- Cancer Hubs
- Cancer Navigation
- Western Manitoba Cancer Centre
- In Sixty
- Cancer Treatment
- Links & Resources
- Murray House
In providing cancer care to the residents of Manitoba, the development of Regional Cancer Program hubs strives to ensure all patients receive timely and appropriate access to quality care and improved coordination of this care.
For a map of Cancer Hubs in Manitoba please click here.
Through Regional Cancer Program hub services, Primary Care physicians and surgeons, among other health care providers, receive expert support from the Navigation Teams which include Family Physicians in Oncology, Surgical Lead in Oncology, Nurse Navigators, Oncology Social Workers (Psychosocial Oncology Clinicians) and Registered Dietitians. Oncology is the often complex work up and diagnosis of a suspected cancer.
Regional Cancer Program hubs are modeled to meet the needs of patients suspected of having cancer and patients having received a cancer diagnosis. The work of the Regional Cancer Program hubs directly influences and strengthens the goals and deliverables of IN SIXTY, Cancer Patient Journey Initiative.
Cancer Navigation services facilitate timely and appropriate access to the cancer care system and can guide and support cancer patients and their families through the entire cancer journey. The Navigation Team works closely with the entire health care team to coordinate care and help patients access referrals, resources, and other helpful supports.
Primary Care providers or any other health care professional can refer patients to Navigation Services.
- Patients and families can also contact the Navigation Services directly for more information about a cancer diagnosis, treatment or follow up care.
- To make a referral or for more information call the toll free number in Prairie Mountain Health at 1-855-346-3710.
Cancer Navigation Services
Have you or a member of your family been diagnosed with cancer?
A Nurse Navigator Can:
- Help you to navigate the cancer system
- Provide the emotional support and encouragement you need
- Identify resources and services you may need
- Support you to make informed decisions
A cancer diagnosis can be shocking and deeply distressing for patients and their families.
Navigating the health care system can add to their distress. We are here to answer questions and provide supportive care. Our team is made up of 3 Family Physicians in Oncology, 3 Nurse Navigators, 2 Oncology Social Workers (Psychosocial Oncology Clinicians) a Registered Dietitian-Oncology, a Community Engagement Liaison and a clerk.
Nurse navigators are specially trained oncology nurses who provide individualized assistance for patients, their families, and health care professionals. The goal is to help overcome health care system barriers and facilitate timely access to quality medical and psychosocial care from pre-diagnosis through all phases of the cancer journey including survivorship.
Prairie Mountain Health Cancer Navigation Services would like to work together with you to provide quality, timely care to cancer patients and their families.
This service is free of charge and available with or without a referral.
Patients can be referred to Prairie Mountain Health Cancer Navigation Services by:
- Self referral or by family members
- Family physicians, surgeons or other members of the healthcare team
The role of the Nurse Navigator is to:
- Support patients and their families from time of diagnosis through to treatment and all phases of the cancer journey;
- Work closely with family physicians, surgeons and other members of the health care team to assist in the coordination of tests and referrals to cancer specialists;
- Help the patient and family members to be prepared for tests and appointments, and to understand their diagnosis and plan of care;
- Assist patients in finding information in order to make informed decisions and answers to their questions.
The role of the Oncology Social Worker/Psychosocial Oncology Clinician is to assist patients and families in coping with the impact of cancer with:
- Emotional support - explore feelings of fear, worry, anxiety, sadness, stress, anger uncertainty;
- Psychological support - impact of of cancer in your life, body image, self esteem;
- Social support - talking with family, managing work and/or school;
- Providing counselling to patients and their family members;
- Providing information on practical issues, financial, resources, transportation, and support programs.
The Role of the Registered Dietitian - Oncology is to assist and provide nutrition education to patients who may be:
- experiencing unwanted weight loss or weight gain;
- are having difficulty with food or fluid intake because of treatment side effects (e.g. dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, poor appetite);
- cannot tolerate a regular diet due to difficulty with chewing or swallowing;
- would like to try commercial nutritional supplements or other specialized nutritional products to improve nutritional intake;
- have questions about conventional nutritional products/therapies;
- have general questions about healthy eating or a healthy diet after cancer treatment.
