June 30, 2009
In this foundational report from 2009, learn about the Partnership’s work in advancing cancer control with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis
Cancer rates among First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada are increasing faster in comparison to overall Canadian cancer rates.
According to the World Health Organization, at least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable, yet awareness of cancer and its causes remains low among many First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Early cancer detection greatly increases the chances of successful treatment. However, First Nations, Inuit and Métis often are diagnosed with later-stage cancers and have higher death rates from cancers which are preventable.
This forum brought together 65 representatives from the cancer community and from First Nations, Inuit, and Métis organizations across Canada to share information about cancer control.
The following major themes came out of the forum:
- Prevention and early detection: A community-led, grass-roots strategy is needed to drive awareness about cancer, its prevention, and the importance of early detection. Smoking is one of the most important issues in prevention.
- No one-size-fits-all solution: Initiatives must adapt to diverse communities and specific approaches are needed with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis.
- Social determinants of health: A holistic, person-centered approach to health and cancer control must also include the risk factors for chronic diseases.
- Cultural sensitivity: Culturally relevant educational materials and health services are needed across the cancer continuum.
- Geography: Remote and under-served communities need innovative approaches to provide cancer control services and education.
- Research and surveillance: Research and surveillance are critical to build community profiles about cancer and to measure the impact of cancer-control interventions. Also, empower communities so they can understand and apply research findings.
- Partnership’s role: Focus on the initiatives where the Partnership can either lead or support within its mandate. As well, link to existing initiatives when appropriate.
The Partnership will continue to engage First Nations, Inuit, and Métis organizations and cancer-control communities. Also, the Partnership will create an action plan to address the forum’s immediate and long-term priorities.