A new cancer strategy, released today, will provide health care providers and community partners with direction for cancer prevention and care over the next three years.
Health and Wellness Minister Robert Henderson said the 2016-2019 strategy recommends actions across the cancer control continuum, with a focus on lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.
“Cancer has a huge impact on Islanders and government is firmly committed to improving cancer prevention and care,” said the minister. “The new strategy is a collaborative effort by our dedicated health care providers and community partners and I am confident that their strategic and focused approach will improve cancer outcomes in our province.”
Within the 12 priority areas identified are initiatives to examine the four leading types of cancer in the province, to improve surveillance and understanding of cancer trends, and to support a patient-centered approach to the planning and delivery of cancer care.
Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common cancers in Prince Edward Island, and preventing and reducing these cancers is a major focus of the strategy.
Action groups have been established for lung cancer and breast cancer to better understand the changing rates for these cancers and what can be done to reduce the incidence and mortality from them. Plans are in place to establish action groups for colorectal and prostate cancer. The groups include clinicians, staff, patients and caregivers.
Radiation oncologist Dr. Larry Pan is Prince Edward Island’s first medical advisor for cancer care planning, and chair of the strategy steering committee. “We know that cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in Prince Edward Island and across Canada,” said Dr. Pan. “Our priority is to reduce the burden of cancer by advancing best-practice care across the cancer control continuum from prevention and health promotion through to post-treatment support, including survivorship and end-of-life care.”
“The Canadian Cancer Society PEI is very pleased with the recommendations laid out in the new cancer strategy,” said Lori Barker, Executive Director. “We believe the priorities laid out reflect the most significant opportunities to improve the cancer landscape on Prince Edward Island. We are proud to have been a part of the cross-section of stakeholders involved in the process. This is a comprehensive strategy – as Islanders we should feel confident that government is investing in the most crucial areas of cancer on PEI.”
Minister Henderson said several steps have been taken over the past year to lay the foundation for the strategy, including the hiring of a provincial cancer coordinator, a cancer surveillance epidemiologist and an oncology pharmacist. Legislation is being updated to ban flavoured tobacco products and control the use of electronic smoking devices. Planning is underway to install a new $10 million linear accelerator at the PEI Cancer Treatment Centre. A new Provincial Palliative Care Centre was opened in 2015 and palliative home care services continue to be enhanced. In the past year, 10 new cancer drugs were added to the provincial formulary. Funding was provided for cancer outreach programs in Island communities. A medical advisor role was established to support the development and coordination of a comprehensive cancer control strategy. Health PEI has allocated $1.2 million over three years to implement the strategy.
For more information visit www.healthpei.ca/cancercare.
In 2014, the Provincial Cancer Coordination Steering Committee was tasked by the provincial government to develop, implement and monitor a new three-year cancer strategy .
Chaired by Dr. Larry Pan, the committee includes physicians and representatives from the Chief Public Health Office, PEI Cancer Treatment Centre, Acute Care, Palliative Care, Community Health, Primary Care, Provincial Laboratory Services, Cancer Screening, and the Canadian Cancer Society.
The new strategy builds upon the previous strategy and offers recommendations that cover the full cancer control continuum, is evidence-based and quality-driven, and supports Islanders.
PEI Cancer Strategy 2016-19 outlines 12 objectives with recommended actions to address the burden of cancer on Prince Edward Island:
1.Improve the coordination of care across the cancer control continuum
2.Establish an accountability governance and monitoring framework
3.Increase capacity to participate in research and monitor cancer trends
4.Improve prevention and health promotion efforts to reduce the incidence of cancer
5.Improve access to screening and early detection to prevent late stage diagnosis
6.Improve participation in cancer screening 7. Reduce wait times and transit time from initial suspicion to diagnosis
8.Improve patient treatment outcomes in the area of mortality, morbidity and quality of life
9.Embed a person-centered approach across the cancer control continuum
10.Ensure patients and families have access to the information, services and care they need
11.Implement advance care planning across the cancer control continuum
12.Increase access to a fully integrated provincial palliative care program.