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Patient Journey

The cancer journey is not an easy road to travel without the support and guidance of your health care provider.

At BC Cancer – Kelowna, while the main focus is on treating cancer, we also offer a wide variety of resources to help you and your loved ones cope during this difficult time. Click the tabs below for more information on what to expect during the patient journey and links to helpful resources.

Your first visit
Your first visit is for consultation and planning. You may receive a telephone call before your first visit asking for general information (i.e. general personal information, physician name) that will help us register you. If you do not receive a call, don't worry– we will get the information from you at the time of your visit.

What to expect

When you arrive, a clerk will give you a new patient brochure, which contains contact details and important information about BC Cancer services, and the Patient Reported Information and Symptom Measurement (PRISM) form.

The PRISM form takes around 15 to 30 minutes to complete. If you previously submitted a PRISM form, notify the clerk as you will not need to complete it a second time. Once submitted, you will then be directed to one of the clinics for your first visit with a cancer specialist.

During your first visit, you will meet members of your cancer care team. They will learn about you and, together, make plans for your care. It is very unlikely you will receive any treatment during this visit unless there are specific circumstances that call for it.

Your first visit will last about 2½ hours during which a physical examination will be conducted by a cancer specialist. This will be an opportunity to talk and ask questions to the specialist and your nurse. After the physical examination, the cancer specialist will talk to you about ongoing care.

At the end of your first visit, you will be provided with an appointment card, featuring your chart number and contact information, if we are expecting you to return. Any upcoming appointments will be recorded on this card. Please have it with you whenever you visit or contact us, as the chart number is used for identification; this will speed up your service.

If you need assistance, a volunteer or clerk will be available to escort you, and answer any questions you may have. For more information about what to expect during a first visit, download the Guidebook for Patients.

Virtual Tour: visit a gallery of interactive photos to see BC Cancer - Kelowna (external page).  Click a white "target" dot to move the view to that image.  

How to prepare
Please bring the following items with you to your first visit:

  • Your BC Services / BC Care Card
  • One piece of photo ID
  • A list of current medications (including pain medications, vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies, etc.)
  • Reading glasses, if you need them
  • The names and telephone numbers (work and home) of two contact people
  • Information on your health history and any allergies that you may have
  • X-rays or other diagnostic images that you may have been given
  • A list of questions to ask
  • A pen and notepad (optional)
We strongly encourage you to download, print and complete the Patient Reported Information and Symptom Measurement (PRISM) form before your first visit, then give your completed form to the clerk when checking in. If you aren't able to, don't worry– a clerk will give you one to complete after you check in.

If you need further assistance, clerks and volunteers are available to help and support you, and answer any questions you may have.
For answers to frequently asked questions, please click the questions below. For additional resources, click here.

How can I re-schedule / cancel a visit?

If you have to re-schedule or confirm a visit, please call the 250-712-3900 or toll-free (within BC) 1-888-563-7773, then follow the prompts for radiation or systemic (chemotherapy) appointments. If you need to cancel your first visit, please call the doctor who referred you. Your doctor will help you re-schedule.

Can I use an interpreter?

Yes, if you need assistance communicating, bring an interpreter or ask a member of the health care team to request one on your behalf. An interpreter may remain with you throughout your visit.

Can I bring my cell phone or mobile device?

Yes, you may bring your cellular phone. While visiting, cellular phones may be left on but in vibrate mode only. We ask patients and families not to use cell phones in the consultation or treatment areas.

Can I bring my pet?

Animals other than assist dogs are prohibited in BC Cancer – Kelowna buildings.

Can I bring someone along for support?

Yes, on your first visit, you may bring someone with you for support. Having a family member or friend around is a great way to help you remember what was said.  A support person may not be able to accompany you in all treatment areas, however.

Where can I stay nearby in Kelowna?

You may be able to stay at the Southern Interior Rotary Lodge, run by the Canadian Cancer Society. For more information, call 250-712-2203.

Patient & Family Counselling may be able to advise of other accommodations available in the area. For more information, call 250-712-3963 or toll-free (within BC) 1-888-563-7773 ext. 3963.

