Dr. Janessa Laskin
Medical Oncologist and Senior Scientist, BC Cancer Agency

Blog Posts by Dr. Janessa Laskin

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 blog posts

Dr. Janessa Laskin: Looking Ahead

Many friends and family ask “how can you be an oncologist? Isn’t it sad? How can you speak to people about death and not lose hope?” The answer to this is, of course, different for everyone. For me, it is a privilege to become involved in people’s lives at a critical juncture and to try to help in whatever ways I can. One of the things that keeps many oncologists motivated is the fact that treatment is getting better and that the research we are all involved with is a driving force of change. I do not believe there is one cure for cancer, because I do not see cancer as one disease. What I’ve...

People Making a Difference

The Dalai Lama once said “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito .” I love this quote; it speaks to me on so many levels, especially when I go camping! And it reminds me that we are all capable of creating change and affecting the world around us. Some people seem more adept at this; they cause a stir wherever they go. I met such a man in 2008, Dr. Donald Rix. I would guess most British Columbians and many Canadians will know his name as he was a physician, entrepreneur, philanthropist, winner of the Order of BC and Order of Canada, and a man of keen...

Medical Oncology: Behind the Scenes at the BC Cancer Agency

As I mentioned last week , I am a medical oncologist working in the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre. Following my medical training, I spent an extra year studying lung cancers and this remains the main focus of my clinical and research interests. I also treat cancers arising from the head and neck region, including the nose, sinuses, mouth or throat areas. I see a wide spectrum of cancer types and have the privilege of meeting and working with a wide variety of patients and families. From my perspective, the job description of a medical oncologist is to identify times when it’s potentially...

Dr. Janessa Laskin: Evolution of an Oncologist

Thinking back on how I came to be an oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre it could appear to be a linear course, but to me it always seemed unpredictable. After a few formative years in Saskatoon, I grew up in B.C. and finished high school in Vancouver. I then travelled east to the vibrant city of Montreal where I attended McGill University. I completed a BSc in Biology with a Minor in the History and Philosophy of Science. Though I loved biology I never felt really at home in the rest of the sciences and I squeezed as many arts courses into my degree program as possible...