Dollars at Work - Cancer Prevention and Screening

Traditional cancer screening methods included annual mammograms,colonoscopies, chest X-rays, and PSA tests-used to detect earlier forms of the most common types of cancer: breast, colon, lung and prostate, respectively. While these are still effective screening tools today, the technology and knowledge has greatly improved in the last few decades, allowing us to find cancer earlier and improve treatment success rather than reacting to symptoms.

In recent years, we have changed the way we test patients for cancer, and have seen promising advances in early detection and screening initiatives here in Alberta. For example, a provincial lung cancer screening pilot research program is aiming to catch cancer early when curative treatment is still an option by providing CT scans to over 800 high-risk patients over three years. This project has already confirmed 20 lung cancer diagnoses, all detected at an early stage when it is most important and will contribute answers to the body of knowledge that will tell us who to screen, and when.

dollars at work

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