FREDERICTON, N.B. – The provincial government is increasing its focus on population-based cancer screening through new, integrated screening programs for colon and cervical cancers as well as an educational campaign.
"As outlined in Rebuilding Health Care Together: The Provincial Health Plan 2013-2018, the New Brunswick Cancer Network is proceeding with the implementation of these two organized and targeted screening programs," said Health Minister Hugh Flemming. "Cancer screening leads to earlier detection and improved survival rates. Our government is committed to providing these screening opportunities and educating New Brunswickers about the importance of screening."
The programs, which will begin in early 2014, will improve screening for New Brunswickers for colon and cervical cancers by providing a means to invite eligible individuals for screening. It will use a new information system to track those who are eligible for screening; those who have been screened; their results; and those who have not taken part in screening.
New Brunswick has been providing a successful breast cancer screening program since 1995. The addition of integrated programs for cervical and colon cancers is expected to contribute to more successful outcomes for patients. Evidence shows that the detection rate of these cancers is greatly improved by population-based screening.
The New Brunswick Cancer Network is also undertaking an advertising campaign to remind New Brunswickers that a decision to participate in cancer screening could be life-saving. The new Screening Saves Lives campaign features New Brunswickers considering whether to participate in screening before finally taking action. The campaign promotes screening for breast, cervical and colon cancer and includes television advertisements, posters and other printed materials.
Cervical cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer for women aged 20 to 49 in Canada. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among New Brunswick women and the fourth overall cause of cancer deaths. In New Brunswick, colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of all cancer deaths.