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Pain & Symptom Management

Our clinics help improve the quality of life for individuals living with cancer and for their caregivers.
What we do

We offer pain and symptom management clinics at each of our regional cancer centres. See Clinic locations & hours.

Our clinics can help you:

  • improve pain control
  • cope with other physical problems related to cancer (for example, severe nausea, shortness of breath or fatigue)

Our clinics can also:

  • support you and your family with emotional and social concerns that come with living with cancer
  • assist with care planning and decision-making, especially around transitions

All cancer patients are welcome, at any time in their cancer journey, during and after treatment.


Clinic locations & hours

BC Cancer – Abbotsford

32900 Marshall Road, Abbotsford, BC V2S 0C2
Referrals can be made by calling
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: 1-604-870-7470 (press #4)
Toll-free (in BC & Yukon): 1-877-547-3777 ext.647470
Fax: 604-642-8884

BC Cancer – Kelowna

399 Royal Avenue, Kelowna, BC V1Y 5L3
Referrals can be made by calling
Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Program secretary: 250-979-6645
Appointment information, changes or follow-up appointments:
For treatment questions or medical concerns contact the oncology nurse:
250-712-3944 (for chemotherapy)
250-979-6643 (for radiation)
Toll-free (in BC & Yukon): 1-888-563-7773
Fax: 250-712-3911

BC Cancer – Prince George

1215 Lethbridge Street, Prince George, BC V2M 7E9
Referrals can be made by calling
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: 250-645-7313
Toll-free (in BC & Yukon): 1-855-775-7300 ext 68-7313
Fax: 250-645-7351

BC Cancer – Surrey

13750 96th Avenue, Surrey, BC V3V 1Z2
Referrals can be made by calling
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: 604-930-2098 ext. 654322
Toll-free (in BC & Yukon): 1-800-523-2885
Fax: 604-587-4312

BC Cancer – Vancouver

600 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6Z 4E6
Referrals can be made by calling
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: 604-877-6000 ext. 672752
Toll-free (in BC & Yukon): 1-800-663-3333 ext. 672752
Fax: 604-877-6221

BC Cancer – Victoria

2410 Lee Avenue, Victoria, BC V8R 6V5
Referrals can be made by calling Monday-Friday
8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Phone: 250-519-5596
Toll-free (in BC & Yukon): 1-800-670-3322 ext 695656
Fax: 250-519-2036

What you should know about Palliative Care: Disease Management = Cure & Control; Palliative Care = Survivorship & Hospice; Both = Symptom Management & Supportive Care
Mission & values

The Pain and Symptom Management/Palliative Care Program (PSMPC) at BC Cancer was created in 1998, after consultation with the community of palliative care providers in the province, and stakeholders within BC Cancer. 


The purpose of BC Cancer's PSMPC program is to improve the quality of life for individuals and their caregivers living with cancer. 

This is accomplished in collaboration with other palliative care partners through:

  • provision of seamless pain and symptom management and palliative support throughout the cancer journey
  • advancement of knowledge
  • transformation of knowledge into best practice


Within BC Cancer's vision, the PSMPC Program is a leader in promoting and providing palliative support and symptom management that meets the needs of our patients affected by cancer, wherever they are in the continuum of care and regardless of the goals of therapy.

Those we serve, and our partners in the community, will look to the PSMPC Program for:

  • laying the groundwork for end of life decision-making throughout the patient and family cancer experience
  • leadership in advancing and disseminating knowledge through a program of research and education
  • defining and applying the standards by which pain and symptom management for cancer patients is measured 

A provincial program structure exists to coordinate and facilitate palliative care work and interests, at the same time as preserving the community-oriented flavour of each of our cancer centres.

Advanced cancer

The balance between quality and quantity of life should be discussed fully between the patient and their health care providers. Sometimes, in spite of the best efforts of the oncologists and other health care providers, cancer advances to a point where it can’t be cured.

Treatment options at this point can include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, other medications and counselling. Other options available can include classes, respite and hospice.

Palliative care and symptom management, which are part of every cancer patient’s treatment, can continue to benefit the patient at this stage of life. Patient and Family Counselling can offer support to patients and caregivers.


Advanced cancer is defined as cancer that is unlikely to be cured. Healthcare professionals may also use the terms secondary, metastatic, terminal or progressive cancer to describe it.

Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness, whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age.

Palliative care is appropriate at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided together with curative treatment. A palliative care team will help to develop a personal treatment plan, which may include medication and non-medicinal supports.


Browse the BC Cancer website for information about:

  • Managing Symptoms and Side Effects. Learn about what you can do to help reduce symptoms from cancer, such as anxiety, pain, depression and side effects from treatment, such as nausea.
  • Cancer Management Guidelines. Learn about what healthcare professionals can do to help reduce side ffects of treatment and symptoms.
  • Nutrition. Learn about nutrition in advanced cancer.
  • Metastases. Metastases is when cancer has moved away from the primary site. Liver cancer (secondary) – cancer that has moved to the liver from the primary site. Bone cancer (secondary) – cancer that has moved to the bone from the primary site.
  • Libraries in each cancer centre around the province. Our catalogue is online, and requests can be made online. Library materials can be sent free to anyone in B.C. and the Yukon. We have books and videos especially for people nearing the end of their journey, and for their loved ones.
  • Home and Community Care services in your community.
  • Pharmacare helps B.C. residents with the cost of eligible prescription drugs, and certain medical supplies and pharmacy services. It provides assistance through several drug plans. The largest is the income-based Fair PharmaCare plan.
  • Advance Care Planning is not just for those whose cancer can't be cured, but should be considered by all British Columbians.
  • Wills. Wills help people direct where their money and assets go after they die. If you don't have a will, the Public Guardian & Trustee, Estate Administration may need to become involved.

In light of a serious outbreak of this virus, we are asking everyone to reflect on their Advance Care Planning: your wishes, goals, and fears relating to your health. People who think through what is important to them and what their wishes are often feel less anxious, more at peace, and more in control. It also helps the people who support you to make the decisions you would make for yourself if you were not able to.

Please take time to think about these questions:

  • What would you like to know about your illness, COVID-19, and what may happen if you were sick?
  • What information do you need to help you make decisions about your future?
  • How do you like to make decisions? Who would you like to help you?
  • What are you afraid of about your illness and COVID-19?
  • Are there some kinds of medical care you may not want? What makes you feel that way?
  • How do you feel about sharing these thoughts and feelings with the people who support you?
  • If you have not already asked someone to be your substitute decision maker, who could fill that role?

If you have any of the following, let us know:

  • No Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) form (also known as “DNR”)
  • Medical Order for Scope of Treatment (MOST) form
  • Advance Care Plan
  • Advance Directive
  • Representation Agreement

If you do not have any of these, or have questions about them, you can find information at:

You may find it helpful to have someone with you or on the phone when you read about these. You are also welcome to call BC Patient & Family Counselling at your cancer centre if you have further questions.

Why is this important?

We need to support each other at this difficult time, and to make the best decisions for us, our loved ones and our communities.

For more information about COVID-19 and cancer treatments, please visit the COVID-19 and Cancer page.

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