Rather than focus on one particular type of cancer, this project looked at gaps and opportunities in cancer care from a big picture perspective.
Twelve patients from a variety of backgrounds and diagnoses gathered to help us map out a picture of the cancer journey, from pre-diagnosis to diagnosis, treatment, and the ongoing journey. We talked about the trauma of diagnosis and lack of mental health supports, and the challenges of transportation to multiple appointments. But we also talked about exemplary care from nurses and physicians, and opening up more opportunities for participation in clinical trials.
A separate session was held for Indigenous cancer patients (co-hosted by Indigenous partners) because the experience of care, historical and system racism, and worldview of wellness is distinct. Fifteen Indigenous peoples from across the province gathered and shared their experiences of care and talked about wellness and whole-person health.
A third session was held with clinicians: a group of twelve oncologists, dieticians, general practitioners, nurse practitioners, and community support workers gathered to discuss the system bottlenecks and challenges. We also walked through the patient journey maps and talked about the challenges and opportunities that patients highlighted.
The project team also gathered insights from patients outside of the sessions and compiled everything into a detailed report. The findings were brought to BC Cancer for implementing improvements to the cancer care pathway.