Cancer Coaching – Getting Help with What Matters to You

By Johanne Levesque on March 2 / 2015

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Over the past twenty years, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation has seen the cancer conversation shift. Today, researchers and health-care professionals are talking about cancer as more of a chronic illness, in some cases one that can be prevented, treated and managed. Cancer is no longer something we shy away from discussing – it’s front and centre – and we are attacking it on all fronts.

One of the many ways we help people in our community who are impacted by cancer is through Cancer Coaching, a new health and social care service that was developed by the Cancer Foundation. Cancer Coaching is available to people who have been diagnosed with cancer, who are living with cancer, or who are caring for a loved one who has cancer. We understand that a cancer diagnosis affects the whole family and support network.

Our Cancer Coaches are regulated health professionals with a background in oncology. They work in partnership with clients to help them deal with the day to day challenges of cancer. Since everyone has different needs, they work differently with each client, depending on what a person needs the most. Our Cancer Coaches understand that you are the expert in you and what works for you. As someone who is living with a chronic disease, we know that you spend an average of 5000 hours per year managing your disease and caring for yourself. We want to help optimize your efforts. And that is why we start by asking “What matters to you today and how can I help”?

The role of the Cancer Coach is to help clients identify and work through their current challenge and help them explore decisions that are right for them and support them in making choices that work for them, their cancer and their life. Cancer Coaches can give ideas and suggestions and help a person choose what to work toward, but the decision belongs to the client. You work with your Cancer Coach to help manage your cancer experience and find ways to live well and be your healthiest throughout your cancer journey and beyond.

Through Cancer Coaching, you experience greater clarity of mind, a greater sense of control over your life and feel less alone in dealing with your cancer. You feel better equipped and have more confidence in your conversations with other members of your health-care team. You are better able to manage your life and your health and generally feel better.

We understand that a cancer is a life altering experience. We’re here to help. Find out more by visiting

Johanne Levesque
Senior Vice-President, Survivorship Care, Professional Practice, People and Culture

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