2009 Cancer system performance report

Learn about setting up indicators to measure the performance of Canada’s cancer system in this initial performance report from 2009

This first system performance report discusses the development of high-level, country-wide indicators to begin reporting on the status of Canada’s cancer control. The World Health Organization in 2002 urged nations to establish national cancer control programs:

A well-conceived, well-managed national cancer control programme lowers cancer incidence and improves the life of cancer patients, no matter what resource constraints a country faces.

This report also presents highlights of the first year’s indicators, identifies areas as needing further development and introduces a strategy for moving forward.

For this first year, the focus was to work collaboratively with provincial partners to produce a first report about Canadian indicators and lay down an understanding of the system. Indicators are presented only if there was consensus on the data’s quality. A final group of seventeen indicators were chosen. Several proposed indicators were suboptimal in scope but were approved for reporting. Those indicators are “in development” and will be reported on more widely in years to come.

Quick facts from this initial report

  • Smoking rates decreased from 26 percent in 2001 to 22 per cent in 2007. From 2003 to 2007, quitting rates did not improve, and in fact fell from 22 to 18 per cent.
  • In the 2007, 43 per cent of adults in British Columbia aged 18 and over reported being overweight or obese, compared with 62 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • The overall percentage of adults who reported exceeding the low-risk drinking guidelines increased between 2001 and 2005, from 7.6 to 9.2 per cent.
  • In 2005, there was a 50 per cent difference between the lowest and highest rates of colorectal cancer: 45 new cases per 100 000 in British Columbia and 67 new cases per 100 000 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • While the rate of lung cancer decreased for males from 1995 to 2005, it increased for females, which may reflect past tobacco-usage patterns. Similarly, the rate of death from lung cancer went down for males and went up slightly for females.

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