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MAKING THE APPOINTMENT

How Long Will I Need To Wait For An Appointment?

There is not a long waiting time for appointments to see one of the specialists at the Women’s Cancer Centre. We understand how anxious you will be and we will do our best to respond to your needs as efficiently and quickly as possible.

How Do I Make An Appointment?

The Reception is located at Ascot Central Women’s Clinic and is open from 8.30am 5.00pm Monday Friday. During these hours an appointment for a consultation with any of the doctors can be made by telephoning the rooms on (09) 520 9361.

What Do I Need When Making An Appointment?

When making your appointment we will need your full name, date of birth and contact telephone number together with the diagnosis from your referring doctor, as well as your referring doctor’s name and their letter of referral.

Do I Need A Referral?

You will need a referral from your general practitioner or referring specialist. Once you have telephoned the rooms and made your appointment to see one of the doctors, please ensure that your referring doctor has forwarded their letter of referral to us prior to your appointment. It may be quicker for your doctor to fax the information to us on (09) 520 9362. This ensures that the specialist you will be seeing is prepared for your visit and that your consultation with the doctor is productive.

Do You See International Patients?

The Women’s Cancer Centre welcomes not only New Zealand based patients but also women from the Pacific and beyond. Making the Appointment details the procedure and requirements. Please note that if you are making an appointment on behalf of a non-English speaking woman that you advise at that time if an interpreter will be accompanying her to the appointment or if she would like to have one organized for her. We are happy to arrange this but there will be a fee for the interpreter service.

YOUR FIRST APPOINTMENT

What Should I Bring To The Appointment?

At the time you make the appointment we would have asked you to ensure that your referring doctor forwards their letter of referral to us, but please bring with you any test results and reports that you may have received, including x-rays, pathology slides and reports. Your specialist will also need a list of any prescription medications that you may be taking including the dosage.

What Should I Expect?

Initial consultations are usually forty-five minute appointments but may be longer if the problems are complex. This allows the doctor to comprehensively discuss your history and perform any necessary manual examination. The price of the consultation is calculated on a 45-minute time frame. Please be aware that if your appointment is longer you will be charged to include the extra time. For example an appointment taking an hour you would be charged for sixty minutes. The unpredictable nature of the doctor’s work can cause delays but every effort is made to stay to the appointment schedule.

Can I Bring A Support Person With Me?

Yes, it is a good idea to have someone with you when you attend your appointment. The doctors at the Women’s Cancer Centre encourage you to bring members from your immediate family, relatives or close friends. They are aware that anxieties, fear, stress and panic can affect people differently and at different stages of any possible treatment. A support person can help you listen to answers and remind you if you have forgotten to ask a question. The support and understanding they can offer you from the beginning is important. Understanding situations can help and by having your relative or friend with you during your appointment can help with the retention of information given at a time of stress and uncertainty. Sharing and understanding the situation you are facing (the consultation, diagnosis, treatment, after care and ongoing management) with people who are close to you, will help to ensure that you have their support and understanding when you need it. You will also not have the additional worry of coping with how and when to tell them.

What questions should I ask my doctor?

Some women do not like to question what their doctor has said or recommended. If you do not understand their explanations, a medical term used or you are not exactly clear what is being recommended or why, do not be afraid to ask. Doctors are used to being asked questions and explaining reasons behind their decisions, so please do ask questions until you feel that you understand what is going on. It is important to keep asking questions until you feel you have all the information that you need to make choices about treatment. The information on this website about cancer has been designed to give a general understanding as to what cancer is, where and how it can affect a woman. Whilst you are reading it, you can make a note of questions that come to mind and bring them with you to your next appointment to ask your doctor.

Can I contact my doctor between scheduled appointments?

Between your appointments, you may develop new symptoms, or your symptoms may get worse. If this happens, don't be worried to phone the reception for your next appointment to be brought forward. Your doctor will be happy to see you and it may be in everyone’s best interests for you to be seen earlier.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER TREATMENT

Post-operative and follow up visits

Your doctor will also ask you to make an appointment during the week following your discharge from hospital to discuss the histology results and recommendations from the Multi Disciplinary Meeting. You will also have a postoperative appointment usually 5-6 weeks from the date of your surgery. Please ensure that you telephone the reception to make these appointments. Post-operative appointments are usually 15 minutes but may be longer if you wish the doctor to go into more detail, explanation or to discuss any issue you wish to raise. At the time of these appointments your doctor will discuss with you the results from your surgery and any possible further treatment options if applicable. You will be given your patient folder containing information of your condition, all notes, operation, histology etc carried out to date. This is to help you learn and understand your disease, treatment options, management and ongoing support.

Supervision of Clinical Management

All cancer cases are discussed at a weekly Multi Disciplinary Meeting. This meeting is made up of a team of gynaecological oncologists, pathologists, medical and radiation oncologists, as well as radiologists to ensure the best and most appropriate plan for further management and follow up care is mapped out. The strength of this multidisciplinary group of specialists is that it allows your case to be looked and discussed at from various viewpoints. This means that the management of your cancer is based on a group decision rather than on an individual bases.

Ongoing Management

Different types of cancers behave differently from each other and how they affect you will not necessarily be the same as how they affect another woman. Because of this you may need to have further ongoing management. As part of the ongoing management and support your specialist here at the Women’s Cancer Centre will discuss any further recommended management with you and refer you to other specialists if further treatment is required. You will also receive a copy of any correspondence written by your doctor. Please ensure that you keep this in your patient folder given to you at the time of your post-operative visit.

Follow Up Care During Further Treatment

As part of the service and care provided by the doctors at the Women’s Cancer Centre further management will continue to be followed through even if you are referred to other specialists or hospitals. We will also keep in touch with you during any further treatment you might require such as the chemotherapy and radiotherapy. A visit to your doctor at the Women’s Cancer Centre is recommended during the first 3-4 months of any further treatment you may receive. The doctors are aware that this is a busy time for you with perhaps daily visits to other specialists, not feeling well combined with the emotional turmoil you and those close to you may be feeling; but they do recommend the visit to see your doctor at the Centre to ensure that all is going well with you gynaecologically.

Long Term Management

There are many different types of cancers that behave quite differently from each other. Whilst you may have received treatment and are free of disease you will also be recommended to have long term follow up to ensure that no recurrence of the cancer happens. Some cancers require follow up after treatment for up to 5 years, some for 10 years and some need to be followed up for life. Your doctor will explain to you the most appropriate long-term follow up care they would suggest for you.