The BC Cancer Pain & Symptom Management/Palliative Care clinics transfer patients back to community physicians once symptoms have been stabilized and other palliative care needs have been addressed, so that care can be provided closer to home and for clinics to maintain capacity for new patients. Some transferred patients include those who require long-term opioid therapy, including methadone for analgesia.
BC Cancer encourages all family doctors and oncologists to obtain authorization to prescribe methadone for analgesia in order to assist with this. Please note that the authorization is entirely different to that for opioid substitution therapy in substance use disorder.
Authorization requires completion of the Methadone4pain.ca
online module (free, fully CME accredited, takes approximately 1 hour). The certificate of successful completion of the module is all that is required for the College of Physicians and Surgeons to process your application. The College will also provide you with a handbook and safe prescribing guideline for reference.
Please visit the College of Physicians and Surgeons website
for more information on the requirements.
Some cancer patients may benefit from palliative procedures such as nerve blocks, cryoablation, cementoplasty, epidural steroid injections etc., and it can sometimes be difficult to select the most appropriate procedure. A multidisciplinary case conference is held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month where these complex situations can be discussed. The referring physician is expected to attend in person or by teleconference, and communicate the consensus of the conference to the patient and any other relevant individuals. They are also responsible for making the appropriate arrangements for any recommended procedure after the conference. The referral form for the case conference can be found here