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Study: Manitoba Higher Cancer Rate Than Canadian Average

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http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/life/s ... 7551c.html


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If Manitoba was as effective as Alberta at fighting cancer, more than 200 Manitobans might not die this year, said Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard Monday as he called for a better strategy to tackle one of the province's top killers.

Canadian Cancer Statistics, an annual snapshot compiled by the Canadian Cancer Society and released last month, projects that Manitoba will see 2,800 deaths from cancer this year. That's 46 per cent of the new cases diagnosed. That's a higher rate than the projected Canadian average of 44 per cent, and it's markedly higher than Alberta's rate of 37 per cent. If Manitoba had the same success ratio, nearly 225 lives could be saved.

"Either Alberta is much healthier than Manitoba, which I doubt, or prevention, diagnosis and treatment aren't done as well in Manitoba," said Gerrard Monday during question period.

He asked for an investigation into Manitoba's cancer-fighting methods.

But Health Minister Theresa Oswald noted the new stats are just a projection for 2008 and don't yet reflect substantial work the province has done on prevention. Those efforts, such as broad screening for colorectal and breast cancer, don't see payoffs in cancer rates for years, she said.

It's the same with youth smoking rates, which have been on the decline. Manitoba now has among the lowest rate of young smokers in Canada, but it will take time for that good news to show up in cancer rates.

In 2004, Manitoba had about 2,750 deaths from cancer, about 50 per cent of the new cases reported. That was still well over the national average and more than the rates in Alberta and Ontario.

Lorena Gerl, director of cancer control at the Manitoba division of the Canadian Cancer Society, said the difference in death rates is marked, but a lot more research is needed to find out why.

"Is it that it's not detected early enough? Does it have something to do with smoking rates or is it also being affected by an aging population?" said Gerl. "We need to look further into these demographics, and the discussion is an important one to have."

Gerrard said the stats show more Albertans are diagnosed more often with ailments such as lung cancer, breast and ovarian cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. But mortality rates are still higher for those cancers in Manitoba.

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(Winnepeg Free Press, By Mary Agnes Welch, May 27, 2008)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not posted as medical advice of any kind.

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