Thank you to Dr. Allan Hovan for sharing the critical importance of oral health in relation to cancer outcomes.

We are so grateful to our donors who have supported the development of a new dental clinic at BC Cancer – Abbotsford. Our fundraising continues and once we achieve our goal, this facility will enable the team to offer world class care closer to home.

I am pleased to introduce our guest blogger for May, Dr. Ross Halperin, Medical Director, BC Cancer – Kelowna. Dr. Halperin is a radiation oncologist and long-time leader with BC Cancer. He’ll share exciting insights into leading-edge clinical research taking place in Kelowna, which is helping to advance treatments and the standard of care across the province, in particular through brachytherapy.

The work of Dr. Halperin and his colleagues has a life-saving impact on patients.

Patients like Bob Charron, who at 58 retired after a 35-year career in the RCMP and was looking ahead to the next chapter in his life with excitement and possibility. He couldn’t wait to spend more time with his wife, kids and grandson.

However, a few months after he retired, they were stopped in their tracks when his doctor called him after a routine check-up, saying: “I need to see you now.” A biopsy quickly confirmed the diagnosis: Bob had Stage 2B prostate cancer.

Bob was also entering treatment with a loss close to him - his father, who had just lost his battle with prostate cancer.

His oncologist at BC Cancer - Kelowna quickly identified that Bob was a prime candidate for brachytherapy. This meant having a tiny radioactive seed implanted in a single session, avoiding up to five weeks of daily radiation treatments usingbeams.

The treatment worked very quickly and his tests showed a dramatic and nearly-immediate response. Bob’s retirement plans got back on track – he and his wife just returned from a month in Belize! He says that because of this innovative treatment, he hadn’t suffered the typical side effects most people expect from cancer treatment – no hair loss, weight loss, or fatigue.

Bob is so grateful for the incredible treatment he received at BC Cancer, and has volunteered countless hours to fundraise for brachytherapy research and clinical trials programs.

It’s thanks to the great leadership of Dr. Halperin and his colleagues in Kelowna that Bob can say:

“I’m living proof that innovations in cancer research and care can save lives!” – Bob.