FAQs
Updated: October 2014 

These are some of our most frequently asked questions. Follow the links to find out more. 

   1. What is cancer?
2. Where can I find information on preventing cancer?
3. What role does nutrition play in cancer?
4. How do I find out more about cancer research?
5. How can I donate to cancer research or patient care in BC?
6. Where are the cancer treatment centres in B.C.?
7. What types of treatment therapies are there?
8. How do I find more information on cancer drugs?
9. Where do I find the drug protocols?
10. How do I donate my hair to make wigs?
11. Where can I find job or volunteer or student opportunities at the BCCA?
12. Where can I find information about cancer screening?
13. How do I change my appointment time?
14. Where can I find information about cancer cluster investigations?
15. How can I get a copy of my patient records?





















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1. What is cancer?

For background on cancer, causes and risk factors, and how cancer spreads, please read our Cancer Overview under Types of Cancer.


2. Where can I find information about cancer prevention?

The BC Cancer Agency Cancer Prevention Program provides details on a variety of prevention activities plus useful tips and links.


3. What role does nutrition play in cancer?

Please see our Nutritional Support section for information on nutrition in cancer prevention, help for nutritional challenges during treatment, or to arrange to meet with one of our Registered Dietitians. 

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4. How do I find out more about cancer research?

The BC Cancer Agency is recognized internationally for excellence in research resulting in new treatment protocols and the development of leading-edge technology. To find out more visit our Research section.


5. How can I donate to cancer research and patient care in BC?

The BC Cancer Foundation is an independent charitable organization that supports breakthrough research and patient care for the BC Cancer Agency and BC Cancer Research Centre. There are a number of ways to make donations including online donations, organizing and taking part in special events, and via planned gifts. 

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6. Where are the treatment centres?

The six BC Cancer Agency treatment centres in Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Surrey, Vancouver, and Victoria provide both radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is also provided in hospitals and clinics throughout BC. The BC Cancer Agency's Communities Oncology Network sets standards to ensure consistent treatment regardless of treatment location. 


7. What types of treatment therapies are there?

For information on surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other therapies and patient support, please see Cancer Treatment. Information on treatment of specific cancers is found in the Types of Cancer section. More detailed information about treatment for specific cancers is available in the Cancer Management Guidelines in the section for health care professionals. 


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8. How do I find more information on cancer drugs?

Please start with the Cancer Drugs page within Cancer Treatment for general information for patients and a background on drug therapies. To look up descriptions of individual drugs use the Cancer Drug Manual. The database includes patient handouts for drugs and more detailed pharmaceutical monographs.


9. Where do I find the drug protocols?

The Chemotherapy Protocols provide summaries of the various drug treatment plans for specific cancers used by the BC Cancer Agency Systemic Therapy Program staff at all regional cancer centres. 


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10. How do I donate my hair to make wigs for cancer patients undergoing treatment?

The following B.C. companies accept hair donations. In other provinces, please visit the Canadian Cancer Society website and search Hair Donations. The CCS website lists several programmes in Ontario that specialize in creating wigs for children.

General requirements:

Hair swept off the floor is not usable. Hair must be:

in a ponytail, bundled with ties or elastics at both ends (not loose, not braided)
at least 8 inches in length (minimum varies per program. See below)
clean, dry, untreated hair (not permed or coloured)
mailed in a padded envelope
It isn't possible to meet the recipients of the finished wigs. Include your name and address in the envelope, as acknowledgements may be sent. If your donated hair cannot be used to make a wig, it will not be returned to you.


Hair Donation Program
950 W. Broadway, Unit 107
Vancouver B.C.
V5Z 1K7 Hair is accepted by regular mail only - addressed to "Hair Donation Program". Hair should be a minimum of 8" (20cm) in length. Please do not braid..

Havana Technical Hair Design
4889 Slocan St.
Vancouver, B.C.
V5R 2A2
Hair is accepted by regular mail only - addressed to "Hair Donation Program". Hair should be a minimum of 9 inches (23cm) in length. Please do not braid.

