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Cancer & Blood Service | Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) | Te Whatu Ora

Public Service, Oncology

Today

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Description

Formerly Northland DHB Cancer & Blood Service

Te Whatu Ora Te Tai Tokerau Cancer and Blood Service

We provide:

  • Links to specialised nurses, palliative care, the Cancer Society, Leukaemia & Blood Foundation and Auckland Oncology Services
  • Consultation and outpatient anti-cancer treatment for cancer and haematological disorders.

What is Oncology and Malignant Haematology?
Oncology and malignant Haematology are the areas of medicine involving cancer.  Depending on the type of cancer you are diagnosed with, you with either see a Medical Oncologist, a Radiation Oncologist or a Haematologist who specialise in the different treatments of cancer. Other doctors can also be involved in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, such as general physicians and surgeons. The Cancer & Blood Service also consists of a nurse practitioner, specialist nurses, and allied health workers, which include social workers, Kaiawhina, dieticians and psychologists to support you and your whānau as the diagnosis of cancer can affect people and their families in many ways.  The Cancer & Blood Service also works alongside palliative care specialists who are doctors specialising in the treatment of symptoms from cancer that cannot be cured who are based in the hospice, Leukaemia and Blood Foundation and the Cancer Society to provide support to people and whānau with the diagnosis of cancer.

What is Cancer?
Everyone’s body is made up of millions of cells, which normally grow, divide and are renewed in a balanced or programmed way. Sometimes this process is disrupted and the cells grow in an uncontrolled way – a solid group of these cells is called a tumour.  Other words commonly used for tumour are growth or mass, and it can mean the same thing.
 
A tumour/growth can be benign (grows but will not spread into different parts of the body) or malignant (spreads into different parts of the body as well as grows locally). Tumours spread by cells travelling through the lymphatic system (the body’s cleaning system) to lymph nodes (often known as glands) or through blood to other organs in the body. These cells can then multiply.  If this happens, the cancer is called metastatic.
 
Cancer isn't contagious, so you can go on being close to family and friends.

Referral Expectations

Usually, referral to the Cancer & Blood Service is by letter from another doctor, such as a GP or surgeon. One of our consultant oncologists will read through the letter and ask our clerical staff to book an appointment, taking account of the urgency of the condition.

When you come to Cancer & Blood Outpatients, you will be seen by an oncologist or a haematologist who will ask questions about your illness, examine you, and discuss the management of your condition. We encourage people to bring a family member or other support person to sit in on their visit. 

You will then see a cancer nurse who will talk to you about your treatment and what to expect.

People you may meet:

Tumour Stream Nurse Specialist
Nurse Practitioner
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Cancer & Blood Service Nurses
Social Worker or Health Psychologist
Kaiawhina

Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre - Introduction

Hours

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

8.00am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday

We are closed on weekends and public holidays

Public Holidays: Closed Northland Anniversary (29 Jan), Waitangi Day (6 Feb), Good Friday (29 Mar), Easter Sunday (31 Mar), Easter Monday (1 Apr), ANZAC Day (25 Apr), King's Birthday (3 Jun), Matariki (28 Jun), Labour Day (28 Oct).
Christmas: Open 18 Dec — 22 Dec. Closed 23 Dec — 26 Dec. Open 27 Dec — 29 Dec. Closed 30 Dec — 2 Jan. Open 3 Jan — 5 Jan.

Procedures / Treatments

Making the Diagnosis

Cancer diagnosis and the extent (whether it has spread) is determined with a number of tests. These tests are unique to the cancer type. The tests you may receive can include blood tests, ultrasound / CT / MRI scans, urine tests and possibly a biopsy. All this will be discussed with you at your appointment by the doctor or Clinical Nurse Specialist. You will only receive the relevant tests you require. Once a diagnosis is made, you will meet with various specialists to discuss what the diagnosis means, the next steps and the treatment options available to you. It is a good idea to bring along a support person of your choice to these appointments as often there is a lot of information to take in. We also recommend writing down a list of any questions you would like answering.

Cancer diagnosis and the extent (whether it has spread) is determined with a number of tests. These tests are unique to the cancer type. The tests you may receive can include blood tests, ultrasound / CT / MRI scans, urine tests and possibly a biopsy.

All this will be discussed with you at your appointment by the doctor or Clinical Nurse Specialist. You will only receive the relevant tests you require.

