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Treatment Services

These are some of the services you might interact with during your treatment. 

Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  

Location: 6th floor of the building 

Ambulatory Care Chemotherapy Unit (ACCU) has a reception desk and up to 14 treatment rooms. Each room has 3 to 4 treatment chairs that recline for patient’s comfort.

In this unit all chemotherapy drugs are administered into a vein (intravenously). Patients may receive a single drug or a combination depending on their type of cancer. The length of stay for treatments can vary between 30 minutes and 8 hours depending on the type of treatment. Patients receiving longer treatments are encouraged to bring a book, personal music player, or their favourite drinks and snacks for their time in the treatment unit.

Chemotherapy treatments are given by registered nurses who work in ACCU. These nurses have intensive education to support their practice and care delivery. The nurses work closely with the pharmacists and oncologists to ensure that your treatments are accurate and given in a timely way, in accordance with the protocols. The nurses will teach you about the treatments, the drugs used and their side effects in order to ensure that you have information to support you during your treatments. They will help you to manage side effects and will refer you to other professionals, as needs arise.


Location: There are two ACU clinics: 

  • the second floor at BC Cancer – Vancouver 
  • the eighth floor of the Fairmont Building 

When your appointment is made, you will be notified which area to go to.

The Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) is a dedicated clinic area where patients meet their care team. Patients, families and healthcare professionals work together to develop care plans, provide support and education. 


Chemotherapy is the treatment that involves use of chemical agents (drugs) to stop cancer cells from growing. Chemotherapy can eliminate cancer cells at sites great distances from the original cancer. As a result, chemotherapy is considered a systemic treatment.


Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 18.30 p.m.


Location: 6th floor 

The Daycare Unit shares a reception desk with ACCU; it has 4 rooms. 

Daycare treatments and procedures include bone marrow biopsies, taking blood specimens from a central venous catheter, blood or platelet transfusions, intravenous hydration, patient teaching for self-injections, care of central venous catheters and ambulatory infusion pumps. These procedures are usually booked in advance. The length of stay in this unit can be between 15 minutes to 8 hours depending on the treatment or procedure. Patients who need to stay for many hours are encouraged to bring a book, personal music player and their favourite drinks and snacks. Family and friends are welcome during your time on the unit.


Location: 5th floor of the building

The Inpatient Unit has 23 beds. The unit is for patients who require supportive care and symptom management while receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy. All patients are encouraged to invite their family or friends to visit.


Location: third floor of the building: turn left out of the elevators

Laboratory tests are common for most cancer patients, so you will likely visit the lab at the hospital on a regular basis. 


At BC Cancer – Vancouver, you will be cared for by registered nurses (RN) who have received additional education in cancer care. Many of our nurses have achieved the designation of Certified Oncology Nurses in Canada.

The oncology nurse has a significant role in helping individuals and family members cope with the many stresses of being ill. The nurses teach, advise, counsel and support cancer patients and their families to understand and manage the treatments and side effects. Nurses are involved in administering cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. Nurses will assist you in managing problems such as nausea, fatigue, skin care, pain or constipation. Whatever stage of cancer or treatment you are in, the nurses will be there to assess and help you cope with the illness.

The nurse will refer your care to community supports, such as home care and will ensure that there is communication with nurses in the community, where you may receive some of your care, in order that your care may be uninterrupted and comprehensive. Your nurse is a key information source and can answer many of your questions. 


The nutritionists at BC Cancer – Vancouver are specialized in the areas of nutrition for cancer prevention and the nutritional needs of people with cancer. Nutritionists can help you deal with your questions and problems.

See Nutrition Services for more information, including how to contact the service.


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.

For more information about these services, to make an appointment with a counsellor, or to register for a program:

Phone: 604-877-6000 ext. 672194

Toll-free: 1-800-663-3333 ext. 67219

Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. 4:30pm

Also see:


A PET/CT scan is a medical imaging procedure that combines two technologies (PET and CT). PET detects changes in cellular metabolism (how active a cell is), often indicating the presence or absence of disease. CT detects changes in the physical size or shape of a lesion and shows exactly where in the body the lesion is located. In combining both technologies in a single scanner, we can more accurately detect cancer and pinpoint its location in the body during a single imaging session. 

