Cancer Care Ontario reports on systemic treatment wait times at each of the regional cancer centres that offer systemic treatment services for each type of cancer.
We provide this information to help you and your physician decide whether it is appropriate for you to be referred to a treatment facility outside your area or Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). If it is appropriate, your physician will contact the treatment centre to determine whether you can be accommodated there and to make the necessary arrangements. You are responsible for all travel and accommodation expenses incurred, whether you receive treatment within our outside of your LHIN.
Systemic Treatment Wait Times - Current Month
Systemic Treatment Wait Times in Ontario
Systemic treatment, which involves the use of intravenous chemotherapy drugs, is used to fight cancer throughout the entire body. Other treatments, such as radiation and surgery, focus on the site of the cancerous tumour. In 2007/08, more than 36,700 cancer patients in Ontario received some form of systemic treatment and this number is growing. Increasing rates of cancer in the province and expanded use of cancer drugs in treatment have led to increasing pressure on wait times for care and existing infrastructure, and increasing need for health human resources.
The overall average proportion of patients who had a consult with a medical oncologist within 14 days of referral increased from 48% in 2009 to 56% in 2010, while more patients received treatment in 2010.
Systemic Treatment Wait Times – Current Month
Cancer Care Ontario reports systemic treatment wait times as the percentage of patients seen for the interval Referral to Consult and Consult to Treatment for Ontario, by regional cancer centre and by type of cancer. Wait Times are updated monthly.
Referral to Consult:
The time between a referral to a specialist to the time that specialist consults with the patient. The target for this interval is 14 days.
Consult to Treatment:
The time between a specialist consult with the patient and the time the patient receives his or her first chemotherapy treatment. The target for this interval is 28 days.
Provincial Wait Times: Intervals by Type of Cancer
Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant (HNHB) identified issues associated with use of new information technology systems in the submission of data from an HNHB site, which have affected systemic wait time reporting. CCO is working with the Regional Cancer Program to help resolve the issue. The data will be updated for future reporting upon HNHB’s resubmission.
Systemic Treatment Wait Time by Regional Cancer Centre
Referral to Consult - Percent of Patients Seen Within Target (14 days)
View RCC Referral to Consult Chart
Consult to Treatment - Percent of Patients Treated Within Target (28 days)
View RCC Consult to Treatment Chart
Systemic Treatment Wait Times by Type of Cancer
All disease sites combined
Central Nervous System
(e.g., brain, spinal cord)
(e.g., colon, rectum, stomach)
(e.g., bladder, prostate, testes)
(e.g., uterus, ovary, cervix)
Head and Neck
(e.g., larynx, tongue)
(e.g., leukemia, lymphoma)
(e.g., bone, soft tissue)
(e.g., melanoma, non-melanoma)
(e.g., eye, thyroid)
Both the "Referral to Consult" and the "Consult to Treatment" intervals include all new patients seen or treated within that time period. All new treatment cases exclude oral antineoplastics. Data are available from April 2008 onward for Referral to Consult and April 2010 onward for Consult to Treatment.