About Oncology for Pharmacists

Oncology for Pharmacists: A Person-Centred Approach to Cancer Care

Recent data from the Canadian Cancer Society indicates that two in five people living in Canada will develop cancer in their lifetime. In Ontario alone, 45% of men and 41% of women can expect to get a cancer diagnosis. As the population ages and the number of pharmaceutical therapies used by patients likely increases, the treatment of cancer in Canada will become more complex. (Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015)

Fortunately, ongoing breakthroughs in cancer treatment mean survival rates are on the rise, and more and more patients are living with cancer in the community. That’s why as pharmacists, your role in helping provide these patients with safe, high-quality care throughout their treatment has never been more important. In fact, Cancer Care Ontario has committed to working with partners like the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto to assist healthcare providers in getting the oncology training necessary to meet the complex needs of these patients.

Oncology for Pharmacists: A Person-Centred Approach to Cancer Care is your opportunity to learn the latest information and best practices in cancer treatment to deliver better care—and better outcomes—for all individuals living with cancer. This program will enhance your knowledge and improve your confidence as a healthcare partner in the patient’s cancer journey. Developed by educators at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and professionals across Canada, in collaboration with Cancer Care Ontario the Canadian Association of Pharmacy in Oncology (CAPhO), this intensive two-part program combines interactive online and in-person learning opportunities. The goal is to equip you with a wide range of practical tips and tools to use in your practice so that you have the confidence, knowledge and skill to provide patients undergoing cancer treatment with the safest and best care possible.

The first component of the program, Essentials of Oncology for Pharmacists, provides a holistic approach to cancer care, introducing key topics such as the pharmacology, toxicity management and safe handling of anti-cancer agents, as well as complementary therapies and palliative care. As an online module, participants work at their own pace and can draw from a wide array of resources, such as the University of Toronto Library. The module also features discussion boards, which allow participants to integrate and apply their knowledge, as well as to connect with experts and build networks with peers across the country. Participants may choose to stop here or continue on to the Advanced Oncology for Pharmacists component.

The second component of the program, Advanced Oncology for Pharmacists will build on the Essentials program by providing online modules on advanced topics about the cancer treatment and management required to care for patients receiving cancer care. The program will conclude with a multi-day, in-person workshop where participants will take part in a combination of didactic and case-based discussions to apply best practices and make evidence-based recommendations when caring for those living with cancer.

Participants who complete either part of this program will receive a certificate for the component completed from the Office of Continuous Professional Development at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto.