Health Minister Terry Lake has issued the following statement in recognition of World Cancer Day on Feb. 4, 2017:
“World Cancer Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about cancer prevention and recognize the dedicated health professionals and researchers who work continuously to improve cancer care in B.C. and around the world. The theme for World Cancer Day for 2016-2018 is ‘We can. I can,’ which aims to encourage all of us to examine what we can do to reduce the burden of cancer. Whether it’s our own personal journey, or our mother, father, child, spouse, friend or neighbour, cancer has touched every one of us. We can all step up to contribute to the fight against this disease.
“British Columbians can be proud of our province’s leadership in cancer prevention and treatment. B.C. has some of the best cancer survival rates in the world and some of the lowest cancer incidence rates in Canada, thanks to British Columbians leading healthy lifestyles and understanding that early detection saves lives. We can all choose to make healthier choices – to live tobacco free, to eat well and to enjoy regular physical activities to limit the risk factors that cause cancer.
“British Columbians can do their part by making sure they get screened for cancers when recommended. Early detection of cancer allows for more treatment options and better outcomes. The BC Cancer Agency provides comprehensive cancer screening programs, such as screening mammography, colon screening, cervical cancer screening and hereditary cancer screening programs. We’ve seen success with women and men, ages 50-74, getting regularly screened for colon cancer, thanks to the fecal immunochemical test, which can easily be done in the comfort of your own home. So far, more than 470,000 British Columbians have taken the test.
“It’s a challenge for anyone battling cancer, and we want patients to have access to cancer services as close to home as possible. There are six regional cancer centres located around the province in Abbotsford, Prince George, Surrey, Kelowna, Vancouver and Victoria. Each centre works closely with health authorities to provide world-class cancer care.
“As we continue to move our health-care system to focus on patient-centred care, the BC Cancer Agency is developing a policy paper to help government, health authorities and health-care providers reshape the cancer system to be better integrated around the needs of the patient. This direction for the future will build on what we have already done in B.C. to provide the highest quality services throughout the patient journey, and will make us an even stronger leader in our cancer prevention and treatment.
“Spending on cancer care and research through the BC Cancer Agency has increased substantially over the last 10 years, to more than $669 million last year. The Province and funding partners, such as the BC Cancer Foundation continue to support world-leading research at the BC Cancer Agency. B.C. researchers have been focusing on developing personalized treatments that work for each patient and their unique cancer. This includes the personalized onco-genomics project that looks at the genome of an individual patient’s cancer to develop customized treatments. These personalized treatments help find unique cures for some of the hardest-to-beat cancers.
“I’d like to thank the health-care professionals, researchers, staff, volunteers and donors throughout the province and at the BC Cancer Agency who work to bring personalized care to cancer patients in British Columbia.
“We all know someone who has been touched by cancer and World Cancer Day is an opportunity to think about what we can do to reduce the impact that cancer has on individuals, families and our communities.”
Ministry of HealthCommunications
250 952-1887 (media line)