:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Unit Clerks
  • Pharmacists
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Registered Dieticians
  • Chaplains
  • Social Workers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Volunteers

For Your Comfort

Transition to Betterness (T2B) offers a Concierge Service for patients and their families with many different daily services that help make your stay with Windsor Regional Hospital more comfortable. Their generous free services include:

  • Windsor Regional Hospital parking passes
  • $2 Tim Horton’s Gift Cards
  • Windsor Regional Hospital Meal Cards
  • The Windsor Star newspaper
  • iPads and laptops for you to use

Concierge Service Hours

Monday - Friday
11:00 am – 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
Visit the Concierge Desk on 4 West or dial extension 4T2B (4822).


Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences [top]

Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences are regional meetings attended by a spectrum of cancer specialists in various areas including oncology, surgery, pathology and diagnostic imaging. The goal of these sessions is to provide consensus opinions on patient diagnoses and treatment plans, based on best evidence from all disciplines. Patient cases are brought forward by attending physicians for review; throughout the discussions they obtain insight, guidance and second opinions from colleagues to ensure that they provide patients with the best possible care plans.


Aboriginal Navigator [top]

The Aboriginal Navigator helps aboriginal patients, their families and caregivers.

The Aboriginal Navigator Can:

  • Provide you with support at clinic visits
  • Help you and your family communicate with Oncologists and Nurses
  • Arrange language and cultural translation
  • Help you find services
  • Help you connect with traditional aboriginal healers

How to Contact our Aboriginal Navigator:

  • Ask any member of your care team at the Cancer Centre
  • Or, call 519-254-5577 ext. 58504
  • Or, call toll free: 1-844-904-2273


Health Records [top]

If you require copies of your medical records or insurance forms to be completed, please see the Health Records Department. The Health Records unit is on the 2nd floor straight off the elevator. There is a doorbell beside the window that is in front of the elevator doors. Ringing the doorbell will bring a staff member to the window to help you. A staff member will get any information that is needed and make sure the Oncologist gets the forms that need to be filled out.

A signed permission form to allow sharing of your health information is needed. The Oncologist can take up to 30 days to fill out the form. Once it is filled out, most forms will be mailed to the company and a copy will be kept with your health record chart at the Cancer Centre. Some Health Record services have small costs. The staff member will be able to tell you more.


Wigs, Hats, Scarves, and Prosthesis [top]

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.

Breast Prosthesis

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.

Helping with the Cost – Government Program

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care through the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) helps people who live in Ontario with the cost.

  • You often have to pay the full cost and will be given back your money by the ADP
  • Private Insurance companies may cover the rest of costs not paid for by the ADP

For more information about ADP, contact:
Assistive Devices Program
5700 Yonge Street, 7th Floor
Toronto, ON M2M 4K5
1-800-268-6021 and do a search for "ADP"

Other Community Resources

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.

Breast Reconstruction Surgery

To learn more about Breast Reconstruction Surgery, click here.


Look Good Feel Better Program [top]

The best medicine doesn't always come in a bottle - that's why Look Good Feel Better provides complimentary workshops.

What you'll experience at a two-hour workshop: 

  • Information on how to alleviate appearance-related effects of cancer and its treatment, including cosmetic hygiene, sun care, skin care, cosmetics and nail care
  • Discussion and demonstrations on hair alternatives 

It's more than makeup - it's a safe environment alongside other women dealing with similar issues and challenges.

You'll also take home a complimentary kit with information and products.

In our region, Look Good Feel Better workshops happen regularly, year-round, in three places:

  • Windsor Regional Cancer Centre
  • VON Chatham - Kent
  • Canadian Cancer Society, Lambton Unit

Register for a workshop online at 


Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) [top]

What is Telemedicine?

You can meet with your Oncologist for an appointment using video technology instead of going to the Cancer Centre.

What Happens During a Telemedicine Appointment?

A Telemedicine appointment is like a face-to-face appointment, except that your doctor is seen on a video monitor at another location. A Nurse will be with you during the appointment.

How does this Help You and Your Family?

  • Reduces your time and travel costs
  • Allows out-of-town family members to be part of your appointment

Can I use Telemedicine for my Appointments?

Ask your care team if using Telemedicine is possible for you.


Community Support Groups [top]


Losing someone can create many emotions that are sometimes difficult to understand. Grievers often feel alone and forgotten and have difficulty concentrating on everyday living. The bereavement staff at Canadian Mental Health Association (CHMA) understands grief and is able to give support.

