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History

The Juravinski Cancer Centre provides hope for today and the future through dedication to high quality patient care, education and research.

Cancer care in the Central West Ontario Region has made significant strides since the first treatment took place in 1920. Today, the Juravinski Cancer Centre provides care to thousands of patients each year. The Centre also has a broad range of education and research programs that are designed to make a positive impact on the future of cancer treatment for years to come.

The Juravinski Cancer Centre, as it is known today, has a long and interesting history of meeting the cancer care needs of the community it serves.

Cancer treatment in the Hamilton area began in 1920 when the Hamilton General Hospital began providing x-ray treatments to cancer patients. Five years later, the Hamilton General Hospital purchased a quantity of radium and a 100-kV x-ray machine.

The Hamilton Institute of Radium Therapy was established at the Hamilton General Hospital in 1935. It served cancer patients in the area until 1949 until when the Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation (OCTRF) assumed this role.

The Ontario Cancer Treatment and Research foundation (OCTRF) was incorporated in 1943 by an Act of the Legislature of the Province of Ontario. Its mandate was to establish and conduct a program of diagnosis, treatment and research for cancer in Ontario.

In 1949, the OCTRF took over operation of the cancer clinic at the Hamilton General Hospital. Two years later, the new Hamilton Clinic of the OCTRF was officially opended and occupied an area on the second floor of the Cooper Wing of the Hamilton General Hospital.

By 1960, the population of Hamilton and its surrounding district had risen to 800,000 people. The increasing number of patients and lack of space resulted in another move for the Hamilton Cancer Clinic up the mountain to the Henderson General Hospital and heralded new and advanced methods of radiotherapy. The acquisition of $500,000 of new equipment included a 6 MV linear accelerator - the first of its kind in Canada.

Active chemotherapy treatment began at the Henderson and the Cancer Clinic in the early 1970s.

In the early 1980s, the Hamilton Cancer Clinic, working with the OCTRF and regional hospitals, started to develop a community oncology program with specialized clinics in Hamilton at St. Joseph's Hospital; in Cambridge ant the Cambridge Memorial Hospital; in Burlington at the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital; and in St. Catharines at the Hotel Dieu Hospital.

The Hamilton Cancer Clinic became known as the Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre in 1984. The OCTRF officially designated the "provincial cancer clinics" as "Regional Cancer Centres" in recognition of the contributions in providing comprehensive cancer treatment services to the citizens of Ontario.

By 1985, patients' needs began to exceed the resources of the Centre, so plans were initiated to develop and build larger regional cancer centres.

Grand Opening

The new Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre opened on May 4, 1992. Now, as the Juravinski Cancer Centre, the Centre serves over 1.7 million people in the Central West Ontario Region, and offers one of the largest cancer treatment services in Ontario. Over 5,000 new patients are referred to the Centre each year by physicians in the region.

The building was designed to support the Centre's belief in providing patients and their families with high quality treatment and compassionate care. Areas such as the chemotherapy day care suite feature an open fireplace and natural light, contributing to the homey atmosphere.

The importance of art in promoting a sense of wellness among patients and staff is valued by the Centre. As a result, an Art Committee was formed. The Committee's members include patients, Centre staff, local art enthusiasts and members of the local art community. The Committee works to acquire arts and crafts for the Centre through donations and long-term loans.

One floor of the Centre is dedicated to research into the causes, prevention and effective management of cancer. The Centre is a teaching facility and health care professionals appointed to the Centre have a responsibility to share their knowledge with students in a wide variety of healthcare fields. Many staff are faculty members at McMaster University.

Cancer care in the Central West Ontario Region has come a long way since 1920. The Juravinski Cancer Centre's commitment to high quality treatment, education and research ensures comprehensive cancer care for today ... and the future.

 

Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100