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Cancer providers across Waterloo and Wellington lead in quality and access to care

June 17, 2010

Grand River Hospital’s Grand River Regional Cancer Centre (GRRCC) and partner hospitals across Waterloo and Wellington Region provide residents among the best quality of care and access to cancer treatment services in Ontario.

The results are in the latest Cancer System Quality Index (CSQI) from Cancer Care Ontario. The CSQI tracks Ontario’s progress against cancer, shows where quality and performance improvements are needed and reports on 29 evidence-based quality measures covering every aspect of cancer from prevention to end-of-life care.

“In less than seven years, our regional cancer centre and its partners across Waterloo and Wellington have built an excellent reputation for high-quality care with among the best access in Ontario,” said Malcolm Maxwell, GRH president and CEO. “Our standing in the CSQI speaks to the exceptional care that our care providers offer to patients.”

Some of the highlights of the latest CSQI report include the following:
Wait times for cancer surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are among the lowest in Ontario, for example 87 per cent of patients receive cancer surgery within wait time targets;
Screening programs are experiencing increased participation, such as a 12 per cent rise in colorectal screening, and two per cent increases in breast and cervical cancer screening;
Five-year survival rates for prostate, breast, colorectal and lung cancer are all increasing; and
Symptom severity screening has experienced a significant increase.

Since 2003, GRRCC has provided radiation therapy to over 7,300 patients in 104,000 visits and chemotherapy to over 9,200 patients in 65,000 visits. Partner hospitals in Cambridge, Guelph, Fergus and Mount Forest operate in conjunction with the Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program to ensure residents have access to care when they need it, close to home.

GRRCC continues to grow and develop its services through initiatives that include:
A high dose rate brachytherapy service, which provides new treatment options for women with gynecological cancers;
On-going work to reduce wait times;
Clinical trials for new cancer medications, with 38 trials involving over 460 patients;
New tools to better identify and manage patients’ pain and symptoms; and
The Waterloo Wellington Breast Centre’s coordinated efforts in streamlining processes to provide women with fast access to medical imaging services and other diagnostic tests.

“We’re asking patients and their families to make sure they consider local services first if they have or someone they know has a cancer diagnosis,” said Dr. Craig McFadyen, GRH vice president of cancer services and Cancer Care Ontario regional vice president. “We have an excellent range of services available. Access to a local system of care can ease the burden of travel on patients and families during a very difficult time.”

For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Knarr, Marketing Coordinator: (519) 749-4300 extension 2986.
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