01:39pm Monday 25 September 2017

New breast cancer program enhances support for patients from diagnosis through treatment

The Interior Breast Rapid Access Program for Investigation and Diagnosis (IB-RAPID) supports patients as they move through the stressful and often difficult process of getting tested, receiving results, and waiting for treatment. The program is supported by the BC Cancer Foundation and generous donors from its Weekend to End Women’s Cancer fundraising event.

“Breast cancer care is very different now than it was when I started in oncology 27 years ago,” says Janet Bates, Breast Cancer Patient Navigator at the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the Southern Interior. “The care path has become complicated, and the patient—the healthcare consumer—wants to make the best decisions possible. The cancer patient navigator role was motivated by the complexity of the healthcare system, so that we could provide patients with the assessment, information and support tools to enable them to participate fully in the management of their care.”

IB-RAPID offers support to individuals diagnosed with breast cancer or who have a high suspicion of breast cancer based on abnormal results detected through mammogram, ultrasound or a physicians examination. IB-RAPID guides patients and their families through the process as early as possible, from the time suspicious breast changes are noticed and continuing through diagnosis and early treatment. Services include:

• Access to health services as soon as possible;

• Referral to specialized services and community resources;

• A specialized patient navigator to provide information and support as patients plan and manage their care; and

• Breast cancer educational materials.

Patients with a diagnosis of breast cancer or changes to the breast that are suspicious for breast cancer can be referred to the program by their family physician or surgeon.

Referrals are accepted for patients living in Kelowna, the Kelowna to Winfield and Peachland areas, and areas southeast to Grand Forks via Highway 33.

To learn more about IB-RAPID, contact 250-712-3992 or IB-RAPID@bccancer.bc.ca, or visit www.bccancer.bc.ca/RS/CentrefortheSouthernInterior/Breast+Navigator

IB-RAPID is located at the BC Cancer Agency Centre for the Southern Interior, 399 Royal Avenue, Kelowna.

Please note this program does not offer routine breast screening (mammography). For more information on screening, contact the Screening Mammography Clinic at 250-861-7560 or toll free at 1-800-663-9203.

The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.ca.

The BC Cancer Foundation (www.bccancerfoundation.com), the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in B.C., enables donors to contribute to leading-edge research that has a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients.

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Note to editors Interviews are available with:

• Janet Bates, Breast Cancer Patient Navigator

• Dr. Chris Baliski, Surgical Oncologist and Medical Lead, IB-RAPID on June 23 (3-5 p.m.) and June 24 (2-5 p.m.)


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