The Abbotsford Centre has more than 150 staff, each playing a vital role in providing you with quality cancer care.
Some staff work directly with you to treat your cancer. Others help you deal with the impact of cancer on you, your family, and your friends, and some do not deal directly with you but are still vital to your treatment.
As well as the staff you will meet regularly, your cancer care team includes staff working in health information management (patient records), medical physics staff, administration, etc. Our staff is happy to answer any questions you may have.
It is important to note that although you will see different health care professionals, your family doctor is still in charge of any general health problems you may have and continues to play a major role in your ongoing care. Your family doctor will receive regular reports regarding your cancer and care from your treatment team.
Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy can produce changes in the mouth, such as soreness or dryness. The Oral Oncology department is available to help manage mouth problems if they arise. Please feel free to contact them if you have any questions regarding mouth care as you go through treatment.
Medical oncologists work with you when the recommended treatment for your cancer is chemotherapy or hormone therapy (systemic therapy).
Chemotherapy and hormone therapy use drugs to destroy cancer cells. You may take these drugs by mouth, or may have them injected through a vein in your arm. A medical oncologist will discuss your treatment with you and will recommend a treatment program, but the actual treatment will be carried out by a number of other health care professionals.
Oncology nurses are important members of the interdisciplinary team.
You can access nursing care during any visit to the centre. All you need to do is request to see a nurse. Nurses work in patient support cinics within the centre as well as in telephone care, chemotherapy and the radiation therapy areas. They are specially trained to provide care and support to cancer patients.
Nurses provide patients not only with support but also education regarding treatment and the management of side effects related to treatment. You can also ask them to explain technical terms or to put you in touch with other professionals at the cancer centre.
Patient & family counselling services has professional counsellors available to help you and your loved ones deal with the emotional and practical challenges associated with cancer. Our counsellors can help you to clarify concerns, express emotions and discover the strengths you'll need to cope successfully. They can also connect you with the many support programs available at BC Cancer as well as community groups and other services.
Refer to Support Programs to view the monthly support group calander.
Call 604-851-4733 to make an appointment with a counsellor.
Medications used to treat cancer are clinically evaluated and dispensed at the cancer centre by a team of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy assistants. These medications, which are provided free of charge, will either by administered at the cancer centre or will be given to you to take at home. Pharmacists will provide you with detailed verbal and written information about the drugs you will take at home. They will also review your other medications to ensure they are safe to take with the cancer treatment. Our pharmacists are available to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about your cancer medications.
Presciptions for medications for supportive care, such as antinauseants or pain control medications, must be taken to and paid for at a community pharmacy. For more information, see Drug Funding.
See the Services section for Pharmacy hours and contact information.
A radiation oncologist is a specialist physician with expertise in cancer management, and in particular, the uses of radiation therapy to treat cancer.
The radiation oncologist, in consultion with you, decides whether radiation therapy will be helpful in a particular situation, the part of the body to be included in the radiation beam, and how long your treatment will last. He or she will monitor your progress during and after treatment.
Radiation therapy uses beams of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. A radiation oncologist works with a team of physicists and therapists to design and deliver a safe and effective radiation therapy plan.
Radiation therapists plan and deliver radiation treatments according to the prescription of the radiation oncologist.
They have expert knowledge of treatment principles and calculations required for safe and accurate treatment delivery.
Radiation therapists have a fundamental role in managing your care while you are receiving radiation therapy. They will have daily contact with you throughout the treatment program, and your well-being is their major focus. They will guide you through treatment, providing education and support and will provide links to other heath care professionals as required.
You and your family may have a number of questions about nutrition.
"Should I change the way I eat during cancer treatment?", or "What can I do if I have lost my appetite or I am losing weight?"
Our registered dietitians are skilled in the nutritional care of people with cancer and provide counselling to manage the various symptoms related to eating, which might arise during your treatment.
The unit clerk supports the operation of patient areas in health care facilities through the performance of a variety of duties.
They efficiently and accurately transcribe physician orders, schedule patient appointments, maintain patient records, arrange patient tests and receive results, and receive and direct visitors to the patient area.
The unit clerk liaises with other departments and agencies who provide patient care services.
Volunteers at BC Cancer are here to help support the experience of patients and family members during their cancer journey.
They are available in your cancer centre to offer assistance and comfort to patients, their family members, friends and other visitors.
You may find volunteers welcoming patients to the centre, offering patient eduction materials, assisting with group programs or providing conversational support during visits to the centre.