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Ontario Cancer Plan

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Read Her Story
It makes you appreciate your loved ones and your quality of life, and you tend to start concentrating on those things more...

Having this diagnosis is a life experience that no-one should have to go through, says Nancy Ridgway, who knows only too well how devastating it is to be told you have cancer.

In an instant, everything changed for Ridgway when she got the news. At first, she was very mad and very afraid. But as she met with oncologists, radiologists and other caregivers, the anxiety subsided, or at least became manageable.

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Read Her Story
I would tell someone just diagnosed to take a breath because it will get easier.

I have an amazing family – mother, father, brother and sister – they have been with me for every chemotherapy session and surgery. When we told my children, my entire family was there. We said, Mum has cancer and she's going to beat it. That was the only time there were tears.

I would tell someone just diagnosed to take a breath because it will get easier. There is so much assistance for us and there are so many people, doctors, nurses, family and friends, willing to help.

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Read His Story
What we have realized at Cancer Care Ontario is that quality improvement occurs locally.

The surgical oncology program at CCO has two main components: access to care and access to quality care.

The whole concept of access to quality care is to do it better. This can mean a range of things including improved satisfaction for the patient, better outcomes, improved survival, less complications, better margin resection rates, and improved lymph nodes retrieval rates for colorectal cancer.

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Read His Story
My advice to people is stop smoking and don’t be around second-hand smoke.

About 3 to 4 years ago, I went to the bathroom and found blood in my urine. I went to my family doctor, who sent me to the urologist. The specialist did some tests and that is when I found out that I had cancer in my bladder.

The feeling was one where I couldn't believe it…I had cancer in by bladder. I asked my doctor where it came from and he said it was from the smoking. I didn't think I could get bladder cancer from smoking. But I did.

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Read His Story
Ultimately, I am responsible for the quality and performance of the program.

Within our region, the colonoscopy network is a great example of maximizing partnerships. In the past, our region has performed poorly in terms of access for screening colonoscopy due to underutilized time in hospitals for endoscopy. By working collaboratively with all the surgeons, gastroenterologists and hospitals we were able to maximize and optimize the time. Today, patients screened through our regional network have some of the best access times in the province.

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Smoking Cessation in the Regional Cancer Programs

 
  Once we had a game-plan going, I was able to relax a little.”
- Nancy Ridgway
  There are so many people, doctors, nurses, family and friends, willing to help.”
- Tina Radoslav
  The quality of care initiative is about doing it better for patients.”
- Dr. Jon Irish
  I asked my doctor where it came from and he said it was from the smoking.”
- Theo Dosis
  Today, patients screened through our regional network have some of the best access times in the province.”
- Dr. Craig McFadyen

Tobacco use increases the risk of over 20 different types of cancer. It contributes to 30 percent of all cancer deaths and up to 90 per cent of lung cancer deaths.

One in five new cancer patients at a cancer centre in Ontario are current or recent tobacco users.

It is never too late for tobacco cessation to provide a benefit and it is never too late to quit.

The risk of dying can be lowered 30 to 40 percent by quitting smoking at the time of cancer diagnosis. Quitting also lowers the chance of the cancer returning or another type of cancer developing.

It can also improve treatment outcomes.

  • Surgery: Patients who have quit smoking are less likely to have infections or complications during or after surgery.
  • Radiation Therapy: Smoking reduces the level of oxygen in blood and radiation therapy works best when the amount of oxygen in the body is normal. Quitting can also help reduce side effects.
  • Chemotherapy: Cigarette smoke has chemicals that can lower the amount of some chemotherapy drugs in the blood, making them less effective.

For some cancer diagnoses, the benefit of smoking cessation may be equal to, or even exceed, the value of state-of-the-art cancer therapies. Read this brochure for more information about the benefits of quitting smoking.

We support the implementation of a smoking cessation initiative in Ontario’s Regional Cancer Programs using a framework developed by smoking cessation experts.

  • Ask — Talk to new cancer patients about their tobacco use.
  • Advise — Inform them about the benefits of quitting.
  • Act — Refer them to smoking cessation services for support.

There is a smoking cessation "Champion" at each Regional Cancer Program and clinical staff are educated on the importance of quitting smoking for their patients’ health outcomes. Smoking cessation activities are an essential component of quality cancer care.

Quitting smoking is one of the best things a patient can do to make their cancer treatment work better.

It’s never too late to quit!