CAPO News


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  • 17 Mar 2020 2:48 PM | Anonymous

    CAPO Statement on COVID19

    Dear Members of the CAPO Community,

    These are incredibly difficult times full of uncertainty and fear. For our patients, colleagues and loved ones living with cancer, things are especially challenging.

    As always, the psychosocial well-being of our patients, colleagues and family members is our utmost priority. 

    We also understand that there is an overwhelming amount of information circulating regarding COVID-19.

    We have gathered the following resources to help you navigate this unprecedented time.

    As of right now, CAPO's 35th Annual Conference scheduled for July 15 to 17 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, is planned to proceed as scheduled. We are however monitoring the situation very closely and will advise if this changes. 

    WEBINAR – MARCH 20, 2020. Dr. Doris Howell: Proactive remote monitoring and real-time symptom management using mobile technology: a feasibility study. Please join us.

    As a community – we are here for you.

  • 5 Mar 2020 3:14 PM | Anonymous

    March 6 is World Lymphedema Day! Lymphedema is chronic inflammatory condition that can develop after cancer treatment. Download the poster



  • 28 Aug 2019 1:51 PM | Peter Traversa (Administrator)

    For the first time ever, the Congress will be "Patients Included". We are pleased to welcome the following advocates:

    • Victoria Forster @vickyyyf, @cancersurvSM
    • Margaret Ng: Over 10 years experience working in workplace wellness and health promotion my mission is to support health, healing, and well-being so others can thrive in life.
    • Karen Ladner Haas @caringcancermom
    • Lorna Larsen @TeamShan: I am honoured to receive a 2019 IPOS/CAPO World Congress of Psycho-Oncology patient and family advocate scholarship. I look forward to participating in the Congress, sharing my daughter Shanna's Story and my efforts to make a positive difference in the adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer journey. Shanna (Shan) lost her life to breast cancer at the age of twenty-four. As part of my grief process, I have advocated strongly to help improve AYA cancer outcomes across the continuum from awareness to palliative care. All in Shan's memory!

    • Jill Hamer-Wilson @JillHW


  • 20 Aug 2019 3:22 PM | Peter Traversa (Administrator)

    Innovation Grants/Subventions pour l'innovation:

    Innovation Grants support the highest quality creative problem solving in cancer research. The goal of the Innovation program is to support the development and testing of transformative, paradigm-shifting concepts and approaches to address problems in cancer research, enhance our understanding of cancer, and generate novel approaches to confront the challenges we face in defeating cancer.

    Budgets awarded may be up to $100,000 per year and a maximum of $200,000 per grant.

    It is anticipated that approximately 30 grants will be awarded in this competition.

    Please note the following:

    • Innovation Grants are offered once per year. The timeline below is anticipated to be consistent going forward.
    • This competition consists of a full application only, abstract registration is not required
    • There must be no (0%) overlap with any pending or held grant applications (i.e. 100% unique aims are required - conceptual overlap is acceptable but must be described by the applicant)

    Special funding calls within the Innovation Grant competition envelope:

    • Applications relevant to breast cancer research are encouraged
    • Applications relevant to skin cancer are encouraged
    • As a result of a generous donation, funding for one application with a focus on early detection, diagnosis, and/or treatment of malignant mixed Müllerian tumours (MMMT) is available
    • Additional funds may be available from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation to support innovative projects focused on the application of complementary and alternative approaches in cancer treatment and control

    Full application deadline: October 15, 2019

    Results announcement: April, 2020

    Anticipated start date: May 1, 2020

    Please review the full Program Description on our website.

    Veuillez consulter la description complète du programme sur notre site Web.

    Innovation to Impact Grants/Subventions d’une innovation à un impact:

    *Note update to eligibility criteria regarding pursuit of ‘logical next steps’ from an Innovation or CBCF grant.

    These grants are intended to support the next phase following a productive CCS Innovation Grant or CBCF research grant, with the goal of working towards or achieving a significant impact on cancer.

    Applicants are required to articulate significant achievements from the original Innovation/CBCF Grant (i.e., significant new knowledge, publications, intellectual property, technology development, or relevant endpoints) and clearly describe and justify the progression to the new research proposed. In other words, the original grant and the i2I proposal must be linked by their overarching goal or objective. Applicants must also describe the potential for impact of the proposed project on cancer.

