CancerCare Manitoba
News Item

December 22, 2010

International Study Finds Manitoba Cancer Outcomes Comparable
Canadian cancer survival rates amongst the highest of participant countries

Manitobans facing cancer can be assured that treatment and care provided here at home results in some of the best survival rates in the world, according to an international study. The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) compared cancer survival rates in six countries using Canadian data provided by four provinces - Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. Manitoba placed within Canadian averages, and led in lung cancer survival rates.

"The study provides compelling data on how cancer survival rates can vary between countries. It's by pointing out strengths and deficiencies that improvements can be made," said Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, President and CEO of CancerCare Manitoba. "For example, Manitoba led in terms of lung cancer survival rates in Canada and all six participating countries. We will now further explore why we performed so well, and share that with our partners."

Similarly, CCMB will look to ICBP partner results regarding ovarian cancer. Manitoba?s ovarian cancer survival rate has historically been comparable to Canadian averages, but study results indicate a lower than average rate using 2005 - 2007 statistics. Ovarian cancer is a less common cancer, and has a complex diagnostic pathway. Those factors, along with elements such as patient mix and reporting, will now be studied further. The ICBP results, as well as CCMB's Community Health Assessment released in June, contribute to the direction of the new provincial strategic cancer framework due out next year.

The study compared survival rates of breast, colorectal, lung and ovarian cancer from 1995 ? 2007. The ICBP found that survival improved for all four cancers in the participant countries over that time period, with Canada, Australia and Sweden having the highest survival rates. Survival was generally lowest in Denmark and the United Kingdom, with Norway falling in the middle.

CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB), on behalf of Manitoba, was one of four Canadian provinces invited to participate in the ICBP, given CCMB?s recognized strength in data collection and analytic expertise.

"Being part of this international study is an incredible opportunity because it goes beyond looking at cancer patterns and sets the stage for analysis to explain why there are survival disparities," said ICBP co-author Dr. Donna Turner, an epidemiologist at CCMB. "When we understand the reasons for the differences we are then in a position to learn from the best and develop best practices for delivering care."

The ICBP study involves over 2.5 million cancer patients from six countries and 12 jurisdictions. Published in The Lancet December 22, 2010, it is the first study in a series.


For more information, contact:

Jackie Shymanski
Director, Communications & Public Affairs
CancerCare Manitoba
(204) 787-1878 or

CancerCare Manitoba is charged by an act of the Manitoba legislature with responsibility for cancer prevention, detection, care, research and education for the people of Manitoba. As a centre of choice, we are dedicated to excellence in cancer care, to enhancing quality of life for those living with cancer and blood disorders, and to improving cancer control for all Manitobans.

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