The cancer journey is complex and can be confusing and overwhelming for patients and families. It often takes more than one care provider or clinic to support this journey, which is why Whitehorse General Hospital has a highly collaborative and specialized team that provides a comprehensive range of care and is better able to support cancer patients closer to home.
Our Cancer Care Team
- Registered Nurses specializing in chemotherapy
- General Practitioners in Oncology
- Cancer Care Navigator
These health care providers will give you information about your cancer and treatment and will follow your progress in hospital while receiving chemotherapy. They also work closely together with the hospital’s surgical and diagnostic teams and clinical dieticians as well as your oncology specialist and family physician. This is to ensure we support you through your personal care plan.
What to expect
Each person’s cancer journey is unique. At the beginning of your journey, you may have undergone cancer screening with your family doctor, travelled to BC/Alberta for specialized diagnostics, or visited an out-of-territory specialist to determine your diagnosis and treatment. If he/she orders chemotherapy, and depending on your unique needs, you may be able to receive the treatment in Karen’s Room, which is located in the WGH’s Outpatient Services area. Enter through the main doors, make an immediate left and follow the hallway to the end.
There are diagnostic imaging and lab tests that help your doctor or specialist confirm your diagnosis and monitor your condition. Once in hospital for chemotherapy treatment, you can expect to visit our lab to have blood work done the day before each treatment. You’ll also meet with one of our General Practitioners in Oncology to discuss treatment progress as well as any questions or concerns you may have.
Before your first chemotherapy treatment, you will meet with the nurses who will provide information about Karen’s Room (our chemotherapy suite), review medications and side effects and discuss what you can expect during treatment. You’ll also be introduced to other members of the cancer care team, including the hospital physician, pharmacist and Cancer Care Navigator. You can expect this initial visit to be approximately 2-3 hours.
At each visit, a dedicated pharmacist will review your physician’s orders and prepare your specified treatment. The pharmacist may also meet with you to discuss any questions or concerns you have. Appointments begin at 10 a.m. Monday-Friday and are scheduled throughout the day. For each visit, you will arrive at the hospital and the nurse will prepare you. You are encouraged to bring snacks, books, mobile devices, videos or any hobby to help make you comfortable. Your treatment could take 1-5 hours depending on what has been prescribed for you. If your appointment is over lunch, a hospital meal will be provided.
You can expect to undergo regular assessment to determine the effectiveness of your treatment. The frequency will depend on your cancer and the type of treatment ordered for you, but will happen in consultation with our General Practitioner in Oncology and/or your family physician and specialist. There may be additional diagnostic scans or tests required.
In addition to the nurses, physicians, specialists, and pharmacists, you will also have access to our Cancer Care Navigator, who gives you someone to turn to with any questions or help accessing a number of community supports. This individual is also connected with other members of the team as well as providers in Yukon and outside the territory to ensure continuity of care.
Yukoners recently diagnosed with breast cancer and who receive chemotherapy at WGH or are required to travel outside the territory for care may be eligible for financial support through the Karen J. Wiederkehr Memorial Fund, which helps provide assistance to women experiencing financial demands while undergoing treatment. Learn more about Karen's Fund and how to apply.
Financial assistance may also available through the Yukoners' Cancer Care Fund, which helps Yukon residents fighting cancer, and their families who help to care for them, cover some of the substantial out-of-pocket costs that can be incurred during cancer treatment. Contact the Yukon Hospital Foundation for more information at 867-393-8930.