MEDLIB-L Archives

February 1998, Week 1


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Dean Giustini <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Medical Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 5 Feb 1998 09:11:31 -0700
TEXT/PLAIN (42 lines)
> > I have a member of our hospital staff who has a relative in Canada who
> > has just been diagnosted with an advanced form of bone cancer. We have
> > the "800" phone number in the US that gets anyone information on their
> > cancer plus booklets and searches if necessary. What does Canada have
> > for their citizens? I would like a Canada wide number if possible.

As Margaret Vugrin has recently asked for input from cancer librarians in
Canada regarding our work here, and I am writing this for the MLA News, I
thought I would point out that the Canadian Cancer Society has a toll-free
number 1-888-939-3333 that can be  used anywhere in the country and that
cancer patients, family members, the general public and healthcare
professionals phone the number frequently. You will always get a "live"
person at this number, and the professionals on the phone are qualified
oncology nurses and other knowledgeable people. I have heard very good
things about this service.

As an aside, my hunch is that when someone asks for information about "an
advanced form of bone" cancer that they may in fact be talking about a
cancer metastasis to the bone, which is of course a different situation
and disease. Many common cancers such as breast, lung and prostate cancer
metastasize to the bone, for example, and treatment modalities are
different for this clinical situation. Clarifying before leading on to
appropriate sources may save a family member from undue stress.

Finally, if the situation is palliative a cancer patient in Canada can
seek out information about alternative/complementary medicine in cancer
centre libraries, bookstores and libraries. In some large cities, new
alternative treatment centres are opening up such as the Wild Rose Clinic
here in Calgary and the Tzu Chi Institute in Vancouver BC. While these
clinics are not in the mainstream, we have found that in conjunction with
traditional medicine they can offer patients new ways of coping, and thus
have hope for their futures.


Dean Giustini, Librarian
Tom Baker Cancer Centre
Library and Information Services
1331-29th Street NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N2
ph. (403) 670-1765