Hi my fellow Canucks! I've been a member for about 2 years but this is my first post..lol. I was really happy to see this thread when I popped in for a visit the other day! It's nice to share information about CC treatments available in Canada.
CRguy, your post about referrals to the US caught my attention. I'm in BC too
The only way I know of doing this is to have your oncologist write a request for a referral to the BC Cancer Agency for payment. My oncologist and I have had a few discussions about this. He's American and knows what/where to go if and when I run out of options here. This is basically the same process that our MD's have to go through with the provincial government when requesting treatment that is not available in Canada. Basically, your Dr. needs to be extremely good at writing these requests and providing the reasons for the referral. It can be done and is done, although not very often.
I have a very close friend who is a Pediatrician in Calgary that has managed to get the Alberta government to pay for cancer treatments in the US for some of her patients. She says it all boils down to how well the request is written, (keeping in mind that all available treatments in Canada have been exhausted).
The longer I'm around and "in the system" the more I see how much depends on who your Dr.'s are and whether or not they have pull with BC Cancer. There are definitely a few that do. I was actually referred to an onc in Vancouver who sits on a few boards and is in charge of clinical trials for CC. She told me that when I was at the point of needing to look at clinical trials, she could have me on some in Vancouver or in other countries (what is available at the time). It's possible to participate in a clinical trial from another country and stay home. You are looked after here and all the data is sent away to the agency conducting the trial.
So, if I was looking to go to the US and didn't have my onc, I would get myself an onc who sits on boards and is actively involved in UBC research. They seem to have the most connections.
DX Stage 4 CC Sept 2008 (mets to liver and lungs)