March 26, 2012
Residents in the Prairie North Health Region will now have access to the Screening Program for Colorectal Cancer as the province continues to expand the early detection program.
"We are pleased with the continued progress being made to strengthen cancer care for Saskatchewan people," Larry Doke, MLA for Cut Knife-Turtleford, said on behalf of Health Minister Don McMorris. "Expanding the Screening Program for Colorectal Cancer to Prairie North will result in earlier detection of cancer, less invasive treatment requirements for patients, and a better chance of recovery."
The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency operates the Screening Program for Colorectal Cancer, which is a population-based provincial screening program for the early detection of colorectal cancer.
The March 21st provincial budget included an increase of $4 million to healthcare partners to expand colorectal cancer screening province-wide. This support for early detection and better patient outcomes is part of an overall funding increase of $16.9 million to the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, which will receive $138.8 million in total for improved access to cancer services, and increased drug, operating and medical costs.
"Knowing we have the ability to make a difference in the health of people through early detection of colorectal cancer is significant," Saskatchewan Cancer Agency CEO Scott Livingstone said. "Every person screened is a potential life saved and that has a profound impact on patients, families and communities."
The Agency will use an advanced fecal immunochemical test (FIT) to screen participants. This simple test will be mailed to participants to complete in the privacy of their home. The FIT can detect blood in the stool that is not visible to the naked eye.
"Colorectal cancer is highly curable when detected early, which is why we are pleased that the screening program will now be available to residents in our region." Prairie North Health Region CEO David Fan said.
As of February 2012, approximately 52,000 people had been invited to participate in the screening program in Five Hills, Kelsey Trail, Regina Qu'Appelle, and the northern regions of Athabasca, Keewatin Yatthé and Mamawetan Churchill River. The program is now also available in Heartland and Cypress health regions and it is scheduled to expand this fiscal year into Prince Albert Parkland, Saskatoon, Sun Country and Sunrise health regions.
Colorectal cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. In 2011, approximately 690 people in Saskatchewan were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 270 died from the disease.
For information on the program or the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency visit www.saskcancer.ca.
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For more information, contact: Gladys Wasylenchuk
Saskatchewan Cancer Agency
Phone: (306) 791-2144
Cell: (306) 501-7366
Phone: (306) 787-4083
Prairie North Health Region
Phone: (306) 446-6625
Cell: (306) 441-4248
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