    Budgets awarded may be up to $150,000 per year for up to 3 years, to a maximum of $450,000 per grant.

    It is anticipated that approximately 15 grants will be awarded in this competition.

    Please note that only investigators with a funded Innovation or CBCF research grant with a project end date between January 1, 2017 and April 30, 2020 are eligible for this program.

    Full application deadline: October 15, 2019

    Results announcement: April 2020

    Anticipated start date: May 1, 2020

    Please review the full Program Description on our website.

    Veuillez consulter la description complète du programme sur notre site Web.

    Travel Awards/Bourses de déplacement :

    These awards are intended to defray the travel costs associated with making a scientific presentation as a first author or presenter at a conference, symposium or other appropriate professional meeting. PhD, MD, or MD/PhD students, and post-doctoral/medical/clinical fellows are eligible to apply.

    There are three competitions in 2019. It is anticipated that approximately 10 Travel Awards will be awarded in each competition (approximately 30 awards per year).

    Please note the following:

    • Applications will only be accepted for conference dates within 6 months following the funding start date.
    • Eligible expenses include: 1) Conference registration fees; 2) Accommodations; and 3) Transportation, and will not exceed $2,000.
    • Individuals may receive this award only once per stage of training (PhD, MD, Postdoctoral fellow). Unsuccessful applicants may reapply in subsequent competitions.

    Full application deadline: September 15, 2019

    Results announcement: November, 2019

    Funding start date: December 1, 2019

    Please visit the Canadian Cancer Society research website for program and application information www.cancer.ca/research.

    Les renseignements relatifs au programme et à la demande se trouvent sur le site Web de recherche de la Société canadienne du cancer (SCC), au www.cancer.ca/research.


  • 4 Jul 2019 10:11 AM | Peter Traversa (Administrator)

    The shared mission of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) and the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) is to foster the science and practice of psychosocial oncology to improve the care for people affected by cancer through partnerships, research, public policy, advocacy and education. Our 2019 World Congress will create an opportunity to bring together an international body of health care professionals. This forum encourages new global partnerships and allows for the dissemination of ground-breaking research to professionals and the general public about psycho-oncology, that is, the psychosocial (psychiatric, psychological, social, behavioural, ethical) and psychobiological aspects of oncology.  Finally, this forum allows us to recognize exceptional contributions from around the world to the field of psycho-oncology through our awards of excellence.

    The following financial support is being made available to patient advocates interested in attending the 2019 Congress:

    • Five (5) $1,000 CAD travel/accommodation scholarships to be paid directly to recipients at the Congress by cheque accompanied by complimentary congress registration valued at $750 CAD each (does not include the pre-congress workshops or dinner adventure).

    In order to qualify, applicants must:

    1. Be residing in Canada.
    2. Identify themselves as a patient/family advocate (have an active role in communicating their cancer experience).
    3. Be active on social media.
    4. Complete an online application by July 31, 2019.
    5. If selected, must submit a 250 to 500-word summary of key learnings from the congress that will be published on our website https://capo.ca/home-new, and also in the CAPO e-newsletter, CAPO Connection. Submission must be made by December 31, 2019.

    Online application review and selection:

    1. Applications are accepted online only. Confirmation of submission will NOT be issued. To submit, please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9MMWLYT.
    2. A panel of three current CAPO members (void of any conflict of interest), one in which must be a current CAPO board member, will review applications and select the five recipients.
    3. Final decision on the five recipients selected will be issued via email by no later than August 16, 2019.
  • 12 Jun 2019 10:58 AM | Anonymous

    We are pleased to provide you with early access to the modernized Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control – a 10-year roadmap to improve equity in the cancer system and to deliver world-class cancer care to all Canadians, while focusing on a sustainable healthcare system for the future.

    This Strategy focuses on driving measurable change on the most pressing challenges for the next decade with five priorities: 

    1. Decrease the risk of people getting cancer
    2. Diagnose cancer faster, accurately and at an earlier stage 
    3. Deliver high-quality care in a sustainable, world-class system
    4. Eliminate barriers to people getting the care they need
    5. Deliver information and supports for people living with cancer, families and caregivers 

    First Nations, Inuit, and Métis advisors, communities , governments, and organizations were engaged in all parts of Canada using a parallel process to ensure separate, respectful and Peoples-specific priorities and challenges were understood and reflected in the refreshed Strategy

    In addition to the five priorities above, the Strategy includes three priorities identified by First Nations, Inuit and Métis, each with Peoples-specific actions.