The Canadian Mental Health Association

Lambton Kent Branch
240 Grand Ave. West, Suite 100, Chatham
P: 519-436-6100

Windsor-Essex County Branch
1400 Windsor Ave., Windsor
P: (519) 255-7440

Brain Tumor Foundation Support Groups

If you or a loved one have been affected by a brain tumour, you’re invited to share your experiences and journey in this confidential, supportive environment.

These sessions are available both in person, and virtually.
: 1-800-265-5106

Camp Erin Hamilton

A no-fee bereavement camp for children and youth who have experienced the death of someone close to them. Click here for more information.

Canadian Cancer Society Services

Canadian Cancer Society Information Service
P: 1-888-939-3333

Cancer Connection

Caring Hands Children’s Program

Caring Hands Children’s Program is a preventative program that supports grieving children and teens from 3 – 17 years of age.  Support is provided by the program through facilitated small group sessions, interactive educational presentations, parent group sessions and a summer day camp.

St Joseph’s Resource Centre
110 Water Street, Sarnia
P: 519-337-0537

The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County Wellness Centre

Living with a life-threatening illness is challenging. The Wellness Centre provides patients and their caregivers with activities that encourage, educate and provide a break from the many pressures that surround living with a serious health diagnosis.

Additionally, the Wellness Centre provides outreach programs and services that offer comfort and emotional support to those most in need in our community.

Hospice of Windsor & Essex County
6038 Empress Street, Windsor
P: 519-974-7100
Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Informational / Support

Fitness / Recreational

Children’s Groups

- Are you Sleeping? Can’t Sleep? Watching the Clock? Come discover natural secrets to having a better night’s sleep

- Chronic Pain Workshop

- Coping with Caregiving

- Introduction to Relaxation Techniques

- Just for the Health of It - Explore how better balance between mind, body and spirit can enhance our wellness.

- Life Style Changes Program

- Living Through Grief

- Men’s Club - Men diagnosed with a life altering diagnosis are invited to come together for support and socialization.

- Multiple Myeloma

- Sharing & Caring Drop-In Group

- Mind Matters: An Introduction to Managing Your Moods  

- ROAD Ahead

- Basic Functional Fitness

- Craft Class: Beading 

- Creating Memory Albums and Card Making

- Coffee House - Singers, poets, story tellers and musicians share their talent.

- Energy Programs - Radiant Touch®, Authentic Reiki® and Therapeutic Touch

- Face Yoga - Freshen your face the natural way

- Game/Card Club

- Guitar Classes

- Healing with Art Express

- Jammin’ For Wellness - Utilize playing live music to enhance wellness

- Knitting with Libby

- Lakeshore Cinema Movie Time

- Life Stories Program - Capture important aspects of their life on digital audio recordings.

- Spanish Lessons

- Tai Chi/Qi Gong

- Gentle Yoga

- Children’s Art Class

- Children’s Homework Club

- Children’s Self Care Support Group

- Children’s Sibling Support

- Fun Time for Kids

- Kid’s Kicking Cancer

- Lego Club

- Living With Grief for Kids and Teens

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
  • Coffee House

Ovarian Cancer Canada

P: 1-877-416-7970

Windsor-Essex Prostate Cancer Support Group

P: Preston and Germaine: 519-839-5723
Don Batten: 519-776-8834
Ian Bentley:59-735-7267
Wayne Zimney: 519-996-5795


The Hospice of Windsor Essex County Wellness Centre [

The Wellness Centre at the Hospice offers a variety of programs and services designed to improve your quality of life from the time of pre-diagnosis. From gentle exercise to art and music therapy or support groups, Hospice offers support, education and empowerment along your journey.

Self-referrals are encouraged, so contact Hospice today and let their Service Coordinator work with you to build a wellness plan.

For more information please call 519-974-7100 or visit our website at


Smoking Cessation [top]

Tobacco use increases the risk of over 20 different types of cancer. It contributes to 30 percent of all cancer deaths and up to 90 percent of lung cancer deaths.

It is never too late for tobacco cessation to provide a benefit and it is never too late to quit. The risk of dying can be lowered 30 to 40 percent by quitting smoking at the time of cancer diagnosis. Quitting also lowers the chance of the cancer returning or another type of cancer developing.

Click here to view The Benefits of Quitting Smoking - Brochure

Click here for more information from Cancer Care Ontario

For more information on our Smoking Cessation Program please talk to your care team, or contact our Call Centre at 519-253-5253.


RENEW Program [top]

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 a 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": 


Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) [top]

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.

The Patient & Family Advisory Council meets four times per year.  To acknowledge the significant partnership between the cancer program and patients/family/caregivers, meetings and outcomes are guided by membership and are led by a Program Chair and Patient Chair.

For more information, please see the documents below, or contact our Call Centre at 519-253-5253.