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Cancer Care Team

BC Cancer – Surrey has over 250 staff, each playing a vital role in providing you with quality cancer care.
Some work directly with you to treat your cancer, others help you deal with the impact of cancer on you, your family and your friends, while others do not deal directly with you but are still vital to your treatment. 
In addition to the staff you will meet regularly, your complete cancer care team includes staff working in patient records, radiation electronics, administration, etc. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

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.

Professional counsellors are available to help you and your loved ones deal with the emotional 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. Assistance is also available to help you deal with financial stresses and receive support at home.


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.


The health unit coordinator (HUC) supports the operation of patient areas in health-care facilities through the performance of a variety of duties. The HUC enhances the delivery of patient care by efficiently and accurately transcribing physician orders, scheduling patient appointments, maintaining patient records, arranging patient tests and receiving results, and receiving and directing visitors to the patient area. The HUC liaises with other departments and agencies who provide patient care services.


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, however, the actual treatment will be carried out by a number of other health care professionals.


Medical physicists are highly trained health care professionals specializing in medical applications of physics, including use of high-energy radiation to combat cancer. Together with radiation oncologists, radiotherapy therapists and other health-care professionals they assure the correct amount of radiation is delivered to the intended region within the body. Such work includes patient-specific quality assurance, as well as quality assurance of the medical equipment. Medical physicists use their knowledge to control the radiation hazards to make the radiation therapy efficient and safe to the patients, the health-care workers and the public. They are also involved in research and development of new treatment techniques, as well as teaching.


Oncology nurses are important members of the interdisciplinary team. You can access nursing care during any visit to BC Cancer – Surrey. All you need to do is request to see a nurse. Nurses work in Patient Support Clinics within BC Cancer – Surrey as well as in telephone care, chemotherapy and the radiation therapy areas. They are specially trained to provide care and support to cancer patients. The nurses are committed to providing 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 BC Cancer – Surrey.


Medications used to treat cancer are clinically evaluated and dispensed at BC Cancer – Surrey by a team of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy assistants. These medications, which are provided free of charge, will either be administered at BC Cancer – Surrey 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.

Prescriptions 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.

Radiation oncologists primarily use radiation to treat or control cancer and its symptoms, although they may also use drug treatments. They will meet with you to discuss your treatment, decide how long your treatment will last and 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 medical physicists and radiation therapists to design your 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. The radiation therapist 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.

Helping to maximize quality of life through improving swallowing and communication difficulties related to your cancer or cancer treatment.

To learn more, call 250-519-5607.
Volunteers at BC Cancer are here to help support patients and others during their cancer journey. They are available in BC Cancer – Surrey to offer assistance and comfort to patients, their family members and friends and other visitors. You may find volunteers escorting patients to their appointments, offering resource materials, introducing patients to staff, selling refreshments or providing companionship during visits to BC Cancer – Surrey.

Click this link to find out more about volunteering.


You and your family may have a number of questions about nutrition, for example: "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 that might arise during your treatment

SOURCE: Cancer Care Team ( )
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