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The organization of care in oncology

The organization of care in oncology

Quebec launched a cancer control program (Programme de lutte contre le cancer) in 1998 following an extensive public and professional consultation. As a result, three types of oncology teams were gradually established across the province.
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Last update: May 2017

Local teams

Provide follow-up and support to people with cancer and deliver treatments, including chemotherapy, support care and end-of-life care.

Regional teams

Expert teams that serve as a point of reference for local teams. They have decision-making power over treatment, unless more specialized care is required. They are specialized experts on tumour sites and questions regarding patient support or palliative care.

Supra-regional teams

Ultra-specialized teams that act as a consulting body for regional and local teams. They decide on treatments and deliver care in complex cases requiring the use of leading-edge, experimental or intensive protocols. The members of supra-regional teams are each specialized in different types of cancer.

Whether you are under the care of a local, regional or supra-regional team, you will always have access to the latest diagnostic methods and most efficient treatments available which are tailored to your needs. To that end, cancer expertise is delivered by interdisciplinary teams made up of professionals from various disciplines working together toward a common goal of providing the right care at the right time to the right person.

Cancer is a complex health problem that requires the expertise of many healthcare professionals from various disciplines working together in partnership. Oncology teams – be they local, regional or supra-regional – call upon these professionals based on their needs and the types of cancer being treated. They have both similarities and differences.

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The best way to reach your oncology team is to contact the oncology pivot nurse (OPN). OPNs play a central role in the care team. During your first meeting with your OPN, she will give you her contact information.

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An Oncology Passport is a special health booklet for people with cancer. It is a great tool to help you understand your treatment program, follow its course and actively participate in it. It is also your “calling card” if you ever need to go to the emergency room, since it will inform healthcare personnel that you are undergoing active cancer treatment (hence its name “Oncology Passport”).

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The Direction de la lutte contre le cancer (2011) defines the oncology care continuum as being made up of four periods: investigation, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.

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Cancer treatment plans are based on the unique situation of each person with cancer. Your oncologist, in partnership with your care team, will continue to adapt it to your situation, based on your disease and health.

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Receiving a cancer diagnosis is extremely difficult and it is perfectly normal for people to want to act fast when they receive the news. Having to wait for services, test results and the start of treatments can be very stressful.

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Oncology in Quebec

Rencontre entre patient atteint de cancer et travailleur social

Your appointment with the oncology social worker

Oncology social workers help people with cancer and their loved ones better adapt to the changes brought on by the disease and its psychosocial impact.

Appointment with the Pivot Nurse

According to the Direction de la lutte contre le cancer (2008), the pivot nurse in oncology acts as a support resource for people living with cancer, from diagnosis right through the entire cancer experience, including treatments.

Meeting with the oncologist

We often have lots of questions to ask our doctor when it comes time to meet him. The nursing staff at the Info-Cancer Line (1-800-363-0063) can help you prepare for the meeting, by clarifying your questions and putting them in order.