Dr. Stephen Chia
Medical Oncologist and Chair - Provincial Breast Tumour Group, BC Cancer Agency

Blog Posts by Dr. Stephen Chia

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 blog posts

The future of breast cancer care in British Columbia

As I touched on last week, the importance of the BC Cancer Foundation and its donors cannot be overstated when it comes to fuelling new and more effective treatments for breast cancer. In large part because of this, I expect to see a significant shift in the way we diagnose, treat and manage patients facing this disease in British Columbia. Over the next ten years, I hope to see us begin using blood samples to profile a tumour. This will be significant as we can use this to identify where a patient’s cancer-causing gene abnormality is located and in which pathway, and then prescribe drugs to...

Clinical trials paving new path for breast cancer care in BC

One of the most exciting areas of breast cancer research is the study of genomics. Genomics is about understanding the genetic makeup of different cancers, in turn enabling us to develop targeted treatments for them. Through this kind of research, we can dive deep in terms of what is driving a patient’s cancer, how it will behave and how it might respond to certain treatments. Genomic research shown us how vastly different breast cancers are from one another and how patient-specific treatment options need to be. Our hope is that now, with the ability to sequence off of bioposies, we can...

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A time to recognize research and care

Hello, my name is Dr. Stephen Chia and I am a medical oncologist here at BC Cancer, as well as the chair of the Provincial Breast Tumour Group. I’m excited to return to the blog this month for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an important time of year to not only bring attention to the prevalence of breast cancer, but also to recognize the number of advancements that have been made to treat this disease across our province. Since I last blogged four years ago, significant strides have been made to improve breast cancer treatment and detection here at BC Cancer. We have been able to lead a...

The Future of Breast Cancer Research in B.C.

I’ve been at the BC Cancer Agency for about 11 years now. Why do I enjoy working here? Cancer survival rates in B.C. are some the highest in the country. And especially for breast cancer, we have some of the best outcomes among comparable publicly-funded health care systems in the world. The reasons for this are multiple. One aspect is the structure of the BC Cancer Agency: delivering care in a publicly-funded population-based manner, with equitable access across the province for new therapies. B.C. is a leader in integrating new treatment into clinical practice, in research and across the...

Philanthropy and Breast Cancer Research

Right now, technology is giving us a more refined, clear understanding of cancer at a genomic level. We’ve discovered that breast cancers can have great variability, even within a single patient, and this information is crucial to new therapies. One area my colleagues and I have been focused on is patients who typically receive chemotherapy before surgery. By performing biopsies and next generation sequencing on their tumours, we are gaining insight into what is happening to their tumours and also seeing if alternative methods would be more effective in treating them. The BC Cancer Foundation...

My Role at the BC Cancer Agency

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...

Hello from Dr. Stephen Chia

Hello everyone, my name is Stephen Chia, and I am a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. I was born in Toronto. My parents moved to Vancouver when I was five years old and I grew up on the east side of the city. I attended the University of British Columbia for my undergraduate degree, grad school and post-graduate training. When I was studying internal medicine—a step prior to oncology—I did a rotation here at the BC Cancer Agency, which had a significant impact on me. I saw how courageous and appreciative the patients were of the care they received here. Even while...