The Allard Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Clinic is the only clinic of its kind in Alberta.
Located within the Lois Hole Hospital for Women (LHHW) at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH), the clinic provides risk assessment and surveillance for women who are at high risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.
At least 1.3 million Canadians have risky cancer genes, but more than 90% are not aware of their risk. Identifying these genes is the key to higher survival rates as identification informs intervention options—and by the above statistic, approximately 160,000 Albertans have these cancer genes.
Within the context of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women and the specialized services it offers women under one roof, the Allard HBOC Clinic is uniquely positioned to support an enhanced model for women’s health for those patients with positive markers.
However, the Allard HBOC Clinic is currently limited by space and support staff to address the current waitlist and wait times.
HOW THE EXPANSION WILL HELP:
Currently, the Allard HBOC Clinic operates two half-days per week. There are five physicians and one Nurse Practitioner working in the clinic.
The clinic sees eight new patients a week, or 32 new patients per month. The clinic has started seeing new patients virtually, which provided the opportunity to see more patients per month.
Despite this, the Allard HBOC Clinic’s patient waitlist continues to grow—and wait times have risen, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each month, there are about 50 new referrals to the clinic.
In its current state, the clinic is just keeping up with new referrals and not shortening the waitlist.
Thus, the Allard HBOC Clinic seeks to expand its capacity and role in the following innovative and impactful ways:
- Enhance genetic testing
- Expand care from referral visits to post-treatment follow-ups
- Establish a database and enhance education for providers
After being privately funded from 2012-2019, we are pleased to share that Alberta Health now covers the current operational costs of the clinic.