It has been well documented that health disparities continue to exist between First Nations Inuit & Métis (FNIM) and non-FNIM populations in Canada. The incidence of cancer among Ontario’s FNIM populations is increasing at a more rapid and unprecedented rate than among other Ontarians and cancer survival is worse. Specifically, in Ontario, First Nations women are more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than other women; there is a rise in the rate of newly diagnosed colorectal cancer in First Nations men above Ontario rates; and although Ontario First Nations women are slightly less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, breast cancers found in FN women are more likely to be found at a later stage compared to other Ontario women.
“We know that while screening is a critical cancer control strategy and Ontario has organized screening programs, including a cervical screening program, participation rates for First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples are lower than the general population, more so here in the north than our counterparts in the south” - Dr. Jennifer Jocko, Regional Cervical Screening & Colposcopy Clinical Lead for the North East
Subsequently, it is the vision of the North East Aboriginal Cancer Plan 2015-2019 to work ever more closely with FNIM people to understand how together we can overcome these challenges, build productive relationships based on trust and mutual respect, and ensure the cancer system meets the needs of communities within the region.
North East Aboriginal Cancer Plan 2015-2019
The Northeast Cancer Centre has a Regional Indigenous Care Lead, an Indigenous Patient Navigator and an Indigenous Coordinator. To learn more about these roles and how to contact them please click here.
For more information about Indigenous Programs and Resources click here.
Click on the images below to learn more about provincial breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening programs.