A significant step forward breast cancer patient care - Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal is designated a supra-regional breast cancer centre

    MONTREAL, Nov. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Centre hospitalier de l'Université
de Montréal (CHUM) announces that the Ministère de la Santé et des Services
sociaux (MSSS) has designated its Integrated breast cancer centre (IBCC) as a
supra-regional quarternary breast cancer centre. To this day, this designation
is the highest given to any healthcare institution following the MSSS
evaluation and based on its assessment of the clinical, education and research
activities of different healthcare teams pertaining to a single variety of
cancer. As a supra-regional centre, CHUM is a centre of first recourse for the
diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of a disease that strikes one out of nine
    "We are very proud of this significant step forward for CHUM and for
patients," said Dr. André Robidoux, medical director of CHUM's breast cancer
team. "Clearly, this achievement was only possible through the work of all
members of the breast cancer team. Everyone's efforts largely contributed to
improving access to care in view of offering integrated treatment tailored to
the very difficult situations of such patients, so that we can support them
during one of the most difficult trials of their lives," added Dr. Danielle
Charpentier, Head of the Hemato-oncology Service and Director, Program on
cancer control. This designation is a highly significant recognition of the
expertise of the staff, the quality of care and services it provides in this
area, and its appreciable contribution in training and research.
    So far, this designation is the highest given to any healthcare
institution following the MSSS evaluation and based on its assessment of the
clinical, education and research activities of different healthcare teams
pertaining to a single variety of cancer. A team that receives this
designation must include highly specialized professionals working in a variety
of fields, state-of-the-art facilities, a high volume of activities and 2nd
and 3rd cycle teaching programs (more specialized training). It also
distinguishes itself by its clinical research, evaluative and fundamental
programs in the field of oncology.
    "Some 4,000 patients have been seen by the IBCC's staff over the past
year and this number is constantly rising. Through its expertise, the
interdisciplinary breast-cancer team provides provincial, Canadian and
international leadership at various levels, in this regard." The
interdisciplinary IBCC ensures its role as a provincial, Canadian and
international leader in different areas of this field," said Dr. Charles
Bellavance, CHUM's Director of Professional Services and head of the
hospital's Program on cancer control.

    CHUM's Integrated Breast Cancer Centre

    CHUM's integrated breast cancer centre has been in operation since
January 2003 and is located at the CHUM Hôtel-Dieu. In this hospital, the CICS
comprises diagnostic, surgical and follow-up services offered to patients, and
the CRID (Centre de référence pour investigation désigné) under the Québec
Breast Cancer Screening Program. All partners involved in breast cancer
prevention or rehabilitation, as well as investigation, treatment and
research, have joined together in developing a joint policy on providing care
and services to such patients.
    The breast cancer team is headed by Dr. André Robidoux, Medical Director,
and includes numerous caregivers who possess outstanding expertise on breast
cancer. As well as under clinical, research, training, development of new
technologies and health promotion activities, the team relies on the skills of
breast cancer professionals operating in the fields of radiology, nuclear
medicine, surgery, pathology, radio-oncology, medical oncology, family
medicine, psychiatry, plastic surgery, and onco-genetics. Experts in nursing,
genetic counselling, pharmacists, spiritual care counsellors, psychologists,
nutritionists, social workers, physiotherapists, archivists, administrative
technicians and volunteer workers, further enhance the team.
    The CICS includes a major research team, the Canadian leader in clinical
research of breast cancer. For more than 20 years, the research team has
undertaken, for and with CHUM patients, research projects that have advanced
the medical practice and led to better treatment today of breast cancer and a
reduction in the mortality rate caused by this disease. For more than
20 years, the team has built a research program with the help of grants
evaluated by peers. The research has been and will undoubtedly remain the
engine of healthcare improvements at CHUM. The determination of Dr. André
Robidoux and Dr. Claude Potvin, surgical oncologist at the CHUM, to maintain
the research program has enabled the program to attain the objectives of
excellence in research. The research team alone comprises 16 professionals
that are research specialists who provide their daily support to patients
participating in clinical trials.
    Important cooperative ties have been forged among specialists in
different fields since obtention of CRID certification from Montreal's Agence
de santé et de services sociaux in 2000. The team welcomes all residents of
Université de Montréal's surgery program, as well as residents in medical
haematology, pathology, radio-oncology and family medicine.

    CHUM's Program on cancer control

    In an effort to prevent, screen, diagnose and provide early treatment to
cancer patients, CHUM has also made the battle against cancer one of its
priorities by setting up the Program on cancer control. The main goal of this
program is to guarantee access to personalized services and care meeting the
specific needs of patients and their loved ones. The challenge is all the
greater, since CHUM responds to local, regional and supra-regional needs.
CHUM's Program on cancer control comprises 17 multidisciplinary teams that
meet in tumour treatment committees to discuss best therapeutic strategies.
Each team operates on an interdisciplinary basis to provide patients with
comprehensive care, and quality services, from the initial diagnosis until the
end of life, if necessary. The organization of oncology care and services at
CHUM is in accordance with the model proposed by the MSSS in conjunction with
the Quebec cancer control program that has been in effect since 1998.
    In its role as a university hospital, CHUM also meets responsibilities in
the areas of teaching and research. CHUM currently has four oncology research
chairs: two in breast cancer, one in prostate cancer and one in hepatobiliary
and pancreatic surgical oncology.

    About CHUM

    The Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) provides
specialized and ultra-specialized services to a regional and supra-regional
clientele. Within its more immediate coverage area, the CHUM also provides
general and specialized hospital care and services. The CHUM uses an
integrated network model to carry out its five-part mandate of care, teaching,
research, the assessment of technologies and health care methodologies, and
the promotion of health care. Through its determined efforts to continuously
improve quality of care and patient safety, the CHUM has again received
accreditation from the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation, for
the 2007-2010 period. Hôtel-Dieu, Hôpital Notre-Dame, and Hôpital Saint-Luc
make up the CHUM, with approximately 10,000 employees, 900 physicians, 270
researchers, 6,000 students and trainees and 800 volunteers providing services
to over half a million patients each year. www.chumontreal.qc.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Nathalie Forgue, M.A., Communications Advisor,
Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, (514) 890-8000, Ext. 15380,
Pager: (514) 860-7110; Sources: Charles Bellavance, M.D., Director of
Professional Services, Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal; Nicole
Beaulieu, M.A., ARP, Director of communications, Centre hospitalier de
l'Université de Montréal

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