2014 Cancer system performance report

Learn about colorectal screening rates, patient satisfaction surveys, wait times after abnormal findings, and more

The 2014 report is the Partnership’s fifth report that looks at the cancer system’s performance across Canada. This report presents indicators that measure performance, and shows patterns and trends for making improvements.

This report’s findings, developed in close collaboration with our provincial and national partners, provide a comprehensive national review of more than 30 cancer care indicators across eight domains: prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, long-term outcomes, the person-centred perspective, research and system efficiency.

Quick facts from this 2014 report

  • Cancer patients over age 70 were less likely to receive guideline-recommended radiation therapy and chemotherapy than their younger counterparts.
  • The report reveals that long-term outcomes are improving for men with lung and pancreatic cancers, and also that five-year relative survival rates have improved for breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
  • In just four years, rates of colorectal cancer screening increased across Canada, ranging in 2012 from 28.3% in Quebec to 59.2% in Manitoba.
  • A lack of access to supportive care services can add to cancer patients’ distress and can hinder their ability to adjust to the changes that may accompany a diagnosis of cancer. Satisfaction surveys show that the lowest scores are related to a patient’s perceived lack of emotional support.
  • Breast cancers are being detected – and treated – at earlier stages. Indicators using recent data confirm that the majority of breast cancer cases are being caught at relatively early stages: fewer than 5 per cent of patients were diagnosed with Stage IV (metastatic disease) in 2010 and 2011.
  • Resolving an abnormal screening result to determine whether a patient actually has cancer, is still taking too long in cases of breast and colorectal cancers.
  • News about radiation treatment wait times is more encouraging. Nine of 10 provinces report that in 2012 they had achieved the national target of providing radiation therapy to at least 90 per cent of patients within 28 days of them being ready for treatment.
  • There is a puzzling decrease in the use of post-surgical chemotherapy for lung cancer.
  • The cancer care system is falling short in meeting the emotional needs of patients, who face a host of physical, psychological and practical challenges. Between 19 to 31 percent of patients rated the emotional support they received for their cancer care negatively.
  • From 2005 to 2009, about 65 to 71 per cent of cancer deaths in Canada occurred in a hospital rather than at home.
  • Funding is not being divided to focus on the cancers that take the highest toll in terms of frequency and related deaths.

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