2010 Cancer system performance report

Read this report on Canada’s cancer control system, which includes social determinants of health

This second report from the Partnership builds on the first one released in 2009. It represented an initial step to create a systematic approach for measuring and reporting on the quality of Canada’s cancer control and healthcare delivery.

This 2010 report refreshes indicator results with updated data, deepens analysis where possible on social determinants of health and adds new indicators, especially for the diagnosis and treatment domains. Reporting gaps in those domains were identified by stakeholders in 2009.

A collaborative effort among the Partnership, Statistics Canada and the provincial cancer agencies or their equivalents, this 2010 report was overseen by the pan-Canadian System Performance Working Group, made up of representatives from all ten provinces.

The report’s indicators and their definitions were developed through a two-year consultative process that engaged knowledge leaders and stakeholders across the country through workshops and webinars. Data were gathered from Statistics Canada (the Canadian Cancer Registry; the Canadian Community Health Survey), provincial screening programs and other healthcare organizations. For the diagnosis and treatment indicators, data were collected from each of the provincial cancer agencies or their equivalents based on detailed specifications.

The 2010 report presents indicators across cancer control from prevention and screening, to supportive care and survivorship. It also introduces two special focus sections:

  • The colorectal cancer (CRC) section features indicators on screening, diagnosis, treatment and long-term outcomes to create an integrated overview of how Canada’s cancer system performs for this type of cancer.
  • The radiation therapy section presents indicators on capacity, utilization, wait times and guideline concordance to give a broad picture of radiation treatment across Canada.

Quick facts from this 2010 report

  • Research shows that cancer risk can be changed by lifestyle.
  • The data reflect decreasing smoking rates across Canada over time.
  • Both breast and cervical cancer screening rates have remained high and relatively stable over time. As of 2010, all provinces have announced or are developing programs for colorectal cancer screening.
  • A cancer diagnosis for patients marks their entry into the treatment phase. At this time, measuring performance for diagnosis is limited. This report discusses selected diagnosis indicators to be reported in future reports.
  • Pediatric participation in clinical trials was substantially higher than adult participation. However, pediatric cancers represent only about 1 per cent of all cancer cases.
  • One indicator recommends the delivery of adjuvant radiation therapy for stage I and II breast cancer patients receiving breast-conserving surgery.
  • A survey revealed that provinces are at different stages in implementing distress screening. Two agencies track symptom assessment for at least a portion of their patients. However, many provincial cancer agencies have not implemented screening for symptom assessment and distress.

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