Specialized Women's Cancer Services at RVH

The success of the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre gives us the ability to support women with enhanced services including screening, diagnosis and treatment for ovarian and cervical cancers. Currently, women must still travel outside the area for many aspects of their care. 

RVH has been designated a Centre of Excellence. This means women from throughout Central and Northern Ontario will receive specialized care closer to home. With the cancer centre, much of the infrastructure is already in place to provide advanced care and additional preparations are currently underway, including mobilizing a top-notch clinical team.

Offering comprehensive women's cancer services also requires gynecologic surgical equipment, supplies for colposcopy, and a future brachytherapy treatment suite. We need your support to give women full cancer services. 

A Physician's Perspective

Sandy could not have said it better. Much of her cancer journey was spent on the highway as she traveled to Toronto for surgery and subsequent treatment.   When you have cancer, the emotional strain of fighting for your survival is greatly intensified if the only option for care is far away from family, friends and loved ones.

This is still the reality for many women living in Central and Northern Ontario who have ovarian, uterine, cervical and other related cancers.  As a Gynecologist at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre I often need to refer women to other hospitals for specialized cancer surgery.  These patients are very ill and travelling for care is especially stressful.

Thanks to generous past support and a compassionate community, RVH is almost ready to bring this vital care closer to home.  We recently opened a suite of new operating rooms to expand our surgical services.  These have paved the way for a Gynecology Cancer Centre of Excellence at RVH to provide women with the care they need and deserve.

Your gift will help to build on the momentum in cancer care we have achieved so far.  It will also ensure the skilled physicians we are attracting will have the very latest technology and medical equipment at their disposal. Placing the right tools in the right hands is the best formula for success when it comes to conquering cancer. 

The front-line treatment for most ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers is surgery. Having advanced technology and equipment to perform minimally invasive procedures like laparoscopic surgery allows us to target very specific areas. It also reduces the pain and healing time often associated with traditional open cancer operations.  In advanced cancer cases, this means that patients can begin a course of chemotherapy or radiation therapy more quickly, thereby increasing the chances of survival. In less advanced cases, patients can return home much sooner and resume normal family and work activities.

Let me give you a great example of how donor support allows us to improve front-line treatment.  Until very recently, when a surgeon came across something of concern during an operation and wanted to consult with another doctor who was also in the middle of another surgery, the consulting doctor would have to leave the operating room, scrub up and physically visit the doctor requiring the consultation. This would delay both surgeries and possibly impact the timing of other surgeries throughout the day. Today, this consultation is simply done by sending a digital image from one operating room to the computer monitor in another allowing for an immediate consultation.  Both operations continue without interruption, and patient care is never compromised.         

Laparoscopic surgical equipment, specialized instruments and high-resolution monitors, as well as delivery systems for chemotherapy and radiation therapy are other examples of donor-funded technology that we rely on to save lives.  Having this state-of-the-art technology available right here at RVH opens the doors to more treatment options for patients while allowing family and friends to be close by for support and encouragement.                 

A diagnosis of cancer is always devastating. However, the great strides made in care at RVH mean that more local patients can be treated closer to home. Please help us continue along that path by supporting the purchase of medical technology and equipment that will enable our medical leaders in health care to save the lives of women and men with cancer.  

- Dr. Andy Browning

State-of-the-art Equipment

Dr. Andy Browning and Dr. Jason Dodge 
A Patient's Perspective

“To have comprehensive gynecology cancer services available at RVH will mean the world of difference for women. It immediately takes so much of the stress out of the situation. I can only imagine the relief they will experience knowing most won’t have to travel to Toronto or another city far away for treatment.”

- Sandy, Ovarian cancer survivor
Compassion and Respect

Compassion and Respect

Marie Plummer with Dr. Renee Hanrahan