CancerCare Manitoba
What is Epidemiology?


Epidemiology involves studying the occurrence of diseases in human populations. More precisely, people working in this field investigate the causes, distribution, and outcomes of diseases in a given population.

Epidemiology contributes to the whole spectrum of cancer control (prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliation). Cancer epidemiologists within CancerCare Manitoba's Epidemiology Unit primarily study patterns of cancer in the population, trying to determine what factors distinguish people who develop or die from cancer and those who don't. To achieve these investigations, they use basic and advanced statistical methods.

The Epidemiology Unit has become a leader in the area of risk factor surveillance in Manitoba.

Current projects span the cancer spectrum and include:
  • youth health initiatives (youth smoking and tobacco use, Manitoba's physical education policy)
  • with our partners, developing a Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • studies on wait times (head and neck, breast cancer surgery, colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment)
  • colorectal cancer and screening research
  • epidemiology and surveillance of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and the HPV vaccine in Manitoba
  • risk of cervical abnormalities and cervical cancer among women with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease)
  • association between cyanobacterial toxins and liver cancer
  • establishment of a prostate tumour bank
  • patterns of care for treatment of cervical cancer in Manitoba and construction of a detailed model of invasive cervical cancer
  • patient needs studies and validating measure of patient empowerment
  • Manitoba First Nations and Metis health research