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Ontarians want to know that high-quality cancer care will be available when needed, for themselves and future generations. To keep our cancer system sustainable, we must slow the growing need for services while at the same time making the best use of our human, infrastructure and financial resources.

That means using resources wisely and ensuring patients receive appropriate care in the right setting. It means expanding our prevention and screening efforts. And it means developing innovative solutions to deliver the greatest benefit to patients and the cancer system.


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“My sister Monica died of breast cancer at the age 36, so cancer is always at the forefront of my mind—not only for me but also for her three daughters (now aged 18, 25 and 30). Prevention and early detection are so important because we know we are at high risk. I want clear direction about best practices for mammography, ultrasound, genetic testing, maybe even prophylactic surgery.”

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Ensure a sustainable cancer system for future generations

Strategic Objectives

  • Develop and execute on a chronic disease prevention strategy, which focuses on reducing the incidence of the major chronic disease modifiable risk factors and exposures.
  • Continue to implement organized cancer screening programs for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer.
  • Assess value from a patient experience, population health and cost perspective to inform decision-making across the cancer system.
  • Optimize the model of care delivery to achieve the greatest benefit for patients and the cancer system.
  • Strengthen and expand system capacity planning to ensure resources are most optimally allocated and utilized.

By 2019

  • We will have begun implementation of the chronic disease prevention strategy and have developed the evaluation framework.
  • Participation in breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening programs will be increased and followup for those with an abnormal screening result will be improved.
  • Drugs funded through the Provincial Drug Reimbursement Program will be evaluated for the greatest benefit to patients and impact on healthcare resources.
  • Innovative, person-centred models of care will enable the right provider to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place.
  • Data-driven, system-level plans will be used to allocate key health human, infrastructure and financial resources for all cancer services.
  • Radiation, gynecology, and medical oncologist positions will be expanded consistent with capacity planning models.

Examples of Initiatives

  • Pilot initiatives and models of care that use technology to enable patients to manage their treatment symptoms, and facilitate communication with care providers from the home.
  • Develop our capacity for health technology assessment and economic evaluation at the system level.
  • Implement continuous review of the processes, roles and locations of care delivery, with an initial focus on ambulatory services.
  • Enable secure, online access to screening invitations and results for the provincial cancer screening programs (breast, cervical and colorectal) as a replacement for current paper-based processes.
  • Implement systematic screening for tobacco use among all new ambulatory care patients attending Regional Cancer Centres and ensure that smoking cessation is integrated into the care plan.
  • Transition colorectal cancer screening from the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) to the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and pilot the human papillomavirus (HPV) test as the primary screening mechanism for the Ontario Cervical Screening Program.