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Programs & Focus Areas

Cancer Care

St Michael’s Hospital is home to nationally and internationally recognized specialists who diagnose and treat patients with many different cancers including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colorectal and stomach cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Brain tumors
  • Hematologic malignancies such as Lymphoma


Screening can help find cancer at an early stage, even if symptoms are not present.  When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. While screening tests do not yet exist for all cancers, there are ways to screen for some such as colon, prostate, breast, cervical and skin cancers. Your family physician can guide you to the right screening tests for you and help you to understand your risk factors and the latest in what is known about preventing cancer. 

Click here for more information about the CIBC Breast Centre and the Ontario Breast Screening Program.

Treatment and supportive care

Care for patients with cancer is provided by an interprofessional team of health care professionals. We understand that cancer is a disease that affects the person who has been diagnosed as well as their loved ones who support them during this difficult time. It can impact their physical well-being as well as their emotional, social and financial well-being. 

The Oncology treatment team includes doctors (medical & radiation oncologists and surgeons), nurses, patient navigation specialists, pharmacists, social workers, dieticians, chaplains and physiotherapists.

Patients having cancer surgery will be cared for on the inpatient unit that is specialized for their particular type of surgery (General Surgery, Neurosurgery, Urology, Gynecology, etc.) or through day surgery.

Most cancer treatment (systemic therapy/chemotherapy) is provided on an outpatient basis. Patients typically receive outpatient care in our Medical Daycare Unit. For those requiring inpatient care, we have an Inpatient Unit.

St. Michael’s oncology team also works closely with the specialists at Princess Margaret Hospital to ensure that patients receive the expert care that they need.  

Cancer treatment research

St. Michael’s health care professionals are involved in conducting cancer related research. Clinical trials are one type of research, used to test new cancer therapies. A clinical trial is a carefully supervised research study on people, which is done in a hospital or clinic setting before the release of a drug or treatment to the general public. Through clinical trials, researchers learn which treatments are more effective than others. In oncology, clinical trials may test the usefulness of new drugs, new approaches to surgery or radiation therapy, or new combinations of treatments. Some trials look at ways of preventing cancer, some at ways to detect cancer early, and some at ways to measure the quality of life in cancer patients.

The oncologists and others on the health care team may discuss the option of these research studies with patients during their treatment planning.

Palliative care

St. Michael’s Hospital provides expert care for patients and their families living with advanced cancer through the Palliative Care Consult Service and the Palliative Care Unit.

To learn more about cancer and its treatment, consider visiting the following site: Canadian Cancer Society