Strategy announced for Indigenous cancer care

Various stakeholders have come together to provide a road map from prevention to survivorship

  • Dec. 12, 2017 10:30 a.m.

First Nation communities in British Columbia have a new strategy in place, aimed at improving cancer care and providing support for Indigenous people across the province.

With recent studies showing a lower survival rate among First Nations people with cancer, various health authorities are hopeful as roughly one third of all cancers can be prevented with proper exercise, healthy eating and regular screening.

This new strategy will address all aspects of cancer, with a focus on delivering culturally safe cancer care in six priority areas:

  • developing partnerships between the health system and Indigenous communities;
  • working with Indigenous communities to help prevent cancer before it starts;
  • increasing access and participation in colon, cervical and breast cancer screening;
  • promoting cultural safety and humility in cancer care services;
  • supporting Indigenous cancer survivorship and end-of-life experiences; and
  • improving knowledge of Indigenous cancer experiences

In designing the strategy in partnership with BC Cancer, First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), the Province of B.C. said this is reflective of our unique Indigenous landscape.

“This strategy is among the newest of its kind, and a crucial step in addressing cancer survival disparities among Indigenous people in British Columbia,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “When we understand and address the cultural barriers experienced by Indigenous people, the health system can provide preventative care, culturally respectful treatment and be a true partner in saving lives.”

Support will be provided for all Indigenous cancer patients, including survivors and their families, including First Nations with and without status living at home or away from home, Métis citizens or self-identified Métis and Inuit peoples.

“We are committed to moving forward quickly on implementing key points of this strategy,” said Dr. Malcom Moore, President of BC Cancer. “We recognize the unique cancer challenges and treatment outcome disparities faced by Indigenous people and we are working with out partners to ensure the delivery of culturally safe cancer care throughout the province.”

A lack of trust between members of the First Nation community and health care practitioners in part lead to the creation of this strategy.

President of the BCAAFC, Annette Morgan, explained that seeking medical help is not always safe and if people don’t feel safe or feel that could receive racial treatment, they won’t get screened — instead seeking help or guidance from a local friendship centre.

This thought was echoed by Moore, who acknowledged that improving screening rates and expanding access to these programs is a priority, despite the difficulties in accessing some rural communities.

Just Posted

Open burns now allowed in Kamloops Fire Centre

Anyone lighting an open fire still has to comply with B.C.’s air quality control laws

TLC completes fundraising campaign to protect Clearwater wildlife corridor

Land Trust protects additional 10 acres of migratory wildlife corridor

Water issues returning to normal for Vavenby

Sediment in river caused boil water advisory for community

Sikh community loses longtime member, closes temple

Holy Scripture will now be moved to Kamloops

RCMP police report

Clearwater RCMP responded to 42 calls for service over this past week

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read