    You can access the Strategy and other materials using the links below. 

    Materials 

    Communications Toolkit

    We invite you to use this Communications Toolkit to share the messages and images on June 4, 2019 and beyond to help raise awareness of the refreshed Strategy. The toolkit is available in English and French, and includes: 

    • Social media posts
    • Email copy
    • Website content (Summary option and Detailed option)
    • Newsletter content

    To show your support:

    • Use the Communications Toolkit to spread the message on and after June 4, 2019 
    • Like, comment and share the Partnership’s social media posts across Twitter and Facebook
    • Join the social conversation using hashtag #CDNCancerStrategy in English and#StratégieCASurLeCancer in French.

    Thank you for your interest in the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer – we appreciate your support. 

    Cindy Morton 

    Chief Executive Officer 

    Canadian Partnership Against Cancer 

    Nous sommes heureux de vous offrir un accès anticipé à la version modernisée de laStratégie canadienne de lutte contre le cancer – une feuille de route sur 10 ans visant à améliorer l’équité au sein du système de lutte contre le cancer et à offrir des soins de calibre mondial à l’ensemble des Canadiens, tout en se concentrant sur la mise en place d’un système de santé durable pour l’avenir.

    La Stratégie vise à favoriser des changements mesurables pour les défis les plus urgents au cours des dix prochaines années, avec cinq priorités : 

    1. Réduire le risque de cancer dans la population
    2. Diagnostiquer le cancer plus rapidement, avec exactitude et à un stade plus précoce
    3. Offrir des soins de grande qualité dans le cadre d’un système durable et de calibre mondial 
    4. Éliminer les obstacles qui empêchent les gens d’obtenir les soins dont ils ont besoin
    5.  Offrir de l’information et du soutien aux personnes atteintes de cancer, aux familles et aux aidants

    Des conseillers, des communautés, des gouvernements et des organisations des Premières Nations, des Inuits et des Métis ont été mobilisés partout au Canada dans le cadre d’un processus parallèle pour faire en sorte que soient compris et intégrés dans la Stratégie actualisée les priorités et les défis propres aux peuples autochtones, de manière respectueuse et distincte. 

    En plus des cinq priorités ci-dessus, la Stratégie comprend trois priorités déterminées par les Premières Nations, les Inuits et les Métis, et chacune d’entre elles s’accompagne de mesures propres aux peuples autochtones.

    Documents  

    Trousse d’outils pour les communications

    Nous vous invitons à utiliser cette Trousse d’outils pour les communications afin de partager les messages et les images qu’elle contient à partir du 4 juin 2019 pour aider à faire connaître la Stratégie actualisée. La trousse d’outils existe en français et en anglais, et comprend ce qui suit : 

    • Publications pour les médias sociaux
    • Contenu pour les courriels
    • Contenu pour les sites Web (option courte et option détaillée)
    • Contenu pour les infolettres

    Pour montrer votre soutien :

    • Utilisez la Trousse d’outils pour les communications afin de diffuser le message dès le 4 juin 2019. 
    • Aimez les publications du Partenariat sur les médias sociaux, laissez-y des commentaires ou partagez-les sur Twitter et Facebook.
    • Joignez-vous à la conversation sur les médias sociaux au moyen du mot-dièse#StratégieCASurLeCancer en français et #CDNCancerStrategy en anglais.

    Merci de votre intérêt envers le Partenariat canadien contre le cancer – nous apprécions votre soutien.  

    Cindy Morton 

    Présidente-directrice générale 

    Partenariat canadien contre le cancer 


  • 12 Jun 2019 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO) and the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) are pleased to receive the support of Bell Let’s Talk for this year’s 21st annual World Congress of Psycho-Oncology. The Congress will take place this year in Banff, Alberta from September 23-26. The theme for the Congress is A Global Call for Action: Implementing Psychosocial Oncology Research for Optimal Cancer Care.

