Action plan to optimize cancer surgery in Canada

The Canadian Network of Surgical Associations for Cancer Care’s strategic priorities and calls to action will lead to better cancer surgery

cancer surgery glovesSurgery is often the only way to cure cancer and prevent a cancer-related death. To improve the quality of surgery for people with cancer, the Canadian Network of Surgical Associations for Cancer Care (CANSACC), in collaboration with the Partnership, has released a Pan-Canadian Action Plan for cancer surgery. Recognizing the role of surgical care in reducing mortality and morbidity, the pan-Canadian Action Plan presents a unified plan, identifying key partners and providing guidance on coordinated efforts needed to deliver high-quality, coordinated surgical cancer care.

CANSACC believes a focused effort is needed to address the disparities in cancer surgical outcomes through partnership and collaboration across diverse stakeholders. The disparities were noted in the 2015 report Approaches to high-risk, resource-intensive cancer surgical care in Canada.

Five strategic priorities for better cancer surgical care

This Pan-Canadian action plan for optimizing cancer surgical care is centered on five strategic priorities:

  1. Deliver high-quality surgical oncology care
  2. Eliminate barriers to surgical cancer care for vulnerable and underserviced populations
  3. Establish pan-Canadian benchmarking and data-driven quality improvement to cancer surgeries
  4. Integrate surgical care and medical services to improve outcomes
  5. Support research and innovation in surgical cancer care

Acting on these five strategic priorities will advance the goals of the 2019-2029 Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, a 10-year roadmap to improve equity in the Canadian cancer system. Among the Strategy’s eight priorities is a focus on delivering high-quality care in a sustainable, world-class system, including establishing standards for care delivery.

Over the upcoming months, CANSACC will collaborate with the Partnership and the partners named in this document to explore strategies to translate the calls to action into meaningful, on-the-ground change.


The Partnership established CANSACC to catalyze strong pan-Canadian leadership to improve the delivery of surgical cancer care. CANSACC facilitates and empowers its eleven member associations to share best practices among surgeons from across the country regarding innovative research, education and data-driven quality initiatives.

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