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Referrals - Frequently Asked Questions

I have symptoms I am concerned about and I think I may have cancer. Can I make an appointment to be seen?

We see patients by referral only. If you have concerns about symptoms you are having, please see your family physician as soon as possible. He or she will assess you and make the appropriate referrals. More information on types of cancer and their signs and symptoms is available through the Canadian Cancer Society.

Why is it taking so long for my first appointment to be booked?

Several factors are considered when priorizing your case for booking. If your referral is marked “urgent” by your referring physician, an oncologist will review your case and determine the priority. Cases not designated as urgent by our oncologists are generally booked according to their place on the waiting list.

I live near one cancer centre but have family who are closer to the other the cancer centre. Do I have to be treated at the nearest centre?

The Allan Blair Cancer Centre in Regina treats patients living in the southern part of Saskatchewan, while the Saskatoon Cancer Centre sees patients from the northern part of the province. When circumstances require it, patients can be seen at the cancer centre further away from their home. Otherwise, you will be seen at the centre you were referred to.

The wait time seems quite long at the cancer centre I have been referred to. Can I be referred to the other cancer centre to be seen more quickly?

If you have a valid reason for being seen at the cancer centre you were not initially referred to, we will try to accommodate; otherwise, you will be seen at the nearest centre.

I haven’t had my first appointment yet, but I have a lot of questions. Can I speak directly with an oncologist regarding my case?

Unless you have been seen and assessed by an oncologist, he or she will not be able to comment on your case. You can contact the Referral Centre nurse if you have any questions - (306) 766-2213 in Regina; (306) 655-6609 in Saskatoon. You might also find the information you are looking for under Patients, Family & Friends.

Will I be seeing a medical oncologist, a radiation oncologist or both?

The type of treatment you receive depends on your type of cancer and its stage. You may require one or more of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or other treatments. For information on site-specific cancer treatments, please visit the Canadian Cancer Society.

Can I book in my treatment ahead of time?

Until you are seen and assessed by an oncologist, we can’t specifically determine whether you will be offered treatment and/or what kind of treatment that may be. Once you have seen an oncologist and signed a consent form, your treatments will be scheduled. You can expect to wait anywhere from a day or two to several weeks for your treatments to start after your first appointment.

Can you give me details of my case over the phone?

Before your first appointment, we can give you the status of your referral and general information about what kind of treatment you might expect to receive. Your surgeon or referring doctor will give you information regarding your diagnosis, staging and test results. Once you have been fully informed of your medical status, the Referral Centre nurse can speak more openly with you about your case.

I’m not sure what to expect when I come in. Where can I get more information?

Each patient who is referred to one of the cancer centres is mailed a New Patient Guide. If you have been referred but have not received a package within two to three weeks, please call the Referral Centre. More information is also availabe under New Patient Information.

Will you call me with my first appointment?

We mail out appointment slips for all appointments at the cancer centres. However, we will call you if your appointment is within one week.