The Role of the Community Engagement Liaison (CEL) is to:
- build relationships at the community level, increase awareness about cancer risk reduction and help communities become more knowledgeable about Cancer services and resources.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Cancer Navigation Services, Prairie Mountain Health
1-855-346-3710 (Toll free)
- Debbie McNairnay
- Audrey Warkentin
- Jennifer Wickham
- Angela Stewart Lamport
- Kirsten Eskildsen
- Grace Murray
Community Engagement Liaison (CEL):
- Kristin Tischinski
Western Manitoba Cancer Centre
300 McTavish Avenue East, Brandon, MB (Brandon Regional Health Centre)
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday (excluding stat holidays): 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Six hour metered public parking lot on the East side of the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre. Access to parking lot is from McTavish Avenue East.
Cancer Care Manitoba (CCMB) Urgent Cancer Care: 204-787-8900
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After hours call paging and request on-call services HSC 204-787-2071
Western Manitoba Cancer Centre (WMCC) Reception: 204-578-2222
Social Worker: 204-578-2206
Patient Navigator: 1-855-346-3710
Spiritual Care: Page through Switchboard at 204-578-4000
Medical Staff: Family Physicians trained in Oncology (FPO) at WMCC oversee chemotherapy treatment plans made by your Medical Oncologist in Winnipeg. Radiation Oncologists at WMCC are specialists who make and oversee radiation treatment plans.
Your Family Physician or Nurse Practitioner should continue to manage any other health related needs.
Supports & Resources
Canadian Cancer Society:
Toll free: 1-888-939-3333
Volunteer Driver Program:
Toll free 1-888-532-6982 extension 239
Patient Resource Room:
Located in the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre. Information pamphlets, computer with internet access and patient resources including wigs.
Health Resource Centre (Library):
Brandon Regional Health Centre.
Look Good Feel Better Workshop:
Held 4th Wednesday of each month. Companions welcome!
To register visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.ca or
Home Care Program:
Palliative Care Coordinator:
Breast & Gyne Cancer Center of Hope:
Community contact information
Toll free 1-888-660-4866
For any comments/concerns phone:
What is IN SIXTY?
IN SIXTY is the new strategy of action and quality care for patients during their first days of cancer suspicion, diagnosis and to a first treatment if needed. In June 2011, the Province of Manitoba announced a million investment towards transforming the cancer patient journey. In November 2011 the development of IN SIXTY (also known as the Cancer Patient Journey Initiative) began with a Manitoba Cancer Partnership Steering Committee and an overarching goal to reduce the time from suspicion of cancer to first treatment to 60 days or less, by no later than 2016, and to do so in a sustainable manner that also improves the quality of the cancer patient experience.
Why do we need IN SIXTY?
Cancer can affect anyone at anytime. In Manitoba, over 6100 patients are diagnosed annually and up to ten times more undergo investigations for suspected cancers. Many patients and their families have found the cancer journey complex, difficult to understand and highly stressful, especially in the first few weeks when testing procedures and specialist appointments are occurring. Any delay in tests and care during this time heighten anxiety and may critically affect clinical outcomes, such as patients requiring more intensive treatments. When IN SIXTY began, the suspicion to treatment phase for patients took anywhere from 3 to 9 months. Some delays were rooted in: a lack of coordination, integration, and information flow among the multiple health care organizations involved - resulting in complex care pathways and patient handoffs; lack of clinically-defined diagnostic and treatment care pathways- resulting in diagnosis and treatment delays; poor communication between the health care system and patients during this initial stage in their cancer journey. Services need to be streamlined and new approaches across organizations are needed to make the best use of the skills available in the cancer workforce.
