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Innovative therapies are changing radiation treatment

Dr. Elaine Wai is a radiation oncologist and head of the radiation therapy department at BC Cancer – Victoria. She has been treating patients with breast and lung cancer, lymphoma and myeloma since 2001. Dr. Wai plays an active role in clinical research. Some of her studies have been directly funded through BC Cancer Foundation donors and she is motivated by the opportunity to expand the program and options available for patients. Here are her views on the future of innovative therapies. Our patients face many challenges through their cancer journey. Some of the greatest challenges our...

Clinical trials are changing cancer outcomes

Dr. Vanessa Bernstein is a medical oncologist and chair of the skin cancer tumour group at BC Cancer. Based at BC Cancer - Victoria, she’s been treating patients with breast cancer and melanoma since 2000. Over her 18 year career, Dr. Bernstein has been a champion for clinical research, spearheading trials to help usher innovative new therapies into the clinic. Below, Dr. Bernstein shares her perspective on the state of cancer care today, the advances made over two decades and how we can continue to move the needle. The advances I’ve seen in cancer care have been phenomenal We wouldn’t have...

We want to try something new, so we're adding new voices to our blog

Your support matters. The BC Cancer Foundation blog offers us a unique platform to connect our supporters, like you, with the people you support and the impact you make for patients and families. Our blog has been a great forum to share timely, in depth, advancements taking place in BC Cancer’s labs and clinics, progress that donors make possible. Together, we are changing outcomes so we’ve focused on sharing these advancements with you. We’re excited to add more voices to our blog. We will feature expert clinicians like Dr. Kim Chi, who was recently named the new leader of BC Cancer, to...

We have good reason to be optimistic for the future of cancer outcomes

A large part of my role as Regional Medical Director in the Interior is to look ahead and ensure our patients have access to the best treatments and outcomes possible. With a world-leading clinical team and a generous donor community, I see a lot of promising things on the horizon. We face an ever-increasing burden with the incidents of cancer estimated to increase by 40% over the next 15 years. However, at the same time, we are increasingly changing the cancer outcome into a disease that is lived with. This means the amount of cancer services needed in the region is also growing by around 5...

Connecting with patients drives us forward

As I explained last week, I hold two positions at BC Cancer – Kelowna as both a Radiation Oncologist and the Regional Medical Leader for the Interior. These two positions allow for diverse work and the opportunity to connect with a variety of patients. WE STRIVE TO ALWAYS IMPROVE THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE My work with patients is what drives me each day. Some of the most important insights and learning stem from my work with patients and have inspired work in my regional medical director role to keep us moving forward and improving the system of cancer care. Together with the Senior Director of...

The power of individualized treatment in radiation oncology

Hello, my name is Dr. Ross Halperin. I am a Radiation Oncologist and Regional Medical Director of BC Cancer - Kelowna. It has been nearly five years since my last blog post and I have witnessed a lot of progress at BC Cancer and in cancer treatment. Our forward momentum gives me a lot hope that we’re changing outcomes for cancer patients in B.C. and around the world. WE’RE MAKING REAL PROGRESS In 2014, treatment options for patients were developing and my peers and I were energized with our search for better care tools. Today, thanks to a community of donors who have contributed to medical...

INTRODUCING MAY GUEST BLOGGER, DR. ROSS HALPERIN

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...

Patient perspectives: A source of inspiration

Hello, My name is Dr. Allan Hovan. I’m the provincial practice leader for oral oncology/dentistry at BC Cancer, a position I’ve held for the past 15 years. I also serve as the president of the International Society of Oral Oncology. As part of my role at BC Cancer, I oversee oral care for cancer patients across the province, as well as spearhead new research to push the dial for treatment. It’s a rewarding role that is very patient-focused. Every day I see the extraordinary difference our staff makes in the lives of those affected by this disease. Dr. Allan Hovan. I hope to share with you a...

Introducing April guest blogger Dr. Allan Hovan

Thank you to Dr. Jonathan Loree for updating our community on the latest in colorectal cancer research and care. It is concerning to learn colorectal cancer diagnoses are on the rise in young people, as Dr. Loree explained . Still, I’m confident that through continued philanthropy our efforts to improve detection and treatment will improve these sobering statistics. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Allan Hovan, provincial professional practice leader for oral oncology and dentistry at BC Cancer, to our blog for April. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Dr. Hovan will share his efforts to...

How targeted drugs can improve colorectal cancer outcomes

In addition to the research I mentioned last week, we are also enrolling patients in clinical trials focused on improving outcomes. For example, we have a trial evaluating targeted drugs for patients with a particular mutation in their colorectal cancer called BRAF V600E. BRAF mutations are noted in five to ten per cent of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancers with this mutation are much more aggressive. Patients with it generally have a poor prognosis. We are part of a large international effort to see if we can develop better treatments for patients with this...

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