The journey to diagnosis is unique for every cancer patient. With some patients, it may start with a GP referral to the hospital. Other patient’s cancer diagnosis may be captured through regular screening.
Regardless of where your journey began, the best approach a patient can make in relation to their cancer journey is to be active and engage with your health care team.
Advice from previous cancer patients
There is no right way to deal with a cancer diagnosis. Everyone’s journey with the disease is unique, but sometimes advice from those who also went through it can help. Here are tips from cancer patients and survivors:
- "Bring someone with you to every appointment. It helps to have another set of ears to receive information and to have someone to support you."
- "Attitude is everything. You will have good days and bad. It may not seem like it at times, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel."
- "Don’t be afraid to ask questions, keep a positive attitude, be grateful that you have a chance and can fight. Most of all TRUST your doctor and your nurses."
- "Record every visit so you are clear on what the doctor is telling you. Be kind to yourself; you will have bad days, but make sure to enjoy the good days. Accept help."
If you are diagnosed with a cancer, you will be referred to an Oncologist for evaluation and treatment recommendations. Your Oncologist will vary depending on the type of treatment you are receiving:
- Medical Oncologist - A medical oncologist treats cancer using chemotherapy or other medications, such as targeted therapy or immunotherapy.
- Radiation Oncologist - A radiation oncologist is a medical specialist doctor with training in the use of radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) to cure or reduce the symptoms of cancer, and in the overall care of cancer patients.
- Surgical Oncologist - Surgical oncology is the use of surgery to treat cancer. Surgery is done to remove tumors that are cancer. Surgery can be used by itself to treat the cancer or it can be done with other treatments. Surgery can help cancer care team members diagnose a cancer.
Here at Bon Secours Cork Cancer Centre we will make you as comfortable as possible during your treatment.
Prior to your arrival
Please ensure that you bring the following with you for your first appointment:
- Your insurance/medical cover details
- A list of your current medications
We would suggest a family member or friend accompany you.
You may drive to the centre for your treatment, unless advised otherwise by your doctor.
When you arrive at the hospital, you will be directed to the Admissions Department. This is where you will be registered as a patient and your details entered on our computer. We will ask you personal questions such as; your name as it appears on your Birth Certificate/Marriage Certificate. People often have “known as names”, abbreviated names or even nicknames, but for safety we ask that all patients are registered as their name appears on their Birth or Marriage certificate. You will also be asked for your next of Kin details.
Your admission to the hospital is arranged by your Consultant. We advise that you clarify the following with your Consultants secretary prior to admission.
On your first visit to the centre you will meet with a Doctor called a Consultant Oncologist and members of the team who will look after you. Your past medical history will be discussed, you will be examined, and treatment options will be discussed with you.
If you need more information, please do not hesitate to ask any member of our staff at any point before or during your treatment. Our staff are happy to answer any questions you may have.
You may be asked to attend the centre for a scan, before you start your treatment.
This scan can take up to 30 minutes and will assist your Consultant to create a tailored treatment plan specific for you.