Medical Oncologist and Professional Practice Leader, Medical Oncology, BC Cancer Agency

Hi! I am one of the Medical Oncologists at the BC Cancer Agency Vancouver Centre. When I introduce myself, I tell people that I am a chemotherapy doctor, but that is probably not quite true. Many of the treatments that I give are actually more “targeted” treatments that do not really fit the term chemotherapy anymore. We also call it “systemic therapy”.

I was born in Germany and grew up in Canada and consider myself a true “hyphenated” Canadian. After completing some of my medical training in the U.S., I came back to Vancouver and eventually joined the BC Cancer Agency. A huge motivation for me to become an oncologist was the experience I had with cancer patients during my training. The hope and strength I see every day in my patients inspires me to do better, find better treatments and always to what is best for my patients.

The other thing that excited me about oncology was the burst of new treatments and some cures that I was able to witness and participate in over the past 10 years. We are in the middle of a “cancer revolution” where the discoveries that were made in biotechnology in the 80s and 90s have finally reached the clinic. We are finally seeing the fruits of the labour of the scientists, clinicians and patients who have worked hard to find better treatments and cures.

Working at the BC Cancer Agency is an incredible privilege. Every week I speak with colleagues in other provinces, and while they have good care, I see every day, that our Cancer Agency in B.C. is the best in Canada, hands down. I can see how patients everywhere in B.C. are treated with excellent, evidence-based care. Everyone’s treatment is carefully reviewed by doctors, pharmacists and nurses, and as a group we can decide what the best treatments are that we can offer our patients.

Stay tuned next week and I will tell you about some really interesting stuff we are doing here in Vancouver and around the province.

Hagen