Cutting-edge research driven by patient experience

August 23, 2017

Holding leadership roles at the BC Cancer Agency means that much of my time is spent in meetings and teleconference calls.

This may sound boring, but meeting with other physicians and health care practitioners is essential to delivering state-of-the-art, quality oncology care with a patient-centred approach, which is very important to all of us the BC Cancer Agency.

But what does ‘a patient-centred’ approach actually mean?

For me, it's making sure that our patients can access proven effective treatments as well as the most promising clinical trials; that the systems are in place to make sure that we can deliver these treatments to the right people, at the right time and as safely as possible for everyone involved; and providing care that is respectful of individual patient needs, and ensuring that patient priorities guide our clinical decisions.

We have a great and caring team at the BC Cancer Agency that always strives to put patients first in all that we do, and I'm very impressed and really proud to be able to work with them every day.

I’m also an oncologist, which is a very fulfilling role that brings together my desire to help people who have cancer and my interest in understanding the biology of the disease to better help  cancer patients.

Decisions around cancer management are complex and unique for every patient, and I see my job as facilitating a person's decisions so that they are the best suited for them as individuals.

Sometimes, clinic days are "easy" — things are going well for the people I am seeing and I have nothing but good news to give. Other times it can be hard — treatment side effects that are too much for a patient or treatment is not working as well as we would have hoped.

 But it’s the patients I see having those hard days that also inspire me and my colleagues to do better; it drives our research efforts, in particular, which for many of us oncologists, is done after hours, and on weekends.

Because of our dedication to learning more about cancer, the BC Cancer Agency is renowned internationally for cancer research, with many examples resulting directly in better lives for patients.

These successes have been fueled by generous donations to the BC Cancer Foundation, and other philanthropic groups that support cancer research, as well as industry and government funding.