Prince Edward Island has a new new provincial cancer co-ordinator whose job is to connect Islanders with cancer care and services.
Marla Delaney took on the role of provincial cancer co-ordinator for Health P.E.I. full-time on March 30, but a lot of her job description is yet to be hammered out while a three-year provincial cancer strategy is finalized.
Delaney says her role will focus on patient-centred programs and include prevention as well as cancer care.
“Our cancer trends show that the burden of cancer is continuing to grow, due in part to an aging population and growing rates of Islanders with high-risk behaviours such smoking and obesity,” said Delaney in a news release. “A great effort is now underway to provide a co-ordinated approach to cancer that is patient-centered and covers the spectrum of cancer control, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and end-of-life care.”
Delaney will support the development, implementation and evaluation of a three-year continuation of the existing cancer strategy for Prince Edward Island being developed by the provincial cancer co-ordination steering committee. The committee was formed earlier this year at the direction of the Department of Health and Wellness and Health P.E.I.
Expected to be complete this summer, the cancer strategy will strive to ensure patients have efficient and effective access to cancer care; make better use of resources; and provide direction and action-oriented plans to address cancer trends on Prince Edward Island.
“As we recognize April as national cancer awareness month, the burden of cancer across Prince Edward Island is top of mind for government, Health P.E.I. and Islanders,” says Currie. “The addition of a provincial cancer co-ordinator will help strengthen the efforts of our health-care system and community stakeholders as they come together to reduce the impact of cancer on Islanders.”
The province says it is establishing focus groups on the four leading types of cancer on Prince Edward Island: breast, prostate, colorectal and lung. The goal is to better understand the trends for these cancers and what can be done to reduce rates of incidence and mortality from these diseases.
“We are committed to reducing the burden of cancer on Prince Edward Island,” added Currie. “The work being done by the committee will position us to provide patient-centered programs and services that help Islanders stay healthy and cancer-free.”