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Province adding staff, treatment hubs in fight against cancer

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Manitoba will add more than 50 frontline staff to speed up cancer treatment.

The province is hiring eight more pathologists, 35 technologists, two cancer testing co-ordinators and eight new positions in rural Manitoba to liaise between cancer patients and medical professionals.

Premier Greg Selinger made the announcement today along with Health Minister Theresa Oswald at CancerCare Manitoba on McDermot Avenue.

The province is also updating its cancer treatment strategy, which includes:

  • monitoring research to update existing programs and implement new cancer screening programs to catch cancer earlier;
  • introducing digital mammography and expanding the Breast Health Centre;
  • expanding the use of advanced genetic and molecular cancer testing;
  • creating a provincial cancer surgery program;
  • developing a model for after-hours care for cancer patients;
  • supporting additional cancer research and clinical trials;
  • hiring more nurse practitioners and social workers in rural Manitoba; and
  • supporting the emotional needs of cancer patients and their families to help them cope during testing, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.

To improve cancer treatment in rural Manitoba, the province has started creating service hubs. The first was opened in Morden-Winkler last year. Four more are now being introduced in Brandon, Selkirk, Steinbach and Thompson.

"We're focused on the things that matter most to Manitoba families and there's nothing more important than ensuring your family gets the care they need, regardless of where they live," said Selinger. "New cancer treatment hubs in Brandon, Selkirk, Steinbach and Thompson will help more patients get the highest-quality care, closer to home, with less of a disruption in their day-to-day lives."

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Updated on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 3:52 PM CST: Adds picture.

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