Acute oncology service

The acute oncology service provides help and advice for managing the unexpected care needs of patients with cancer, who are unwell due to either the disease or associated treatments. This includes emergency situations and the acutely unwell patient.

Patients will have been given advice about when to contact the hospital for routine help and advice.

It is important that you call the hospital immediately, day or night, if you develop any of the following symptoms:


While you are having chemotherapy you will be susceptible to infection when your white cells (the regulators of the immune system) are low (neutropenic). Any infections you pick up during this time can make you seriously ill and you may need to be admitted to hospital to have the infection treated. Common symptoms of an infection include:

  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Feeling hot then cold and clammy
  • Feeling shivery or fluey
  • Having a raised temperature

Some patients may feel unwell without having a raised temperature. There are many possible reasons for this. One is that some medications you may be prescribed can mask a temperature. It is important to contact the hospital for advice if you feel unwell, even if you do not have a temperature.

Some medication i.e. Paracetamol, aspirin or steroids can mask or hide a temperature. If you have taken any medication, please tell us when you call us.


Chemotherapy can also cause the platelet levels in your blood to fall. The platelets are responsible for helping your blood to clot. Low platelets levels can cause bruising or bleeding.

If you are experiencing bruising, bleeding from the gums, in the urine or stools, or have red spots or rashes in your skin, or an uncontrolled nosebleed, please contact us immediately for advice.

Severe back pain/ difficulty walking

Occasionally,  cancer can spread to the spinal column and cause the spinal cord to be compressed or squeezed. This can cause damage to the spinal cord which can lead to paralysis. Although this is a rare condition, it is an emergency and the quicker it is detected and treated , the better the result. Early diagnosis and treatment can help minimise serious disability and paralysis.

  • Back pain that is worse at night
  • Numbness, heaviness , weakness or difficulty using arms or legs
  • A band of pain around the chest or abdomen or pain down an arm or leg
  • Changes in sensation, for example pins and needles or electric shock sensations
  • Side effects of treatment

You will have received advice about possible side effects of your treatment and how to control these. If you have any questions about how to deal with any side effects which may be troubling you, please call us.


Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm,

Ingham suite 01522 572260/572261

Out of hours Lincoln (Waddington ward) 01522 572255/572257


Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Information and Support 07341 739476

Out of Hours Lincoln (Waddington ward) 01522 572255/572257


Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

Chemo suite 01205 446548

Out of Hours Ward 7A 01205 445347

Please do not use these numbers for routine questions or appointment enquiries.