Clinician Scientist, Integrative Oncology and Cancer Control Research, BC Cancer Agency Research Centre, BC Cancer Agency

This year, in addition to tackling yet-to-be-solved problems through research, we commenced the Patient Support Initiative (PSI). Understanding the experiences of oral cancer patients and their caregivers is key to making recommendations for a change in standard management or policy in the health care system. We expect PSI to play multiple roles:

  1. To encourage newly-diagnosed oral cancer patients to positively face this disease and overcome it by educating them on the process of treatment and recovery;
     
  2. To empower clinicians through knowledge translation, such as continuing education via ongoing research – from bench to bedside;
     
  3. To enable policy makers and the general public; for example: raising awareness, making recommendations and improving in standard management.
     

Of the oral cancer patients from the BC Cancer Agency, we were surprised to find out that over 80% of patients did not know that there was a possibility that the mouth could have cancer. With this lack of awareness, this disease is often misdiagnosed and subsequently diagnosed late, meaning delays in treatment with a compromised success rate. As I mentioned in my earlier blogs, in B.C. we really have a chance to conquer this disease!

Together, we can make a difference!

Thank you for reading my blogs this month,
Catherine