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Supportive Care

Supportive Care services are available at all BC Cancer regional cancer centres.
Supportive Care Team
Supportive Care professionals are a part of your cancer care team. Some services are self-referred while others require a referral from a doctor or nurse. For more information about the referral process for services, please review the referral criteria at the end of each section below.

A doctor or nurse can refer cancer patients to a Supportive Cancer Care service. Download referral form

Registered dietitians can help address challenges with eating and nutrition during your cancer treatment. 

They can help with nutritional goals, provide suggestions, address questions and complete follow-up re-assessments. See Nutrition Services to learn more.

Pain & Symptom Management/Palliative Care
Pain and Symptom Management/Palliative Care clinics help manage pain and other physical problems related to any stage of cancer. Types of problems can include nausea, shortness of breath or fatigue. Clinics also assist with care planning and decision-making. See Pain & Symptom Management to learn more.

Patient & Family Counselling  
Counsellors can speak with you and/or a family member in person or over the phone about coping with emotions, challenges in relationships and dealing with the practical and financial concerns that can arise because of a cancer diagnosis.

Counsellors lead support groups and education sessions. Different group programs are available at the centres. See Patient & Family Counselling to learn more.


Physiotherapy can help with movement, pain management, fatigue, balance and more. The BC Cancer Vancouver Centre offers telephone or video appointments with a physiotherapist who can prescribe individualized exercises and home safety equipment. You can also speak to an oncology exercise physiologist about your exercise plan at Healthlink BC (dial 811).

Talk to your doctor or nurse if you would like to see a physiotherapist.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors specializing in mental health. Our psychiatrists can help if you have depression, anxiety, insomnia, overwhelming fears and changes in personality or thoughts. Psychiatrists tailor therapy to meet the patient’s individual needs which may include talking and prescribing medications. See Psychiatry to learn more.

Speech-Language Pathology
Speech Language Pathology (SLP) services can assist patients to maximize their communication and swallowing abilities.

Assessment and treatment may be needed for swallowing, restricted jaw movement, swelling, speech, language, voice or cognitive disorders that arise as a result of cancer or cancer treatments. See Speech & Language Pathology to learn more.

Statement of Inclusivity

We work in a health care system with a history of inequity and discrimination. We know these are still a problem today.

We are very proud of British Columbia's diversity. Our goal is to give the best care to patients and family members of all ages with any racial, ethnic, ancestral, gender, sexual, economic, social, faith and disability background or identity.

Everyone's experience is unique. We want to give each patient and family member a safe place to be heard, appreciated and accepted.

We offer a wide range of programs to help BC Cancer patients manage the physical, emotional, social and practical concerns that come with having a cancer diagnosis and treatments.

Supportive Care eBulletins highlight support groups and educational sessions available to cancer patients and their family members for the month.

Sign up and receive monthly bulletins directly to your email address. Go to Support Programs for more information and  to view Support Programs Calendar.

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