Find out more about PET services here 


Location: The pharmacy is located on the 6th floor of BC Cancer – Vancouver adjacent to the Chemotherapy Treatment Unit.


Outpatient Pharmacy hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday


Closed:  Weekends and statutory holidays


Phone: 604-877-6135


Toll-free (in BC): 1-800-663-3333 Local 676135


Fax: 604-877-6132


Refills: Phone, mail, or fax your request. Please allow at least 2 business days for processing.


When to call the pharmacy: If you have refills on your prescription, you can call the pharmacy directly and leave a message requesting your refill.


When to call the doctor's office: If you have no refills left on your prescription, you will need to contact your oncologist or family doctor's office for a new prescription. Your doctor can fax the new prescription directly to us. To ensure there is enough time for all the necessary arrangements, please call the doctor's office at least 2 weeks before you run out of medication.


Picking up your prescription: Bring identification (ID) when picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy. One piece of primary ID (eg. driver's license, passport, provincial identity card issued by the province of BC, etc) or two pieces of secondary ID (eg. BC Cancer identification card, care card issued by the province of BC, birth certificate, Canadian citizenship card, etc).


Designating someone to pick up your prescription: When someone else is picking up your medication, he or she must provide your name and a signed letter from you, or one piece of your primary ID or two pieces of your secondary ID.


Labwork: For some treatments, you will need to have labwork done and reviewed before your prescription can be filled.


Drug Coverage: All BC Cancer approved medications used to actively treat your cancer are provided free of charge at the BC Cancer Pharmacy. 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


Inpatient services: BC Cancer – Vancouver only


Location: On Level 2 and in the Annex. 

Radiation therapy uses of high energy radiation for the treatment of many types of cancer. 

The Radiation Therapy department has a mould room for patient preparation, 2 CT scanners for radiation treatment planning and 11 treatment units. 

Your doctor may have recommended you to receive radiation therapy treatment. Radiation oncologists, radiation therapists, nurses, physicists, pharmacists, counsellors, unit clerks and other members of the interdisciplinary team coordinate care and ensure that your needs are met. 

For more information see Radiation Therapy


Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Location: third floor of the building; turn left out of the elevators

Telephone: 604-877-6000 ext. 2274 

If you need an x-ray, CT scan, MRI or ultrasound as part of your care you may be asked to visit Diagnostic Imaging.

Radiology (the Diagnostic Imaging Department) provides a variety of imaging services that have been requested by your doctor.
  • barium exam of the gastrointestinal tract
  • copies of reports or images
  • CT (computed tomography) scan
  • mammography
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
  • needle biopsy and fine needle aspiration 
Our staff will make every effort to explain your examinations to you. You may not require the services of all areas of the department but you will likely be in contact with some of them. For certain examinations, you may receive printed instructions if preparation is required.

Hours: Monday to Friday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and for all procedures in both operating rooms to provide diagnostic information or treatment for cancer patients. 

Location: second floor of the building

The Surgical Suite has two operating rooms, a surgical daycare, post-anesthetic recovery room and sterile supply department.

The physicians who operate are surgeons, oncologists or researchers. 

The procedures performed include breast biopsies, minor gynecological procedures, prostate brachytherapy, bone marrow harvest, node biopsies, gastroscopies, colonoscopies and bronchoscopies.

The majority of surgical suite patients are day patients who come to the surgical daycare for preparation and after the procedure, recover prior to discharge home.

There are specialty units at BC Cancer – Vancouver, such as the Operating Room, Recovery Room and Day Care, where specialty certified nurses offer unique care and services. 

These nurses work closely with the oncologists, radiation therapists, pharmacists, counsellors and other members of the interdisciplinary team to coordinate care and ensure that patient needs are met.


SOURCE: Treatment Services ( )
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