BC Cancer – Prince George has been providing cancer care services in partnership with Northern Health since November 1, 2012. Combining the closer to home strategy with the "Northern Way of Caring" helps all members of the team work towards the goal of patient centred care when providing and transitioning services.
BC CANCER means different things to different people. To understanding why BC Cancer - Centre for the North exists, it is important to understand the disease itself,
thus the accompanying video.
The purpose of including BC Cancer in the tour in 2020 was to provide information to the students about opportunities that lay before them if they chose to enter the field of health care. Unfortunately the tour did not happen, because of COVID 19 but we felt it important to include this information in the online program.
Debilitating and destructive in so many ways, Cancer invades different parts of the body in different ways. Recognizing that will allow you to understand the depth that the disease effects both patients and families and what the Centre for the North does to alleviate the pain.
All types of cancer start in our cells. Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells grouped together to form tissues and organs such as muscles, bones, the lungs and the liver. Genes inside each cell tell it when to grow, work, divide and die. Normally, our cells follow these instructions and we stay healthy. But sometimes the instructions get mixed up, causing our cells to grow and divide out of control or not die when they should. As more and more of these abnormal cells grow and divide, they can form a lump in the body called a tumour.
Your healthcare team is a group of healthcare professionals who work to treat your cancer.
The health care team may include:
Family doctor or GP
Your family doctor or GP (general practitioner) provides general, primary healthcare to you. They play an important part in continuing your care, especially after your cancer treatments are over.
A medical oncologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer using chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and targeted therapy.
A nurse gives care. Nurses often have the most contact with you and will answer questions, give medicine and provide emotional support.
An occupational therapist is similar to a physiotherapist but they also can help you return to work or modify your work activities while you have treatment.
Oncology nurses have special training in care for people with cancer.
Pain & symptom management/palliative care
Pain and symptom management/palliative care clinics help manage pain and other physical problems related to any stage of cancer. Types of problems can include nausea, shortness of breath or fatigue. Clinics also assist with care planning and decision-making.
A pathologist looks at samples of tissue taken from the body under a microscope to diagnose illness or see how the cancer is being affected by the treatment.
A pharmacist prepares cancer drugs and other medications and explains how they work.
A physiotherapist can work with you to restore and maintain physical fitness. They can help you when you have a hard time moving around or carrying out daily activities.
Psychiatrist, psychologist or counsellor
Psychiatrists, psychologists, and counsellors are mental health specialists. They can help you and your family understand, manage and cope with feelings, thoughts, worries and behaviours.
A radiation oncologist is a doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer patients, using radiation therapy as the main mode of treatment.
Radiation therapists plan and deliver radiation treatments according to the prescription of the radiation oncologist. They have expert knowledge of treatment principles and calculations required for safe and accurate treatment delivery.
The radiation therapist will have daily contact with you throughout the treatment program and your well-being is their major focus. They will guide you through radiation therapy providing education and support, and will provide links to other heath care professionals as required.
Speech-language pathologists specialize in maximizing quality of life through improving swallowing and communication difficulties related to your cancer or cancer treatment.
A registered dietitian can answer your questions on diet and nutrition throughout your treatment and recovery.
Social worker or counsellor
A social worker or counsellor helps you and your family cope with the illness and its treatment. Social workers can provide or refer you to counselling, support groups, financial assistance, and other resources.
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