Your questions answered.
Q: What exactly makes Canadian Cancer Care different from other cancer clinics in Edmonton?
A: Canadian Cancer Care provides services to cancer patients before and after treatment — such as surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. We help diagnose patients with cancer by providing expert workup and management. After patients are treated and discharged by their surgeon, radiation oncologist, or medical oncologist, we provide surveillance to make sure the cancer has not returned, management of treatment-related side effects, and palliative care for patients who have exhausted active treatment options.
Q: Do patients have to pay to be seen at Canadian Cancer Care?
A: No. The majority of our services are covered by Alberta Health Care. Only non-insured services, like sick notes, or driver’s medicals, would be billed directly to the patient.
Q: What kind of treatments are given at Canadian Cancer Care?
A: No active treatment is done at Canadian Cancer Care — we provide services for patients before and after active treatment (surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy).
Q: What are some examples of the services they provide and how is it different than what the patient’s family doctor can provide for cancer follow up?
A: Our physicians have taken extra training in oncology, such as the BCCA Oncology course for family physicians, as well as attended numerous extra oncology-related conferences, giving them extra and more specialized knowledge on surveillance protocols, cancer workup, and managing treatment-related side effects.
The clinic has a full procedure room to do biopsies, thoracentesis, paracentesis, and other oncology-related procedures. We are also fortunate to have MIC in our building, allowing for ultrasound markups to be done, and having other imaging tests done in a coordinated manner.
Lastly, we have access to special equipment, such as for head and neck endoscopy, which is not normally available in a regular family medicine clinic.
Q: Do I still need to see my family doctor?
A: Yes. Our focus is related to the patient’s cancer diagnosis and follow up. Patients still need to see their family physician for ongoing health concerns unrelated to their cancer diagnosis or treatment.
Q: Is there an oncologist on site? What specialists are there?
A: There is no oncologist on site, as our model is to provide primary oncology care, which is noted to be just as effective if done properly in the Choosing Wisely Canada: Oncology Campaign. We do have access to other specialists in the clinic, including psychiatry and ENT.
Q: Are we faster than a regular GP in arranging services? And if we are, how so?
A: We do not have special access to diagnostic imaging or other tests and services; however, our physicians have expert knowledge of what tests need to be ordered, and the urgency that they need to be done — often times this requires our physicians to phone other physicians to relate this urgency.
Q: Do you see every type of cancer? What about pediatrics?
A: We are happy to see patients with any suspected or confirmed cancer. We do not see pediatric cancer patients at this time.
Q: How do you determine a patient’s surveillance or follow up plan?
A: We follow the surveillance recommendations provided by in Alberta provincial cancer guidelines (https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/cancerguidelines.aspx). Should a guideline not be available for a specific cancer, we follow the recommendations for follow up from the NCCN.
Q: Do you provide home visits?
A:Some of our physicians may provide home visits — please ask them directly during your visit.