First and foremost, I’m a medical oncologist which means I treat cancer patients. I work primarily with breast cancer patients and therapies can include hormonal therapy or chemotherapy.  

I see patients in the clinic three to four days a week, while the rest of my time is devoted to administrative work, my duties as Chair of the Provincial Breast Tumour Group and research activities.

The BC Cancer Agency is the cancer control organization for the province. Patients across the province receive the same expert standard of care because our treatment protocols are standardized and updated by multidisciplinary teams of experts for different tumours. As Chair of the Breast Tumour Group, I strive to facilitate dialogue and collaboration with as many people as possible doing research for this tumour site so that we continue to provide the best care.

I am just one of many individuals who contribute to breast cancer research in this province. At the patient level, this means that I strive to enroll as many suitable, interested patients into clinical trials as possible. I believe that clinical trials provide proof that leads to vital treatment changes and interventions that could improve outcomes for patients. Improved outcomes can include preventing cancer, catching it at an earlier stage, reducing side effects and improving the patient’s quality of life. Whatever aspect is most clinically meaningful, that is what matters. The whole trajectory of research is focused on bringing a positive impact to the patient, and I strive to do this as much as possible.

Next week I’ll tell you about the role donors play in advancing breast cancer research in B.C.

Stephen

Medical Oncologist and Chair - Provincial Breast Tumour Group, BC Cancer Agency