Approaches to high-risk, resource-intensive cancer surgery

Read about the distribution of and approaches to complex surgeries in Canada for esophageal, pancreatic, liver, lung and ovarian cancers

This report gives analysis and discussion about the distribution of and approaches to high-risk, resource-intensive surgeries for esophageal, pancreatic, liver, lung and ovarian cancers.

This report informs policy makers, health care planners and administrators on surgical cancer care’s current state and outcomes; highlights opportunities for improvement; and gives recommendations to improve the quality of cancer care for individuals and families.

Learn more about the following key findings:

  • Literature gives positive evidence for regionalizing surgical cancer care.
  • Higher-volume centres predicted a much lower risk of in-hospital death and a shorter length of hospital stay.
  • There are significant differences for surgical cancer care’s practice and patient outcomes.
  • Canada lacks in a unified approach for surgical cancer care.
  • National clinical guidelines and standards are needed for surgical cancer care.
  • Ovarian cancer may have a case for regionalization.
  • Regionalization impacts travel time to surgery.
  • Patients and caregivers will travel longer distances for better surgical care.

Discover details about the following key recommendations:

  • Surgical cancer care should be integrated into overall provincial cancer services, and allow for systematic evaluation and sufficient resources to encourage change.
  • National standards of care should be created for each cancer surgery.
  • Purposeful regionalization of cancer surgical services (above and beyond simple consolidation) is needed to improve health care quality and patient outcomes.
  • Regionalization policies should be tailored to meet unique provincial needs.
  • Surgical cancer care should let regionalization policies be flexible and based on access to care and patient preference.
  • A structured benchmarking process for each specialty would improve surgical outcomes and inform decisions about policy.

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