    As Visionary Sponsor, Bell Let’s Talk is supporting more than 800 international health care leaders, scientists and researchers from over 60 countries who will be gathering to share and learn how to help cancer patients and their families cope with the devastating emotional and mental health impact of the disease.

    We are very excited to have Bell Let’s Talk join us this year in support of our World Congress,” said Dr. Fiona Schulte, President and Co-Chair of the IPOS World Congress and President, Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO). “The impact of their support will resound globally with the community of leading oncologists who will be engaging with patients, care-givers and family members through their cancer journeys.”

    Cancer is the second leading cause of death internationally. In 2018 alone, there were more than 18 million new cases, with just over a 50 per cent survival rate. Cancer impacts everyone – from patients, to friends, to loved ones.

    The World Congress will bring together an international community of health care leaders, scientists and researchers who will take their knowledge back to improve patient and family care. This forum encourages new global partnerships and allows for the dissemination of ground-breaking research to professionals and the general public about psycho-oncology that will transform the cancer experience and improve the quality of life for millions of people globally.

    Since 2010, the Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative has been leading a conversation about the impact of mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it, while also funding programs focused on 4 mental health action pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, new research and workplace leadership. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

    For more information on the World Congress, please visit: https://ipos2019.com/


  • 15 Aug 2018 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    Under the direction of the CAPO Clinical Advisory Committee a working group of CAPO members has developing a position paper on MAID. This position statement is intended to clarify the role of psychosocial oncology services and psychosocial oncology clinicians in responding to patient inquiries about MAID. This paper can be accessed at:

    CAPO MAID Position Statement PDF

    We thank Drs Doris Howell, Keith Wilson, Madeline Li, Harvey Chochinov, Eric Wasylenko, Jennifer Bell, Jacynthe Rivest and Chad Hammond for their work on this position statement.

    A CAPO webinar is being planned on this topic for 12pm EST, November 22, 2017. Details will be circulated at a later date.

    CAPO is looking for in-kind support to translate this position statement into French. If members are aware of local resources available for in-kind translation services, please contact [email protected]

  • 15 Aug 2018 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    Awards for Excellence in Psychosocial Oncology Lifetime Achievement Award

    This annual award honours a CAPO/ACOP member who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, has made exceptional and enduring career contributions to Psychosocial Oncology.

    2017 Recipient: Dr. Joan Bottorff

    Dr. Joan L. Bottorff is a Professor in the School of Nursing and Director of the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is a UBC Distinguished University Scholar, an Affiliate Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. Her research program focuses on health promotion and health behaviour change particularly in the context of cancer prevention. Current projects center on developing more inclusive understandings of health behaviours and the development of gender-sensitive and gender-specific interventions to strengthen tobacco reduction among women and men, and to enhance cancer prevention initiatives targeting other health behaviours. This program of research, supported by the collaborative work of multidisciplinary teams and the involvement of knowledge users, has resulted in the development of innovative approaches to cancer prevention and new opportunities to reduce the burden of cancer.


    Awards for Clinical Excellence

    This award recognizes individuals who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the Association, have made significant contributions to Psychosocial Oncology in the areas of clinical work.

    2017 Recipient: Dr. Steven Simpson

    Dr. Simpson obtained a BSc (Hons) in biochemistry from St. Andrews University, Scotland, in 1976. He completed his PhD in Immunochemistry in 1980 at the University of Wales Medical School in Cardiff, Wales. In 1980, he moved to Canada to study Endocrinology with Dr. Henry Friesen in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He moved to Virginia in 1983 and carried out similar studies with Dr. Maria Dufau of the National Institute for Child Health and Development at Bethesda, Maryland. While in Virginia he was also employed as a research scientist by Hazleton Biotechnology Company.

    In 1986, Steve returned to Canada to study Medicine at the University of Calgary. He graduated in 1989 and completed a year of Internal Medicine at University of Calgary. In 1990 he began his residency training in psychiatry and completed his fellowship in the summer of 1994. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Oncology at the University of Calgary.

    He has clinical appointments in the division of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Calgary Health Region, and the Psychosocial Resources department at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary since 1994. He is also a consulting Psychiatrist in the department of Patient and Family Counselling at the Fraser Valley Cancer Centre in Surrey, BC since 2012. He alternates his practice between these two settings.

