Coast Salish Territory – The First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is partnering with BC Cancer to launch a province-wide cancer screening promotion campaign. The campaign was made possible with generous funding support from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC).
The purpose of the campaign is to increase knowledge about BC Cancer’s screening services for breast, cervical, colon and lung cancer, and focuses on who is eligible for these screening services and how to access them. By increasing awareness about existing services, the campaign aims to improve regular access to cancer screening services for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people living in British Columbia (BC). Regular access to cancer screening can help detect cancer earlier, and may lead to better health outcomes.
The campaign features health leaders who share information about cancer screening to empower and support individuals in taking control of their own wellness journey. It encourages people to get screened as early as possible and points to the connections between individual and community wellness through the campaign slogans: Honour Yourself, Honour Your Family, Honour Your Community and Honour Your Ancestors. Screen regularly for cancer as a part of your wellness. Early detection can save your life.
Cancer trends for First Nations People in BC
Cancer affects everyone, whether as a patient, as a survivor or knowing someone with a diagnosis.
Rates of certain types of cancer such as colon and cervical cancer are significantly higher for First Nations people in BC than other residents. For many types of cancer early detection can lead to better health outcomes. There are a number of efforts underway to improve access to primary health care for First Nations in BC, including the establishment of new primary care centres and efforts to improve safety in health care. Over time, it is expected that these efforts will help to improve cancer screening rates and health outcomes for First Nations people in BC.
Trends in screening rates and cancer diagnoses provide insight into the health of First Nations people across BC and help to inform decisions and strategies that better meet the needs of First Nations people.
The FNHA’s partnership with BC Cancer
This campaign is a part of broader ongoing partnership work between the FNHA and BC Cancer. Both organizations continue to work towards the goals and objectives of the provincial Indigenous cancer strategy in BC, Improving Indigenous Cancer Journeys in BC: A Road Map. In addition to this campaign work, the FNHA and BC Cancer are working on a number of different initiatives together with the aim that First Nations, Métis and Inuit community members in BC receive better health service and experience better health care outcomes.
For more information, visit fnha.ca/cancer
Dr. Nel Wieman, Acting Chief Medical Officer, FNHA
“Early detection is a major factor in increased cancer survival rates. For this reason it is important that First Nations people stay up to date with age-appropriate cancer screenings, including for breast, colon, cervical, prostate, and lung cancer. You should make an appointment with your primary care provider if you have any sign or symptom that is new, different, troubling you, continues to worsen, and/or is not going away”.
Warren Clarmont, Provincial Director, Indigenous Cancer Control, BC Cancer
“Some of our initial surveillance findings show that screening participation is lower for First Nations when compared to other BC residents. We know that early detection through screening increases the chance of survival and can save lives. This campaign is about how screening is not just about your own health, it’s for our children, our families and our communities and is something we should encourage and support each other to do”.
The FNHA is responsible for planning, management, service delivery and funding of health programs, in partnership with First Nations communities in BC. Guided by the vision of embedding cultural safety and humility into health service delivery, the FNHA works to reform the way health care is delivered to First Nations people in BC.
BC Cancer, a program of the Provincial Health Services Authority, is committed to reducing the incidence of cancer, reducing the mortality from cancer and improving the quality of life of those living with cancer. It provides a comprehensive cancer control program for the people of British Columbia by working with community partners to deliver a range of oncology services, including prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, research, education, supportive care, rehabilitation and palliative care. For more information, visit www.bccancer.bc.ca or follow us on Twitter @BCCancer.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) provides specialized health care services and programs to communities across British Columbia, the territories of many distinct First Nations. We are grateful to all the First Nations who have cared for and nurtured this land for all time, including the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səlil̓w̓ətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations on whose unceded and ancestral territory our head office is located. We work in partnership with other BC health authorities and the provincial government to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit www.phsa.ca or follow us @PHSAofBC.