CancerCare Manitoba
News and Announcements

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

Lung cancer one of Manitoba's most commonly diagnosed cancers

March 8, 2016
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.

CancerCare Manitoba Clinical Practice Guidelines now available online

March 3, 2016

CancerCare Manitoba Clinical Practice Guidelines are now available on CancerCare Manitoba's website, making them easily accessible to all Manitoba healthcare providers.

The CCMB website contains all approved Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs), Clinical Guides, and Systemic Therapy Summaries (STSs) developed by CancerCare Manitoba, information about the process of developing Clinical Practice Guidelines at CCMB, and other resources.

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 aim of the guidelines is to ease the patient's journey through the cancer experience, keeping patients and their families at the centre of care.

Province Announces New Cancercare Manitoba Facility To Be Built At Sherbrook And McDermot

Expanding CancerCare Manitoba Will Mean Better Service for Families: Premier Selinger

January 15, 2016

The Manitoba government has approved the site for the expansion of CancerCare Manitoba at the current Manitoba Clinic property at Sherbrook Street and McDermot Avenue, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

"Nearly every Manitoban is touched by cancer in some way and the province is committed to investing in a new state-of-the-art facility for CancerCare Manitoba," said Premier Selinger. "The new facility will address growing demands for cancer services in Manitoba and expand the scope of cancer research."

"The new facility will offer diagnostics, treatment and research to help cancer patients and their families get the care they need, and the building will connect to the current CancerCare building, which will help ensure services remain easy to access and co-ordinated for the benefit of patients," said Health Minister Sharon Blady.

The minister noted the land was purchased by the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

"The CancerCare Manitoba Foundation is very proud to be a key contributor to the new CancerCare Manitoba facility," said Doug Harvey, chair, CancerCare Manitoba Foundation. "Our investment in this world-class project will enhance the cancer journey for patients and their families as well as support groundbreaking research that helps attract the best and brightest clinicians and researchers to Manitoba."

Each year, more than 6,000 Manitobans are diagnosed with cancer, while up to 10 times more undergo investigations for suspected cancer. New cancer cases and the number of existing cases that require followup are estimated to increase by 40 to 50 per cent over the next decade, the minister said.

"CancerCare Manitoba must be prepared for the increase in patient volume while enhancing the patient experience for Manitobans and their families," said Dr. Sri Navaratnam, president and CEO, CancerCare Manitoba. "Our commitment is to provide excellent cancer services to Manitobans. This will require a comprehensive approach from prevention to early detection, treatment and survivorship. Our goal is also to ensure that Manitobans have access to the most current cancer treatments and benefit from leading-edge research and innovation."

Minister Blady said the design process for the project will soon be underway, and noted the commitment to this new project builds on other recent investments in cancer care including:
  • implementing a comprehensive, fully integrated provincial system for digital mammography;
  • expanding the province's Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Immunization Program starting next year to include both males and females to keep them healthy and reduce the number of new cancer cases; and
  • investing in new equipment that allows for more targeted treatment and better outcomes after radiation for patients with ovarian, cervical, uterine and other cancers at CancerCare Manitoba.


New resources for women with gynecological cancers

Grand opening of Breast and Gyne Cancer Centre of Hope

January 14, 2016

Thanks to support from the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, today CancerCare Manitoba announced the expansion of services at the CCMB Breast Cancer Centre of Hope to include women and their families facing gynecological cancers.

The Breast Cancer Centre of Hope has been providing breast cancer resources since 1997. As a result of this expansion, the centre will now offer Manitoba women and their families information and education about gynecological cancer, navigation, support, and referral to other resources and programs. This change responds in part to the increasing incidence of other cancers among women including an estimated 400 women who are diagnosed with a gynecological cancer in Manitoba each year. In recognition of these enhanced services, the centre will be renamed Breast and Gyne Cancer Centre of Hope.

"Funding for the centre has been provided by a number of community fundraising events including the Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Pink Ribbon Ladies Golf Classic for Hope that has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to support breast cancer services at the Centre over nearly 20 years", stated Annitta Stenning, President and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

"We are very grateful to donors to the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation for their generous support of this expansion of services for Manitoba women," said Jill Taylor-Brown, Director, Patient and Family Support Services, CancerCare Manitoba. "Our goal is to improve the experience of women and their families by providing education and support to help them make informed decisions, assist with navigation through their cancer experience, as well as timely referral to appropriate programs."

Women and their families can get support, information and referrals by calling 204-788-8080 or 1-888-660-4866.

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