    His research interests are in psycho-oncology. He is currently working on projects looking at fatigue in cancer patients and is part of a team involved in addressing Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment.


    The Award for Education Excellence

    This award is made to recognize individuals who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, have made a significant contribution to education and training in psychosocial oncology in Canada.

    2017 Recipient: Joan Hamilton

    Joan Hamilton is a clinical nurse specialist in cancer care in the Queen Elizabeth Health Science Centre of the Nova Scotia Health Authority in Halifax.

    Joan did her undergrad nursing at Dalhousie and her Master’s of Science in Nursing at McGill in palliative care nursing.

    Joan started her career in Vancouver in hematology and bone marrow transplant. She has worked in St. John’s Newfoundland, Halifax, Hamilton and Montreal in oncology and palliative care.

    The focus of Joan’s work as a CNS is helping advance nursing practice through nursing education, mentoring, program development, research utilization, the integration of CPG, and small project group work with front line nurses. Joan’s areas of interest/expertise include cancer-related fatigue, sexual health changes, vaginal dilation teaching post pelvic radiation, helping parents explaining serious illness and death to children, advancing nurses communication skills, managing patient distress, infertility risk reduction and mouthcare.

    Joan is a member of the cancer care psychosocial team and is an adjunct professor at Dalhousie. As well as being a member of CAPO, she is also a member of the Canadian Association of Nurses in Oncology as well as several of professional associations.

    Joan has been in Halifax over the last 25 years where she and her husband have raised their children.


    The CIHR – Institute for Cancer Research: CAPO Research Excellence Award

    This award, formerly called the CAPO Award for Research Excellence was rebranded this year through generous support from The CIHR – Institute for Cancer Research. The Institute has signed a three-year agreement to fund this prestigious award.

    The award is made to recognize an individual who, in the opinion of the Awards Committee and the Board of Directors of the association, has made a significant research contribution to Psychosocial Oncology.

    2017 Recipient: Dr. Gary Rodin

    Gary Rodin is the University of Toronto/University Health Network Harold and Shirley Lederman Chair in Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care and Head of the Department of Supportive Care at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Rodin is also the Director of the Global Institute of Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC) and a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He leads a clinical and research program on the psychosocial dimensions of advanced and terminal disease and on the development and evaluation of novel interventions to improve the quality of life and the quality of dying and death in this population. These integrated psychosocial and palliative interventions include Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully (CALM), a supportive-expressive psychotherapeutic treatment for patients with metastatic cancer and their caregivers, and an integrated emotion and symptom-focused intervention for individuals diagnosed with life-threatening hematological malignancies. Through GIPPEC, a University of Toronto Interdisciplinary Institute based at Princess Margaret, Dr. Rodin has established international partnerships in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East to contribute to global access to palliative and supportive care for patients and families facing advanced disease and the end of life. He has published widely in these areas and is recognized internationally for his efforts to improve the rigor of research and the effectiveness and availability of psychosocial and palliative interventions.


    The CIHR – Institute for Cancer Research New Investigator Award

    This award, formerly called the CAPO Early Career Award, was rebranded this year through generous support from The CIHR – Institute for Cancer Research. The Institute has signed a three-year agreement to fund this award.

    The award honours a new investigator for outstanding contributions to research in the field of psychosocial oncology.

    2017 Recipient: Dr. Shane Sinclair

    Dr. Shane Sinclair is an Associate Professor and Cancer Care Research Professor with the University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing. His research focuses on psychosocial and spiritual issues within oncology and palliative care, including his nationally funded program of research on compassion. Dr. Sinclair is a former Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Manitoba), current President of the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology, a recipient of the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Award of Excellence in Research, a top 40 under 40 awardee and a recipient of the International Psychosocial Oncology Society New Investigator Award. Dr. Sinclair’s research on spiritual care has been instrumental in enhancing research capacity within the discipline of spiritual care, establishing an evidence based approach to spiritual care practice, and has contributed to policy development on a global level. His CIHR funded program of research on compassion developed the first patient informed empirical model of compassion; delineated between patients’ perspectives of sympathy, empathy and compassion; led to the reconceptualization of compassion fatigue and self compassion, and is currently focused on the development and validation of a patient reported compassion measure.


