It can feel very overwhelming to try to understand your treatment. Medications work in many different ways. Some of the drugs used to treat cancer include:
- Chemotherapy – drugs which destroy cancer cells or make them less active
- Hormonal drug therapy – changes certain hormones in your body to destroy cancer cells or slow down how fast they are growing
- Biological therapy – makes your body’s immune system stronger so it can destroy cancer cells and prevent them from coming back
- Targeted therapy – changes the way cancer cells behave to try to stop them from growing or spreading
- Supportive drugs – prevent, manage or relieve side effects from the cancer treatments or from cancer itself.
Some patients require only one type of treatment, while others require several treatments together. Even people who have the same type of cancer (such as breast cancer) have unique characteristics and treatment will be different for different people. Your doctor will discuss the treatment options and explain the risks associated with each.
Many times you will be required to have blood work done before treatment starts. This is to ensure you are not experiencing drug side effects.
The time spent in the cancer clinic for each treatment depends on the drug or drugs you will be getting and is individual. Ask your team how long your treatments will last (for some patients it is a short time, and other cancer treatments can take most of the day).
While you are receiving treatments, our oncology department offers lunch and beverages as a courtesy, delivered by our volunteers. However, if you have specific dietary needs, you can bring in your own food or purchase from our food court.
Many of our patients find they benefit from talking with other patients in our cancer clinic. They can offer you support and friendship during this time. We have IPADs available in the cancer unit and can also provide some education material for you using this device.
Cancer Clinic (Oncology)
Level 2, Norman Building
89 Norman St., Sarnia, ON, N7T 6S3
Hours & Contact
Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Closed Saturday, Sunday, Statutory Holidays.
Telephone: 519-464-4400, Ext. 5517 (Cancer Clinic and nursing support)
519-464-4400 Ext. 5535 (Outpatient Pharmacy and Drug Access Facilitators)
After-hours symptom management telephone: 1-877-681-3057
Bluewater Health Oncology Program After-Hours Symptom Management Telephone Line (link)
Managing Symptoms, Side Effects & Well-Being