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Volunteers, known as Patient Ambassadors will be available to help you find your way around the Cancer Centre. They will also provide information and support while you are waiting for your appointment. You can identify them by their blue/teal vest.

Please note, not all patients have their first cancer related visit in the Cancer Centre. Example: Patients with hematologic (blood) cancer may have their first appointment in Module L in the main hospital and not at the Cancer Centre.

We encourage you to bring someone with you to provide support during your visit.

Things to bring to your appointment:

  • Your Ontario Health Card (or other provincial health card).
  • Your Ottawa Hospital green card (if you have one).
  • Your completed Self-Reporting Health History form.
  • The name, address and phone number of your family doctor.
  • A list of medications you are taking printed from your pharmacy.
  • A list of vitamins, minerals and/or herbal supplements you are taking regularly.

You may also want to bring:

  • A notebook and pen to record information.
  • Your drug benefits plan information or card (if you have one).
  • A list of questions you may have for the doctor or nurse.
  • A drink and/or snack from home (we do not provide meals at the Cancer Centre, but you can buy them at the cafeteria or at one of our coffee shops).


The Ottawa Hospital has a ‘scent free’ policy. Please do not use perfumes, colognes or other scented products on the day of your visit.


Checking In

All patients must register at the reception desk which is located at the main entrance of the Cancer Centre. You will be given a green hospital card if you do not already have one. Please carry your green hospital card AND your health insurance card (Ontario Health Card or other provincial health card) with you at all times. You will need to show both cards each time you come to the Cancer Centre for any appointment.

Let the receptionist at the front desk know if there has been any change in your name,
address, phone number, family doctor or emergency contact person.

How Are You Feeling Today? (Symptom Screening)

Each time you come to the Cancer Centre, you will be asked to complete a short assessment on common cancer related symptoms that you may be having. In some clinics you will be asked to complete the assessment at a computer and in other clinics you may be asked to complete the assessment on paper. Your answers will help your health care team better understand how you are feeling that day and provide the support you need.


Meeting your Health Care Team

After checking-in for your appointment and completing your symptom screening assessment, you will meet your health care team. Your team will review your medical history and reports, and talk about your cancer. They will talk with you about what treatment options are available. In most cases, this first visit will focus on planning for your care and will not include any treatment. Be sure to ask questions if there is something you do not understand.


Please note, your first visit may be long in order to allow enough
time for your team to be as thorough as possible.


Questions to ask your Health Care Team

Being told you have cancer can be scary and stressful. You probably have a lot of questions and concerns. Here are some questions you can use to help you better understand your cancer and your options. Not all of these questions will apply to you, but they should help get you started.

  1. Exactly what kind of cancer do I have?
  2. Where is the cancer located?
  3. Has the cancer spread beyond where it started?
  4. What’s the cancer’s stage? What does that mean?
  5. How does this affect my treatment options and long-term outcome (prognosis)?
  6. Will I need other tests before we can decide on treatment?
  7. What are my treatment choices?
  8. What treatment do you recommend and why?
  9. What’s the goal of my treatment?
  10. Should I think about genetic testing?
  11. Should I think about taking part in a clinical trial?

Last updated on: January 25th, 2017