At the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre in Oshawa, Ont., all volunteers go through a 30-hour palliative care course, regardless of whether they are assigned to the palliative care, oncology (chemotherapy) or radiation units.
The course is standardized for hospice volunteers across Ontario.
The volunteers watch documentaries about cancer patients and learn how the disease and treatments affect patients and their loved ones.
"It also makes you ask questions about your own life you might not otherwise address," says volunteer Pat Smallwood.
A review of 21 studies of cancer pain medication research conducted by Professor Michael Bennett of Lancaster University, has shown that cancer patients can reduce their experience of pain by a fifth when doctors give them information on how their pain medications work.
Professor Michael Bennett who carried out the study, said: "This is good news for cancer patients.
"Helping people manage pain is a major challenge for doctors and our research shows for the first time that education is an effective, easy and cheap way to do this."
HFA's 2010 initiative, Cancer and End-of-Life Care, will be broadcast live-via-webcast and satellite on Wednesday, March 24, 2010. Early Registration is now open.
The 2010 teleconference will address care options related to cancer diagnoses as well as loss and grief reactions for patients, families and professional caregivers. The teleconference will also examine psychosocial aspects of cancer, pain management, and ethical issues related to the disease.
Learn more about the program, advertising opportunities, and our 2010 panelists.