Once a diagnosis is made, you will meet with various specialists to discuss what the diagnosis means, the next steps and the treatment options available to you. It is a good idea to bring along a support person of your choice to these appointments as often there is a lot of information to take in. We also recommend writing down a list of any questions you would like answering.

Treatment Options

Depending on the type of cancer, the site of the cancer and whether the cancer has spread to other areas will determine the treatment options available to you. Some of those options may include one or a variety of the following: Surgery Chemotherapy infusions, injections or tablets Targeted Therapies Immunotherapies Stem cell transplants Radiotherapy If these are an option for you, your specialist will discuss these with you at your appointments.

Depending on the type of cancer, the site of the cancer and whether the cancer has spread to other areas will determine the treatment options available to you. Some of those options may include one or a variety of the following:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy infusions, injections or tablets
  • Targeted Therapies
  • Immunotherapies
  • Stem cell transplants
  • Radiotherapy

If these are an option for you, your specialist will discuss these with you at your appointments.

Infections (if on Chemotherapy)

Chemotherapy reduces the production of white blood cells made by your bone marrow. This can have a major effect on your body's ability to fight infections. If you are on chemotherapy, it is important to have infections treated quickly with antibiotics that may need to be given at hospital. If an infection is left untreated it can become more difficult to control and potentially become life threatening. If you: Ø Develop a fever i.e. a temperature reading of 38 degrees Celsius or more or Ø Feel suddenly unwell even with a normal temperature which is 36-37 degrees Celsius or Ø Experience shivering when you are feeling hot or cold Please seek medical advice immediately ANY time of the night or day. This may mean going to your nearest emergency department. NB: Remember to make sure you have a thermometer at home before you start your treatment.

Chemotherapy reduces the production of white blood cells made by your bone marrow. This can have a major effect on your body's ability to fight infections.

If you are on chemotherapy, it is important to have infections treated quickly with antibiotics that may need to be given at hospital. If an infection is left untreated it can become more difficult to control and potentially become life threatening.

If you:

Ø  Develop a fever i.e. a temperature reading of 38 degrees Celsius or more

or

Ø  Feel suddenly unwell even with a normal temperature which is 36-37 degrees Celsius

or

Ø  Experience shivering when you are feeling hot or cold

Please seek medical advice immediately ANY time of the night or day. This may mean going to your nearest emergency department.

NB: Remember to make sure you have a thermometer at home before you start your treatment.

Implantable Port / PICC

Sometimes to administer cancer medications directly into the bloodstream, an implantable port or PICC line is required. These can be required for certain types of medications or when your veins are difficult to access. A PICC line is a soft plastic tube inserted into a vein in your upper arm and can be used to administer medications and take blood, an implantable port is also a soft plastic tube inserted into a vein but is usually tunnelled under the skin in the chest. If either of these lines is required, this will be discussed with the specialist and nursing staff.

Sometimes to administer cancer medications directly into the bloodstream, an implantable port or PICC line is required. These can be required for certain types of medications or when your veins are difficult to access.

A PICC line is a soft plastic tube inserted into a vein in your upper arm and can be used to administer medications and take blood, an implantable port is also a soft plastic tube inserted into a vein but is usually tunnelled under the skin in the chest.

If either of these lines is required, this will be discussed with the specialist and nursing staff.

Refreshments

Tea and coffee provided.  If your treatment is over the whole day, lunch will also be provided.  Feel free to bring any snacks with you. 

Parking

The Jim Carney Cancer Centre is on Hospital Road opposite the Whangārei Hospital.

Parking is just past the building, turn left through the public carpark access and follow directions to "Undercover Parking".  Please note there is internal access from the Centre carpark via two flights of stairs, but a drop-off area is available for patients outside the main entrance.  The first hour is free, then charges apply after this first hour. The pay machine is also EFTPOS only.

There are two mobility spaces available at the front of the Centre and parking is free on the day you receive treatment.

Contact Details

8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Jim Carney Cancer Centre
Hospital Rd
Whangarei

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Street Address

Jim Carney Cancer Centre
Hospital Rd
Whangārei

Postal Address

Whangārei Hospital
Cancer & Blood Service
Maunu Road
Private Bag 9742
Whangārei 0148

This page was last updated at 2:46PM on November 22, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Cancer & Blood Service | Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) | Te Whatu Ora.