The Referral Centres at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre and Allan Blair Cancer Centre are responsible for processing new referrals and ensuring patients are booked for assessment in as timely a manner as possible. Our Referral Centres are staffed by registered nurses and clerical support.
Patients at the Saskatoon Cancer Centre and Allan Blair Cancer Centre are seen and treated after a diagnosis of cancer has already been established. We do not employ surgeons or pathologists at our centres; therefore, patients with suspected cancer must also be referred to a surgeon to obtain a tissue diagnosis via a core biopsy (fine needle aspirations are not adequate).
Oncologists see patients by referral only. While we do receive all malignant pathologies, we do not book patients for appointments until a letter or referral form has been received by the Referral Centre.
- A referral form or letter is received in the Allan Blair or Saskatoon Referral Centre.
- A health records technician collects all pertinent information (imaging, bloodwork, pathology, etc.) and creates a chart.
- A Referral Centre nurse triages the chart to a medical oncologist, hematologist or radiation oncologist.
- An oncologist reviews the chart and sends it back to the Referral Centre with instructions for booking.
- A Referral Centre clerk arranges additional tests if requested.
- The patient is prioritized and placed on a waiting list for booking.
- If an oncologist indicates that a patient needs to be seen urgently, he or she will give the Referral Centre nurse direction for when to book the patient.
Referring a Patient
Referrals can be made by mail or fax. While referrals by telephone are acceptable, the preferred method is by letter or referral form. Copies of the Patient Referral Form are available at the link below. We cannot accept referrals via email.
In order to provide the patient with the best possible care, we ask that you forward as much information as possible. For more information, please click on the Requested Information for New Patients link provided below. We encourage referring physicians to order staging tests ahead of time whenever possible. Doing so will allow us to provide the patient with more timely treatment.
In the vast majority of cases, a tissue diagnosis is required for treatment. While bone scans, CT scans, and X-rays can demonstrate the presence of cancer, they do not reveal the cell type or arrangement, making it difficult for oncologists to provide targeted therapy. Questions about how to proceed with establishing a diagnosis can be directed to the Referral Centre nurse who will assist you or direct you to the appropriate oncologist.
The Referral Centres receive many referrals marked as “urgent”; however, we consider the following as higher priority:
- Neo-adjuvant cases
- Limited-stage small cell lung cancer
- Any cancer causing a SVC obstruction, bronchial obstruction, or spinal cord compression
- Germ-cell testicular cancers
- Most head & neck cancers
- Acute haematology cases
If you feel your patient needs to be seen urgently, mark the referral as urgent, fax to the Referral Centre and call the nurse who will direct you to the appropriate oncologist for further discussion of your patient’s status.
If your patient has been admitted to a Saskatoon or Regina hospital, an in-hospital consult can be faxed to the Referral Centre. An oncologist will see the patient as soon as possible. It is important that the unit staff fax all of the patient’s pertinent information along with the consult form.
Patients admitted to hospitals outside of Regina or Saskatoon will have to be seen in the clinic as outpatients. We are able to accommodate patients that arrive by ambulance.
As with most medical specialties, there may be a waiting list to be seen at the cancer centres. When booking appointments, we take into account factors such as referral date, surgery date, medical urgency, and a patient’s symptoms. If you have referred a patient and are concerned about the wait time, please contact the Referral Centre. We will provide you an approximate timeframe for when your patient can expect to be seen. Please note that new patients are booked four to eight weeks in advance; therefore we may not be able to give you an exact date right away.
Saskatoon Cancer Centre
20 Campus Drive
Allan Blair Cancer Centre
4101 Dewdney Avenue
Canada S4T 7T1