Cancer patients will have access to a new and improved replacement linear accelerator - a machine that provides radiation therapy used to treat a variety of cancers - at the BC Cancer Agency's Fraser Valley Centre, announced Health Minister Terry Lake.
"British Columbians have the lowest overall cancer mortality rate and cancer incidence rate in Canada," said Lake. "A new replacement linear accelerator for Fraser Valley Centre will help improve the quality of life for those affected by cancer by delivering better treatment."
Linear accelerators work by making use of high-energy x-rays to kill tumour cells. Radiation therapy is useful as treatment for some types of cancer and also to relieve symptoms if cancer spreads.
The new machine delivers radiation more precisely, as well as better imaging, so treatment can be modified on a daily basis. Linear accelerators are typically replaced every 10 to 12 years.
"I would like to thank the provincial government for providing funding for a new replacement linear accelerator at the Fraser Valley Centre. To provide the best care, it is important that the BC Cancer Agency keep current with new technology and treatment advances. This new linear accelerator will help to improve health outcomes for our patients by allowing us to deliver more precise radiation treatment to patients in Surrey and surrounding communities," said Dr. Max Coppes, president of the BC Cancer Agency.
The government of British Columbia is providing funding of $3.7 million for the linear accelerator, replacing one installed in 2001. Work is expected to be complete by spring 2014.
"The BC Cancer Agency is committed to providing all patients in British Columbia with access to a full range of quality cancer services. Today's announcement of a new replacement linear accelerator for Fraser Valley Centre is definitely good news and will assist the facility in providing the best care possible," said Wynne Powell, Provincial Health Services Authority board chair.
The BC Cancer Agency is part of the Provincial Health Services Authority and provides a provincewide, population-based cancer control program for residents of British Columbia and the Yukon. This includes provincial standards for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, and palliative care.
Media Contacts:Ryan Jabs
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)
Provincial Health Services Authority