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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 the Vancouver Centre 
  • 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 the Vancouver Centre, 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 the Vancouver Centre 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 the BC Cancer Agency 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 

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  
  • Outpatients: Monday to Friday
  • Inpatients: Daily 
Location: 6th floor of the building

Outpatient Services

Drugs supplied

Although medications for supportive care, such as antinauseants or pain control medications must be picked up at a community pharmacy, all medications used to treat your cancer are provided free of charge at the Vancouver Centre. 

Injections, which require special mixing procedures, are prepared by specially-trained Pharmacy staff for Nurses to administer while you are at the Centre. Tablets or capsules to take by mouth at home are dispensed from the Pharmacy.

Refilling prescriptions 

Usually, a maximum of 3 months’ supply of tablets or capsules is dispensed at one time. If your oncologist intends for you to take the medications for more than 3 months, he or she may authorize Pharmacy to dispense further supplies (refills) when you run out. If that is the case, when you first receive the medication, the 

Pharmacist will give you a card with information on how to obtain refills.

In some situations, your oncologist may want to see you or talk with you before Pharmacy can dispense more medication for you. You would then have to contact your oncologist to provide Pharmacy with a new prescription before more medication can be dispensed. To ensure that there is enough time to make all the necessary arrangements, please call your oncologist two weeks before you run out of medication.

Drug information

You will be given verbal and written instructions about your medications when they are dispensed. Pharmacists can provide information about any medications you are taking, including those prescribed by other physicians and those you choose to take yourself (such as vitamins and complementary therapies). To assist you in obtaining the best possible results from your treatment, we want you to know about your medications, how to take them, their possible side effects, how to manage or prevent those side effects and any other medication-related information which may help you. 

Pharmacists are available in the Pharmacy to answer most questions. Some questions about your medications may require more time to answer so a suitable time for a consultation, either in person or over the telephone, can be arranged. You may also phone us for information or ask the nurse at your next appointment to arrange a consultation with a pharmacist.

Inpatient Services

Pharmacists are also involved in your care if you stay in the Centre as an inpatient. As well as providing all medications you require during your stay, pharmacists work with the rest of your care team to ensure that your drug treatment continues to provide the best results. 

Pharmacists are available to discuss any concerns you may have about and help make arrangements for, the medications you are taking during your hospital stay and those that you may need after discharge. 

Although most medications are provided for you during your hospital stay, it is a good idea to bring any you are currently taking along with you when you are admitted. This will contribute valuable information about your current treatment and will also ensure that you don’t miss any scheduled doses immediately after admission.

For more information, please call: (604) 877-6135 or 1-800-663-3333 local 6135.

For more information on cancer drugs, see the Cancer Drug Manual


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 the Vancouver Centre, 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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