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11. Are there job or volunteer or student opportunities at the BC Cancer Agency or BC Cancer Research Centre? 

Career Opportunities at the BC Cancer Agency and the BC Cancer Research Centre are noted on our website.

Applications may be dropped off at the BC Cancer Agency Human Resources front desk on the 4th floor, East Tower, City Square, 555 West 12th Avenue. There is no receptionist, but mail can be left there on the counter, or mailed. The general Human Resources phone number during regular office hours is 604 877 6117. There is a recorded message that comes on if the receptionist is away from her desk, which is fairly often.

It should be noted that jobs are first advertised internally at our six cancer centres, then if not filled, advertised externally. It is Human Resources policy to accept resumes even though there are no jobs available.

Volunteer opportunities exist at all six BC Cancer Agency Centres. Please see the Volunteer webpage for the centre of your choice: Abbotsford Centre, Centre for the North, Centre for the Southern Interior, Fraser Valley Centre, Vancouver Centre, or Vancouver Island Centre.

Please see Students and Residents section for training and educational placement opportunities at the BC Cancer Agency and the BC Cancer Research Centre. 


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12. Where can I find information about getting checked or screened for cancer?

Information about the various BC Cancer Agency screening programs for detection of breast, cervical, hereditary, lung, and prostate cancers is available under Screening Programs



13. How do I change my appointment time?
Be sure to inform staff if the cancellation is due to illness.  Contacts for each regional centre: 

Abbotsford Centre

Call the appointment desk at 604-851-4710 ex. 645301.

For Radiation appointments call 604-851-4706.


Centre for the North (Prince George)

First Appointment: to cancel or change your first appointment, please call:
250.645.7318 or toll-free 1.855.775.7300, local 687318

To cancel or change radiation therapy or chemotherapy appointments after your first visit, please call: 250.645.7323 or toll-free 1.855.775.7300, local 687323


Centre for the Southern Interior (Kelowna)

First Appointment: to cancel or change your first appointment, please call the physician who referred you to the Cancer Centre. 250.712.3900 or toll-free (within British Columbia) 1.888.563.7773

To cancel or change appointments after your first visit, please call between the hours of 7:45 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday:

Chemotherapy appointments and/or chemo doctor appointments
250.712.3955 or toll-free (within British Columbia) 1.888.563.7773 local 683955
Radiation therapy appointments and/or radiation doctor appointments 
250.712.3950 or 250.712.3951 or toll-free (within British Columbia) 1.888.563.7773 local 683950 or 683951


Fraser Valley Centre (Surrey)

To cancel or change outpatient appointments please call between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday:

Appointment Desk 604.930.4001 or toll free 1.800.523.2885 local 654001


Vancouver Centre

First Appointment: to cancel or change your first appointment, call the reception/information desk between the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday:

604.877.6050 or toll free at 1.800.663.3333 local 676050

To cancel or change outpatient appointments after your first visit, please call:

Chemotherapy appointments and/or chemo doctor appointments
604-877-6218 or toll free 1.800.663.3333 local 676218
Radiation therapy appointments and/or radiation doctor appointments
604-877-6014 or toll free 1.800.663.3333 local 676014


Vancouver Island Centre (Victoria)

To cancel or reschedule appointments please call between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday:

250.519.5707 or toll-free 1.800.670.3322 local 695707 


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14. Where can I find information about cancer cluster investigations?


We have produced a page of information about cancer cluster investigations, disease clusters and cancer clusters on this website.


15. How can I get a copy of my patient records?


The BC Cancer Agency is unable to accept these requests by email.  All requests for patient records must be made by telephone or fax to the BCCA Vancouver Centre’s Health Information, Release of Information unit. Call 604.877.6000 local 672334, or toll-free 1.800.663.3333, local 672334, or fax to 604.877.0702. 

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SOURCE:FAQs (http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/ PPI/ CommonQuestions.htm).
Page printed:2014/10/25. Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.
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