On Saturday, staff at BC Cancer-Victoria, one of B.C.’s six regional care centres, gave members of the public a tour of the facility.
The tour was set up to take visitors on a path that would closely resemble that of an actual cancer patient.
Things started in the PET scan room where members of the imaging team can create a 3D version of someone’s body and identify where the cancer cells are. More scans are then taken using a CT Scanner to provide more detailed renderings.
Thanks to donations from the Heys family the imaging department is now equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
Rose Lopetrone, manager of clinical services at the Victoria location, helped with the tours and lauded the facility’s holistic approach.
“The facility is very beautiful but also on-site there is virtually everything needed to treat someone with cancer. Some of the newer equipment we have was only recently available in Vancouver.”
One of the newer additions can more accurately target metastasis located in the brain with radiation treatment. Before it was installed broader radiation was applied to the brain which could result in complications such as loss of motor or cognitive functions.
The final stop on the treatment part of the tour was the Chemotherapy Treatment Unit. It currently serves around 50 people a day. According to Lopetrone, that number has increased by about 20 a day over recent years as a result of more treatment stations being added.
Aside from treatment, the facility offers a wide range of support services such as family counselling, speech pathology and nutrition departments. The secondary services are equally important, says Lopetrone.
“You can imagine when someone gets diagnoses how devastating that can be. So on-site we offer family counseling that can range from dealing with the stress incurred to helping people with financial planning.”
The facility is also home to the Deely Research Centre located on the third floor. Where work is being done on new cancer treatments in coordination with other research programs around the country.