EVENTS HAPPENING IN VICTORIA

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Meet The BC Cancer Agency

In a nutshell:  The BC Cancer Agency’s mission is to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer across British Columbia, as well as to improve the quality of life for people living with cancer. 

 # of Employees: 340 in Victoria and 3,037 province wide

Industry Sector: Health care

Area of Town: Oak Bay area, next to the Royal Jubilee Hospital

Primary Product/Service: Cancer Control


How would you describe BC Cancer Agency in 30 words or less?

The BC Cancer Agency provides a comprehensive cancer control program for people across BC, in partnership with regional health authorities. This includes prevention, screening and early detection programs, research and education, and care and treatment. 
 


What is the best part about doing business in
Greater Victoria?
 
The generosity of the community. Fundraising events like our December Jingle Mingle, new research space funded by significant contributions such as the Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Family & Patient Support are just two of many examples of how the community supports the work of the BC Cancer Foundation and BC Cancer Agency. The Vancouver Island Centre’s location in Victoria provides specialized and comprehensive cancer treatment and support services for patients and families in Victoria, and across Vancouver Island.

In addition to the ability of the BC Cancer Agency to attract the very best of oncology specialists and researchers, the Vancouver Island Centre is extremely fortunate to engage more than 200 dedicated volunteers from the local community who contribute their time and energy each week to support patients, family and staff.
 


What is the best thing the BC Cancer Agency is doing for Greater Victoria?
 
The BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre provides cancer care to more than 3,500 newly diagnosed patients every year. The centre offers a wide spectrum of cancer care services, including state of the art radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatments, and innovative research trials. The recent addition of the 10,000 square foot Alex & Jo Campbell Centre for Family & Patient Support has provided the opportunity to grow the Agency’s research platform and enhance patient and family support services.

The BC Cancer Agency’s Trev & Joyce Deeley Research Centre (DRC) at the Vancouver Island Centre is the only facility in British Columbia, and one of only two in Canada, dedicated to research in cancer immunotherapy – a field of cancer research that focuses on harnessing the body’s inherent power to combat cancer through one’s own immune system. The DRC will be launching an Immunotherapy Clinical Trials Program, which will allow patients on Vancouver Island and throughout the province to be among the first to receive these promising new treatments in future years.

The clinical and research programs at the centre have strong ties to the academic community. The BC Cancer Agency collaborates with universities across the province, including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, the University of Northern British Columbia, as well as the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Camosun College.

For the last 10 years, the BC Cancer Agency’s High School Internship program – a first in Canada – has provided high school students in Greater Victoria a chance to participate in hands-on cancer research each summer. The program has grown to include an extensive regional high school outreach program to encourage interest in science and spread prevention messages.


What is it like working at the BC Cancer Agency ?
 
It is rewarding. The work we do makes a difference in people's lives.

Cancer impacts everyone. Working at the BC Cancer Agency provides an opportunity to make a difference and this is intrinsically satisfying. The staff and volunteers at the Vancouver Island Centre, and at BC Cancer Agency centres across the province, are compassionate and altruistic.

The culture is one of innovation and continuous improvement, always striving to improve the care and services available to patients and families on Vancouver Island. Every day we ask questions and try to find new answers – What can we do better? How can we approach this differently? Ultimately, we are all working to build a world free from cancer.
  


What are 3 things few people know about the BC Cancer Agency?

British Columbia continues to be the province with the lowest overall cancer incidence and mortality rates in the country, a direct result of the BC Cancer Agency’s evidence-based treatment protocols, access to research and clinical trials and screening programs.

In 2006, the BC Cancer Agency expanded its community cancer prevention program across BC to include Vancouver Island. Two Community Prevention Coordinators funded through the BC Cancer Foundation now serve the Island. Their role is to partner with community groups to assess local needs, raise awareness and support cancer prevention actions.

The Vancouver Island Centre is one of six regional cancer centres operated by the BC Cancer Agency. The other centres are located in Abbotsford, Kelowna, Prince George, Surrey and Vancouver.



Here at the BC Cancer Agency we’re proudest of:
 
The BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre is a unique facility that integrates patient care and cancer research by housing both clinicians and scientists in the same facility. This promotes an environment where research is more easily embedded and quickly translated into improved patient care.

The Community Oncology Network is also vital in bringing patient care closer to home. The BC Cancer Agency chemotherapy protocols are delivered at numerous hospital sites across Vancouver Island.

In addition, since 2007, the BC Cancer Agency has provided patients in rural and remote communities on Vancouver Island access to cancer consultations closer to home through TeleCare – a telehealth program that allows patients and physicians to meet with cancer specialists via video link. Mobile video consultation units have been installed in regional hospitals from Nanaimo to Port Hardy as well as a number of base units at the Vancouver Island Centre. In partnership with Island Health, Provincial Health Services Authority, University of British Columbia and University of Victoria, the BC Cancer Agency’s Vancouver Island Centre has helped to reduce the burden of travel for both patients and specialists.
 


Other interesting facts about the BC Cancer Agency
 
The BC Cancer Agency celebrated a key milestone in 2013 – 75 years of providing cancer care to residents across British Columbia

Since the introduction of the BC Cancer Agency’s Cervical Cancer Screening Program in the 1949 – the first in the world – BC has reduced cervical cancer rates by 70 per cent.

Over the last 25 years, the agency’s Screening Mammography Program – the first in Canada – has contributed to BC having one of the lowest incidence of breast cancer in the country, and some of the best survival outcomes for those women who do get breast cancer, with a five-year relative survival rate of 88 per cent

BC Cancer Foundation has worked closely with the BC Cancer Agency to build philanthropic support for the Trev & Joyce Deeley Research Centre establishing priority research and care. In particular they are seeing incredible progress with their innovative Tumor Tissue Repository (TTR) program, forming partnerships with other leading tumour tissue banks across Canada to create a national network, known as CTRNet. Our Vancouver Island team are recognized leaders and are now the “go-to” for any and all groups setting up a biobank.

For more information about the BC Cancer Agency and BC Cancer Foundation check out their Chamber Directory Listing or the websites for the Agency or Foundation.

 

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