    The Student Travel Conference Award

    This annual award is given to honour a CAPO student member (or recent student) who has demonstrated excellence in his or her submission of an original paper. It is open to clinicians and researchers. The focus of the manuscript can be research, clinical, and/or education.

    2017 Recipient: Nicole Racine

    Nicole Racine has been awarded the Student Travel Award for her paper titled: Predicting Health-Related Quality of Life in Pediatric Cancer Survivors: Contributions to Parental Psychological Distress and Family Psychosocial Risk.

  • 15 Aug 2018 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    by Dr. Robin McGee, CKN Editor

    Recently, I joined the Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology or CAPO

    Dr. Deborah McLeod

    An ongoing research project which tackles care delivery is the “Therapeutic Practices for Distress Management (TPDM) Project.” The inspiration of Dr. Deborah McLeod and a number of other researchers, this study examines the impact of psychosocial training on the practice of front-line oncology nurses and their work systems. (Full disclosure: I am a big fan of Dr. McLeod. As described in The Cancer Olympics, she co-led a support group of which I was a grateful participant. Also, I serve as one of the patient representatives on the project.)

    What are the “four horsemen” of the cancer experience? Every patient knows them: pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Using her expertise as a nurse and Ph.D.-level training in counselling, Dr. McLeod developed online training modules for each topic. Nearly 70 oncology nurses in 5 major cancer centres across Canada spent 56 online hours aimed at developing their skill in truly listening and responding to cancer patients. Compared to a pre-training baseline, participating nurses had greater knowledge and confidence in their skills; as well, they showed observable increases in appropriate responsiveness during clinical roleplays.

    The project also addressed the reality that nurses work within differing structures. Whereas some settings pair nurses with oncologists, some settings have nurses and doctors working apart. Settings vary tremendously in their hierarchies, operational flow, and on the importance they place on psychosocial issues. So for each centre, an Implementation Committee was formed comprised of key stakeholders (including patients) that examined the unique systemic factors at play. Not surprisingly, working cultures are significant determinants of the degree of psychosocial help patients get from front-line oncology nurses.

    But what about the patient voice? “As an educator, I have been involved in seeking out and using patient narratives for learning forever,” says Dr. McLeod. To foster empathy and engagement, stories and dramatizations of patient struggles were used to reach the learners. One such story was “Simon’s romantic evening” in which a prostate cancer patient recounts his anguish in needing to use injections to address erectile dysfunction. “I had a nurse who had worked with prostate patients for 10 years,” Dr. McLeod recalls, “who responded to that narrative with ‘I had no idea what these men were going through!’” Opening the eyes of oncology nurses to the totality of the cancer experience helped hook them into learning, and into responsive care.

    What are the key issues that CAPO ought to advocate for? Dr. McLeod, a longstanding member, hopes that CAPO will continue to develop and maintain their standards and guidelines of care. Along with advocating patient support by specialists like psychologists, she hopes they will continue to advocate for psychosocial support by generalists. “One of the biggest things,” she recommends, “CAPO ought to advocate for patient engagement and psychosocial care at every level of the health care team.”

    What does all this mean for patients? There are clinicians out there who understand that the distress of cancer is as potent as the disease itself. They want to hear about distress, and teach others in the system how to address it. Any patient or caregiver can join CAPO to help this vision, and to support projects such as Dr. McLeod’s.


    Dr. Robin McGee (The Cancer Olympics, Twitter @TCOrobin), is a Registered Clinical Psychologist, mother, wife, educator and friend. Living in Nova Scotia, she has worked in health and education settings for over 25 years. Since entering remission, she has been very active in advocacy, mentorship, and fundraising on behalf of cancer patients. In particular, she has been involved in provincial, national, and international initiatives aimed at improving standards of cancer care. In 2015, she was awarded the Canadian Cancer Society’s highest honour, the National Medal of Courage.  Robin was recently named the 2016 recipient of the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada.  Her book The Cancer Olympics has won five literary awards, and was recently listedamong the best 55 self-published books of 2015 by Kirkus reviews. Proceeds of sales go to cancer support programs. The Cancer Olympics is McGee’s first – and hopefully her last – memoir about her cancer experiences.

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Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO)

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