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Pain & Symptom Management

Published April 2002

The Pain and Symptom Management/ Palliative Care Program (PSMPC) at BC Cancer was brought into being in 1998, after much consultation with the community of palliative care providers in the province, and stakeholders within BC Cancer. In planning for this program, considerations concerning fit, both within BC Cancer and with partnering community palliative care providers, has been paramount.


The purpose of the BC Cancer PSMPC Program is to improve the quality of life for individuals and their caregivers living with cancer. This will be accomplished in collaboration with other palliative care partners through:

  • provision of seamless pain and symptom management and palliative support throughout the cancer journey;
  • advancement of knowledge; and
  • transformation of knowledge into best practice.


Within the BC Cancer vision, the PSMPC Program will be a leader in promoting and providing palliative support and symptom management that meets the needs of persons affected by cancer wherever they are in the continuum of care and regardless of the goals of therapy.

Those we serve, and our partners in the community, will look to the PSMPC Program for:

  • laying the groundwork for end of life decision-making throughout the patient and family cancer experience;
  • leadership in advancing and disseminating knowledge through a program of research and education; and
  • defining and applying the standards by which pain and symptom management for cancer patients is measured (2000).

A provincial program structure exists to coordinate and facilitate palliative care work and interests, at the same time as preserving the community-oriented flavour of each of the four (soon to be five) Regional Cancer Centres.

The Pain and Symptom Management/ Palliative Care Program has collaborated with Fraser Health to create the hospice palliative care symptom guidelines. The guidelines are one of the resources available to health care professionals to improve health care outcomes in hospice palliative / end-of-life care.

Hospice palliative care symptom guidelines

The hospice palliative care symptom guidelines can be downloaded from the Fraser Health website. These guidelines relate to a patient’s trajectory being at end of life

We encourage BC Cancer staff, and those who visit our site, to access and use these tools to guide their practice. They have been created according to the highest rigour possible, and are housed and managed in a way that continues to evolve their evidence base as required.

Active treatment

Symptom management nursing guidelines: for patients who are in active treatment

SOURCE: Pain & Symptom Management ( )
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