Access to Treatment
At present, many Canadian cancer patients are facing unacceptable delays in receiving radiation therapy, in some cases in excess of 6-9 months. In much of Canada, patients are advised to travel to the United States to receive treatment rather than accept excessive delays in therapy.
The Board of Directors of the Canadian Association of Radiation Oncologists (CARO) finds the current situation a cause for concern. Delays in cancer treatment are never good, they add to the psychological stress and, more importantly, may result in a smaller chance for cancer control. Clearly, this situation requires urgent action.
The Canadian Association of Provincial Cancer Agencies, the Canadian Cancer society, and Health Canada have recently crated a new body, the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, with a mandate to create national priorities for cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. CARO welcomes the opportunity to work within this organization to improve cancer treatment services for all Canadians as soon as possible. Progress of this initiative can be followed at http://www.cancercontrol.org
January 10, 2000