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October 7, 2004
For immediate release

Cancer Control Strategy Announced for P.E.I.

Health and Social Services

Prince Edward Islanders can look forward to an enhanced coordinated approach to cancer information and care thanks to the launch of a province-wide cancer control strategy, the P.E.I. Cancer Control Strategy Advisory Committee announced today at the strategy’s launch at the UPEI Student Centre.

The P.E.I. Cancer Control Strategy was developed by an advisory committee comprised of representatives of the Canadian Cancer Society, P.E.I. Division; the Department of Health and Social Services; the Hospice Palliative Care Association of P.E.I., the P.E.I. Cancer Registry, the P.E.I. Cancer Treatment Centre; the P.E.I. Health Research Institute, the P.E.I. Medical Society; the Provincial Health Services Authority and cancer survivors, who shared their experiences and insights.

The final report, entitled “Partners Taking Action: A Cancer Control Strategy for Prince Edward Island 2004-2015,” offers recommendations regarding various issues related to cancer, including prevention, screening and diagnosis, treatment and supportive care, palliative and end-of-life care, and survivorship. The strategy has three main goals: to reduce cancer incidence, mortality and morbidity in P.E.I.; to enhance the quality of life of cancer patients and families; and to improve the sustainability of the healthcare system.

Health and Social Services Minister Chester Gillan sees the strategy as crucial to the development of a robust and sustainable framework for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

“This is a long-term plan that will help partners to develop good working relationships to enable them to collaborate effectively. We in the department are pleased to be working shoulder to shoulder with the other partners on this strategy,” the minister said.

Bernie Kenna, Canadian Cancer Society, P.E.I. division president, said that the strategy represents two years of hard work and cooperation from a diverse group of partners. “The strategy shows the importance of partnerships and what can be achieved when we work together. We are pleased to be working in collaboration with the other strategy partners to change the way cancer is addressed and treated in P.E.I. Not only will this strategy significantly impact the experience of people dealing with cancer, but it will also impact the incidence and survival rates of cancer, the way we diagnose and treat cancer and the way we share information and resources,” Kenna noted.

Nancy Hamill, cancer survivor and participating member of the P.E.I. Cancer Control Advisory Committee is also excited about the road ahead. “As a cancer survivor, I know first hand just how important the issues are that are being addressed in this strategy. I am glad that the strategy includes recommendation for ongoing support for cancer survivors, even after treatment, and I look forward to seeing more work being done in this and other areas.”

Advisory committee members will prioritize recommendations, develop work plans and identify resources for their work over the next few months.

“One of the reasons that this strategy is so important is that a great deal of the work can be done with minimal resources. By working together with the other partners, we will be able to reduce the duplication of services, identify areas where gaps exist, and ensure that each partners skill sets are used to the best advantage,” explained Minister Gillian.

In some cases, member organizations will assume financial responsibility for specific projects. For instance, Kenna explains that, in addition to ongoing collaboration, the Canadian Cancer Society has committed to developing a sun awareness strategy and to enhancing the profile of its Cancer Information Service (CIS) within the community and among healthcare professionals. CIS offers detailed and credible information around all aspects of the cancer experience, from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and supportive resources.

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in P.E.I. and in Canada, and it places a huge burden on both the individual and the health care system. As a result, not only does the provincial strategy address cancer control issues in Prince Edward Island, it also complements the work being done nationally in the areas of cancer prevention and care through the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control.

Copies of the Prince Edward Island Cancer Control Strategy can be obtained from the Canadian Cancer Society P.E.I. Division office or from Island Information Service, Jones Building, 11 Kent Street, 368-4000 or 1 (800) 236-5196.

Media Contact: Sara Underwood
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