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June 29, 2010

Progress Made on Cancer Fight Through Provincewide Strategy: Oswald

Improved Screening, Treatment, Preventive Measures Show Positive Results Three Years Into Five-year Initiative

Manitoba has made marked progress in the fight against cancer with improved screening, expanded treatment services and more preventive measures three years into a five-year strategy, Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced today.

"I'm very pleased to see the substantial progress that has been made in the fight against cancer through our strategic investments and co-ordinated efforts," said Oswald. "We are definitely on track with our provincial strategy but we have to sustain these efforts if we are to significantly reduce the burden of cancer among Manitobans."

Launched by the province in June 2007, Cancer Services in Manitoba:  A Strategic Framework is a roadmap to guide investments and planning to aggressively address cancer on multiple fronts. It outlines three priorities:  improving cancer prevention, detecting cancer earlier, and enhancing treatment and improving care. Since the release of the cancer strategy, over $60 million has been invested in these critical areas, the minister said.

"With the release today of CancerCare Manitoba's community health assessment, this is an excellent time to assess the progress of our five-year strategy and make sure we're on the right track," she said. "CancerCare's assessment not only examines how the system works, it also measures patient outcomes, which is the ultimate measure of success."

Provincially funded, CancerCare Manitoba is the province's lead organization for cancer prevention, screening and detection, treatment, research and education.

"Documents such as Manitoba Health's strategic framework are important for building a framework to guide us as to where we need to go. We applaud the minister for the investments that have been made including the $42 million for radiation therapy.

"These are important steps in the right direction," said Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, president and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. "Now with the community health assessment, we have evidence-based data which will continue to guide us and allow us to set the stage for future action and investments for cancer services for Manitobans."

The strategic framework was built on existing strengths and partnerships, particularly with CancerCare Manitoba and the regional health authorities, who have co-ordinated efforts across the province to reduce new cancer cases, improve access to services and increase system capacity, the minister said. A co-ordinated effort helps to support and sustain investments more efficiently in all areas of treatment and prevention, she added.

Manitobans are encouraged to incorporate healthy choices and practices into their everyday lives. This would include good nutrition, regular physical activity, not smoking and reducing sun exposure. Research shows that more than 50 per cent of cancers could be prevented through lifestyle changes. 

For more details on the strategic framework, please click here.

Source: Manitoba Health

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