Where can I park my car?

Patient parking is available in the Royal Avenue parking lot, close to the main entrance.  Free parking  is available for current BC Cancer patients, by getting a pass from our main reception desk.

All other visitors to our centre, purchase parking from the parking dispenser adjacent to the front entrance. Parking rates are $1.50 / hour, $5.00 / day, $20.00 / week or $53.00 / month. The parking meter only accepts credit cards and coins. All vehicles need a pass to avoid a parking fine.

Can I take the bus to BC Cancer – Kelowna?

Yes, public transportation to BC Cancer – Kelowna is available by bus. If you're coming by bus, take the #1 Lakeshore route and get off at Kelowna General Hospital. You can get to BC Cancer – Kelowna by walking through Kelowna General Hospital and along the connecting walkway.

The HandyDART service helps those whose disability makes it difficult to use public transport. For more information, visit the HandyDART website or call 250-762-3278. Please note, this service must be booked at least 24 hours in advance and pre-registration is required.

How can I arrange other transportation?

The Wheels of Hope driver service provides transportation to BC Cancer – Kelowna from Kamloops to Oliver or from the bus depot or accommodations. For more information, please call 250-712-1101 or toll-free 1-800-299-0188. This service must be booked at least 2 days in advance. Please note, due to the complexity of scheduling appointments, patients using this service may have to wait for other patients for their return ride. Wheels of Hope is a program of the Canadian Cancer Society.

If you are flying in from out of town, the Kelowna Airport Shuttle offers pick-up and drop-off services to the centre. For more information, call 250-765-0182.

For more information on transportation assistance to and from cancer treatment appointments at BC Cancer – Kelowna, visit Transportation & Lodging.

Can I wear scented products at the clinic?

Please do not wear scented products while visiting, in consideration of those who have scent-related allergies.

Is smoking permitted?

No, smoking is not permitted in the buildings or on the grounds of BC Cancer – Kelowna.

Should I eat before I come?

For your first visit, it's a good idea to bring a snack, drink, or light lunch with you. Kelowna General Hospital hosts a cafeteria as well as a "snackery" in the hospital lobby where you can purchase snacks, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks.

For subsequent visits, take-out lunches are available through the Southern Interior Rotary Lodge located just west of the BC Cancer – Kelowna parking lot. To pre-order, call 250-712-2203 ext. 225 by 10:00 am; your lunch will be waiting for you at the specified pick-up time.

What is done with my personal information?

When you are receiving care at BC Cancer, our staff and physicians will collect personal information from you. Where permitted, BC Cancer will also collect information about you from other health care providers or health care organizations.

Your information may be entered into our electronic health information systems to assist authorized persons in quickly accessing pertinent information wherever you may be receiving care or services. 

We collect, use and share your personal information under the primary authority of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”). FIPPA and other legislations authorize us to use and share your personal information for these reasons:

  • to identify you and keep in contact with you about your health care
  • to provide ongoing care and support of care activities
  • to help us plan, monitor, maintain and improve our care and services,
  • for education and training (e.g. medical students) and to conduct research with consent or as permitted by law
  • to know your eligibility for benefits and services and to arrange medical services billing
  • to enable parties (e.g. Ministry of Health Services, Canadian Institute of Health Information) to confirm your identity, conduct planning and improvement activities, measure performance and fund healthcare 
  • to analyze, manage and control disease outbreaks and monitor the overall health of people 
  • as required by law (e.g. court order, reportable conditions) and as authorized by FIPPA
Your health information will be provided to your referring physician, other authorized health care professionals and their support staff, or health care agencies and facilities involved in your care to support continuous and consistent care and service. In some cases, these health professionals may look up your health information in our electronic health information systems in order to provide you with direct or supporting services.

You may request access to your health record by contacting the Release of Information Office in the cancer centre where you are receiving your treatment.

eHealth is a provincial initiative that allows certain aspects of your health information to be accessed by authorized health care professionals throughout the province and not just within a particular region. Each health authority sends specific health information to a province-wide electronic information system, where it is stored with strict protections and used for limited and authorized purposes. 

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