The BC Cancer Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer, and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive c
Head, Radiation OncologyTom Baker Cancer CentreDr. Olivotto is currently (since 2013) the Professor and Head of the Division of Radiation Oncology at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and University of Calgary.
He trained in Medicine (1981) and then Radiation Oncology (1986) at the University of British Columbia (BC) in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Between 1987 and 2013 he practiced as a Radiation Oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver and Victoria including roles as the Chair of the province-wide Breast Tumor Group, founder and leader of the Breast Cancer Outcomes Unit, Medical Leader of the Screening Mammography Program, and the Professor and Head of the Division of Radiation Oncology at UBC and the Head of the provincial Radiation Therapy Program for the BC Cancer Agency.His clinical practice and research career have focused on improving care and treatment for patients with breast cancer with a particular emphasis on outcomes evaluation, the impact of treatment guidelines and technical innovations in breast cancer radiation therapy.
He has had a leadership role provincially and nationally in randomized clinical trials in early-stage breast cancer evaluating the role of radiation therapy including Shorter Fractionation (Olivotto et al, Radiother Oncol 1996), RT-avoidance after Breast Conserving Surgery (Fyles et al, NEJM 2004), Post-Mastectomy RT (Ragaz et al, NEJM 1997 and Ragaz, Olivotto et al, JNCI 2005), Breast IMRT (Pignol, Olivotto et al, JCO 2008), Nodal RT after BCS (Whelan, Olivotto et al, JCO ASCO LBA1003 2011), and Partial Breast RT (Olivotto et al, JCO 2013).He has lectured and taught extensively and is the author of over 170 peer-reviewed publications.
He considers his most impactful work however, to be a book written for women with newly diagnosed breast cancer, Breast Cancer: All you need to know to take an active role in your treatment, now in its 5th edition for which he is the lead author.
Dr. Ivo Olivotto practiced saving our lives at the British Columbia Cancer Agency for thirty five years.
Over that time he saw thousands of patients and I was one of them, in 1991.
I remember sitting in my one-size-fits-none paper gown in a chilly examination room waiting to hear my fate.
When I heard a knock on the door, Dr. Olivotto asked if he could come in.
What could I say - "No?
I wanted him to go away as much as I wanted him to come in but I had breast cancer and needed help.
23 years later I have come to appreciate the courage it took to knock on all those doors year after year and day after day.
Each time his hand turned the door knob he brought his enormous expertise to treat cancers but he could never know for sure if it would be enough to rescue the woman on the other side of the door.
Dr. Olivotto has now moved on to other adventures in Calgary.
The Agency send off party gathered his colleagues from around the province and Canada. Many were in tears as they testified to the powerful impact he had on their lives professionally and personally.
I shamelessly begged to be allowed on the program.
Dr. Olivotto is an important part of our history and I couldn't let the opportunity pass to thank him on behalf of the CBCF, and patients.
Two decades ago the CBCF in BC was a fledgling organization.
Our offices were in our kitchens and basements, we had little money and we organized ourselves with a few volunteers.
On this shaky foundation I boldly asked Dr. Olivotto if he would be our first Medical Advisor.
After I got the question out there was an extended silence and a long, hard Ivo stare.
Finally he said, "You aren't going away are you!
My knees were knocking and I could hardly believe my ears when
Over time Ivo opened important doors for us.
We took merciless advantage of him by asking him to speak at our events.
He arranged significant introductions for us and posed challenging and difficult questions as we evolved.
He pitched in. At our first big fundraiser, The Run for the Cure, Ivo signed people up and walked with his mom whom he volunteered as a volunteer.
I hope that every day when he hangs up his coat, Dr. Olivotto reads the inscription and knows how much he has been appreciated by so many.
From all of us who have been on the other side of those doors, a heartfelt thank you Ivo.
San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium: Program Schedule 2014 - Preliminary Program
"We don't think there's any infection risk so we're not recommending extra blood tests or any treatments," says Dr. Ivo Olivotto, vice president for radiation therapy and functional imaging at the BC Cancer Agency.
Olivotto describes a problem that appears mostly theoretical.
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