For healthcare professionals - http://www.cancercare.mb.ca/home/health_care_professionals/cancer_patient_journey/
Please Note: If there is any chance that you are / or can become pregnant during radiation, you must advise your radiation oncologist and the treatment team. Radiation can be extremely harmful to your unborn child and appropriate measures must be taken, etc.
Radiation therapy, sometimes called radiotherapy or irradiation, is the use of various forms of radiation to safely and effectively treat cancer and other diseases. Radiation oncologists may use radiation therapy to try to cure cancer, to control the growth of the cancer or to relieve symptoms, such as pain.
How radiation therapy works:
Radiation therapy works by damaging the DNA within cancer cells and destroying the ability of the cancer cells to reproduce. When these damaged cancer cells die, the body naturally eliminates them. Normal cells are also affected by radiation, but they are able to repair themselves from the radiation in a way that cancer cells cannot. Sometimes radiation therapy is the only treatment a patient needs, and other times it is only one part of a patient’s treatment. For example, some patients may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Goals of radiation therapy:
- Destroy tumours.
- Reduce the risk that the cancer will return after you have had surgery or chemotherapy by killing tiny cancer cells that may remain.
- Shrink tumours that are interfering with your quality of life. For example: tumours that are causing difficulty swallowing or are causing bleeding.
- Alleviate pain by reducing the size of your tumour.
It is important for you to discuss the goal of your treatment and the side effects of your treatment with your radiation oncologist.
Chemotherapy (sometimes called chemo) uses drugs to destroy cancer cells. Some chemotherapy drugs are given on their own. But more often, several chemotherapy drugs are given together. Chemotherapy may also be given together with other drug treatments, such as biological therapy.
Today, there are many different kinds of chemotherapy and combinations of chemotherapy drugs used to treat over 200 different types of cancer. The drugs you get for chemotherapy may be different from the drugs someone else gets. Even if you get the same drugs as someone else, your body may react to them differently. So the way you feel during treatment may be very different from how others feel.
How chemotherapy works:
Chemotherapy is the use of one or more anticancer (cytotoxic) drugs to damage cancer cells so they can’t grow and reproduce. Chemotherapy is most effective on cells that are actively growing and dividing. Because many cancer cells tend to grow and divide quickly, they are sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy.
Goals of Chemotherapy:
the primary goal of chemotherapy is to eliminate cancer cells and prevent recurrence. If it is not possible to eliminate the cancer, chemotherapy may be used to control the cancer by slowing its growth and/or to reduce symptoms caused by the cancer (called palliative therapy).
Cancer Links and Resources
The following are weblinks and resources to assist you in your journey.
IN SIXTY for patients
IN SIXTY for healthcare professionals
Your "home away from home".
Murray House is a residence that provides safe comfortable accommodations for out of town patients receiving care at the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre. Murray House is located one block from the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre.
You are responsible for your own medications and care. If you require the support of medical equipment, you must provide that information when booking is confirmed. This is to allow for an electrical safety check. Containers of oxygen must be reported as well at this time.
There are eight private rooms; two are wheelchair accessible. Each room has a private washroom, television, phone and small refrigerator. Family and friends are welcome with a limit of two people per room. All rooms are non-smoking. Sorry no pets are allowed in Murray House.
You are responsible for your own meals. There is a fully equipped common kitchen for your use. Across the street located at the Brandon Regional Health Centre is a cafeteria as well as nearby stores and restaurants.
A living room, library/meeting room, recreation room and laundry facilities are also located in Murray House.
On-site parking is available and is included in your room cost.
A referral is required to stay at Murray House. Contact any of the staff listed below for further information.
Patient Navigators Western Manitoba Cancer Centre 204-578-2236
Dauphin Site 204-622-4116
Deloraine Site 204-747-1844
Oncology Social Worker – Dauphin 204-638-2189
Oncology Social Worker – WMCC 204-578-2206
Once a referral form has been filled out you will receive a call regarding your booking confirmation and how to pay for your room.
For current rates: Call: 204-717-8700