You are here: Home / Areas of Care / The Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre / Medical Services / Medical Oncology Services

Medical Oncology Services

A medical oncologist is a cancer specialist who specializes in systemic treatment, usually chemotherapy or hormone therapy. Systemic therapies are used for two different purposes in breast cancer: at the time of diagnosis (called adjuvant therapy) to reduce the risk of spread, and at the time when cancer has metastasized or spread elsewhere in the body.

Patients are referred by surgeons after surgery for breast cancer. And, in some cases, before surgery for an opinion regarding drug treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

During the clinic visit, the medical oncologist reviews important medical information including personal and medical history, family history, pathology reports, staging results (total body bone scan, abdominal ultrasound, chest x-ray), and hormone receptors.

The medical oncologist will discuss the role of systemic treatment, the possible side effects and how to manage these side effects and the risks involved.

Following agreement regarding the recommended treatment, the patient will be given a routine schedule and follow-up appointments.

The patient will also be advised about ongoing research studies in which they may be eligible to participate.

The oncology pharmacist gives the patient written information and this is reviewed with the primary nurse. At this time, the patient will receive verbal explanations about the names of the drugs, treatment scheduling, blood tests, vascular access devices (if needed), an assessment of psychosocial status and referrals as needed. The oncology pharmacist will also review with the patient the name of the drug(s), the expected side effects and the management of the side effects.

The patient will be given easy to understand information that she can take home to look over in her own time to allow her to digest this information at her own pace.

The patient will be informed of other resources available in the Breast Centre such as psychosocial support, nutritionist consultation, and other programs such as the Table of Plenty Program of complementary therapies. Appropriate referrals can be arranged for patients.


Oncology Pharmacy


Andrew Han
Loretta Lau

Backup pharmacists:
Helen Kim
Diana Saunders

     8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday through Friday)

The Oncology Pharmacy Satellite is staffed by two Oncology Pharmacists. All patients receiving chemotherapy meet with a pharmacist to review their chemotherapy protocol. Written drug information is provided. Patients are taught about potential side effects that may occur and given strategies for side effect management. Medication calendars are provided to patients on an ongoing basis throughout their chemotherapy treatments. This helps to ensure that medications such as oral chemotherapy and medications to prevent nausea are taken appropriately.

The Oncology Pharmacists also conduct medication histories to review any prescription and non-prescription medications a patient may be taking. This helps to identify and address any potential drug related issues. Therefore it is important that you bring all your current medications with you on the day of your first treatment.


Medical Oncologist:
Primary Nurses:

Pamela J. Goodwin, M.D., M.Sc., F.R.C.P.(C)
Lynn Thibaudeau
Velita Contiga, R.N., CON (C)

Medical Oncologist:
Primary Nurses:

Dr. Christine Elser M.D., M. Phil.
Susan Ussher
Ame De Belen, R.N.

Medical Oncologist:
Primary Nurses:

Dr. Eitan Amir, M.D., Ph.D
Ashley Migwans
Tess Collantes, R.N.