CancerCare Manitoba
News and Announcements

Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day March 22, 2017
Genetic testing in Manitoba aids early detection of cancer

March 22, 2017

CancerCare Manitoba joined Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living Kelvin Goertzen as he officially proclaimed March 22, 2017 as Lynch Syndrome Awareness Day in Manitoba.

Lynch Syndrome is an inherited condition that affects approximately 50 Manitobans each year. Patients with Lynch Syndrome have a 60 per cent chance of developing colorectal cancer. Women with Lynch Syndrome have a 60 per cent risk of developing endometrial cancer.

"Detecting colon cancer at its earliest stage means a 90 per cent survival rate and Lynch Syndrome testing is one more tool towards early detection," said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. "The financial support from CancerCare Manitoba Foundation means we can provide this life saving genetic testing to benefit Manitobans."

In Manitoba, colorectal cancer surgery patients aged 70 and under receive testing for Lynch Syndrome. If Lynch Syndrome is detected, cancer monitoring is increased. Because this is a hereditary condition, family members are offered genetic testing. This helps identify their risk of developing cancers and allows them to consider regular screening. This leads to earlier detection and more successful treatments.

"We are so grateful to our donors who support this effort and so many other important initiatives which enable CancerCare Manitoba to do its great work," said Annitta Stenning, president and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

Lynch Syndrome testing is delivered by a partnership between CancerCare Manitoba and Diagnostic Services Manitoba.

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World Cancer Day - February 4th 2017

February 2, 2017

World Cancer Day's primary objective is "to get as many people as possible around the globe to talk about cancer? It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action."

In 2017 - the incidence of cancer will continue to grow due primarily to our growing and aging population. With the number of people who will be newly diagnosed and those with cancer living longer lives, cancer as a disease will be part of our life story whether it touches us, our family or friends.

We have come a long way over the past decades ? screening, earlier diagnosis and improved treatment of cancer has led to better outcomes and quality of life. In light of this reality, we can approach the disease with optimism and hope that it will not bring death but rather a cure, and if not a cure, then quality of life and living well with the disease. We need to look at cancer differently, to view it with a brighter optimism than it has been viewed in the past.

In 2017 - as healthcare providers and researchers, we will continue our commitment to advancing cancer care. At the same time, we can help to change society?s view of cancer by approaching it with renewed optimism. We can all commit to this ? knowing the diagnosis of cancer cannot be eliminated (yet), but we can be optimistic in the midst of it.

It?s 2017 - on World Cancer Day, tell your story or listen to someone?s story. Make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of cancer. Take on the CCMB Pedometer Challenge in support of World Cancer Day.

Let?s be bold and say that our goal this year for patients, ourselves, our families and friends, is to live well with cancer - not to die of the disease. As a society, we need to view cancer with a brighter optimism.

Sri Navaratnam,
President and CEO, CancerCare Manitoba

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Clinical Practice Guidelines Initiative is pleased to announce the completion of several guideline projects

July 12, 2016

Clinical Practice Guidelines Initiative is pleased to announce the completion of several guideline projects which are now available on CancerCare Manitoba?s (CCMBs) website.

Following are the four newly posted guidelines:

These guidelines can be used by administrators, clinicians and patients to determine the best course of action when decisions about treatment options or care must be made. The ultimate goal is to ease the patient's journey through the cancer experience and keep patients and their families at the centre of care.

CancerCare Manitoba?s website contains all approved Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs), Clinical Guides, and Systemic Therapy Summaries (STSs). Information on the development of our Clinical Practice Guidelines and other resources are also available.

Clinical Practice Guidelines and practice tool may be updated periodically. We recommend that practitioners frequently consult the website to ensure they are using the most recent versions.

We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the contributors listed in the guidelines for their time and expertise.

Increased Funding For Intravenous Cancer Drugs Will Support Manitobans Fighting Cancer: Premier

June 6, 2016

Budget 2016 includes an additional $4 million in funding to support the provision of cancer drugs for patients across the province, Premier Brian Pallister announced today.

"The national work to ensure affordability is significant because there are many new drugs being developed and it is anticipated that cancer drug costs will continue to rise," said Pallister. "We are committed to working with other stakeholders to look at ways to strengthen our system and improve the affordability, accessibility, appropriate prescribing and use of prescription drugs, both across the country and here at home."

The Provincial Oncology Drug Program includes funding for all intravenous drugs provided for cancer patients provincewide.

"Cancer is the leading cause of death in Manitoba. However, thanks to research, innovative treatments and new drugs, the cure rate for cancer is steadily improving," said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO, CancerCare Manitoba. "We are very lucky that Manitobans with cancer are able to receive the intravenous drugs they need, whether at CancerCare, at regional cancer hubs or in their own home, at no cost to them."

CancerCare Manitoba administers the Provincial Oncology Drug Program, purchasing the drugs centrally and undertaking comprehensive reviews of new drugs or medications to determine if they will be introduced for use in Manitoba.

The additional funding will bring the budgeted amount for providing intravenous cancer drugs to approximately $50 million annually, the premier said, adding that Manitoba?s Home Cancer Drug Program provides cost-free access to approved oral cancer medications and cancer support drugs including anti-nausea medications that counter side-effects of chemotherapy.

The premier also said Manitoba is working with other provinces and territories to look at ways to ensure the long-term affordability of cancer drugs.

"Every year, cancer steals mothers from their children, husbands from their wives and friends from each other," said Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Kelvin Goertzen. "By continuing to increase our investments in cancer drugs, we help fight this terrible disease and support health-care providers working to keep our loved ones with us longer."

Long-time smokers encouraged to get screened

March 8, 2016
Lung cancer one of Manitoba's most commonly diagnosed cancers

New guidelines released today by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC) recommend annual screening for lung cancer using low-dose computed tomography (low-dose CT) up to three consecutive years in adults who:
  • are aged 55-74
  • are current smokers or former smokers who quit within the last 15 years, and
  • have smoked one pack a day for at least 30 years (or two packs a day for 15 years or equivalent; i.e. 30 "pack-years").

"Lung cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers and the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Manitoba," said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, President and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. "These new guidelines point to the value of screening for lung cancer, similar to CancerCare Manitoba?s Breast, Cervix and ColonCheck screening programs."

In 2015 it was estimated that there were 890 cases of lung cancer and 710 deaths in Manitoba (Canadian Cancer Statistics); 98% of cases occur in people 50 years of age or older; 65% of cases diagnosed in Manitoba in 2013 were late Stage [3 (20%) or 4 (45.3%)].

Mortality is extremely high in late stage lung cancer, but lower in earlier stages. Screening aims to detect disease at an early stage when it may respond better to treatment and be less likely to cause serious illness or death.

Smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer. Therefore smoking cessation programs should be linked to any screening activity whether through primary care providers or an organized program.

The recommendations apply to people without symptoms who meet the screening criteria; they do not apply to people with a history of lung cancer or who are suspected of having lung cancer. Those individuals should be referred for diagnostic testing.

Anyone who thinks they are eligible to be screened should talk to their primary care provider.

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