Strategy announced for Indigenous cancer care

Various stakeholders have come together to provide a road map from prevention to survivorship

First Nation communities in British Columbia have a new strategy in place, aimed at improving cancer care and providing support for Indigenous people across the province.

With recent studies showing a lower survival rate among First Nations people with cancer, various health authorities are hopeful as roughly one third of all cancers can be prevented with proper exercise, healthy eating and regular screening.

This new strategy will address all aspects of cancer, with a focus on delivering culturally safe cancer care in six priority areas:

  • developing partnerships between the health system and Indigenous communities;
  • working with Indigenous communities to help prevent cancer before it starts;
  • increasing access and participation in colon, cervical and breast cancer screening;
  • promoting cultural safety and humility in cancer care services;
  • supporting Indigenous cancer survivorship and end-of-life experiences; and
  • improving knowledge of Indigenous cancer experiences

In designing the strategy in partnership with BC Cancer, First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC), the Province of B.C. said this is reflective of our unique Indigenous landscape.

“This strategy is among the newest of its kind, and a crucial step in addressing cancer survival disparities among Indigenous people in British Columbia,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “When we understand and address the cultural barriers experienced by Indigenous people, the health system can provide preventative care, culturally respectful treatment and be a true partner in saving lives.”

Support will be provided for all Indigenous cancer patients, including survivors and their families, including First Nations with and without status living at home or away from home, Métis citizens or self-identified Métis and Inuit peoples.

“We are committed to moving forward quickly on implementing key points of this strategy,” said Dr. Malcom Moore, President of BC Cancer. “We recognize the unique cancer challenges and treatment outcome disparities faced by Indigenous people and we are working with out partners to ensure the delivery of culturally safe cancer care throughout the province.”

A lack of trust between members of the First Nation community and health care practitioners in part lead to the creation of this strategy.

President of the BCAAFC, Annette Morgan, explained that seeking medical help is not always safe and if people don’t feel safe or feel that could receive racial treatment, they won’t get screened — instead seeking help or guidance from a local friendship centre.

This thought was echoed by Moore, who acknowledged that improving screening rates and expanding access to these programs is a priority, despite the difficulties in accessing some rural communities.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford author releases book of poetry and meditations

Sophia Campbell’s Hark Valley a depiction of her ‘spiritual journey’

Man wanted for ramming police car and almost hitting bystanders in Abbotsford

Police say Lorne Guilbault ‘engages in high-risk criminal driving behaviour’

Lavender hand sanitizer sale raises cash for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Golf course and lavender farm partner up to support health care in the Fraser Valley

Cooling stations to open in Mission

Once the temperature hits 29 degrees Celsius, the stations will open

‘Unusual smell’ in Mission and Abbotsford tap water not a health concern, says City of Abbotsford

Odour is just due to temporary supply switch due to treatment-plant maintenance, city says

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

BCSPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read