Colorectal cancer screening pilot program to expand within 6 months

Health minister responds to MLA who asked when program will move beyond 3 communities initially announced

Uqqummiut MLA Mary Killiktee asked Nunavut’s Health Minister, John Main, Monday in the legislative assembly when a new colorectal cancer screening pilot program will be expanded to more communities. (Photo by Meral Jamal)

By Meral Jamal

Uqqummiut MLA Mary Killiktee wants to see a new colorectal screening program travel to the communities she represents.

Killiktee, whose riding includes Clyde River and Qikiqtarjuaq, questioned Health Minister John Main Monday in the legislative assembly about colorectal and other cancer screening services in the territory.

The Health Department recently launched a pilot program for colorectal cancer screening across three communities, announced by Main in the legislative assembly Feb. 27.

The pilot runs in the communities of Gjoa Haven from March 3 to 9, Arviat from March 12 to 17, and Pond Inlet from March 19 to 25.

Killiktee asked Main when the program will be expanded to other Nunavut communities. Main said he hopes that will happen within the next six months.

Killiktee also asked about the availability of other regular cancer screening programs such as those that detect cervical cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer.

“In terms of the longer-term vision, we absolutely want to put in place additional types of screening programs,” Main said in his response.

Currently, cancer screening takes place in Nunavut communities when health-care professionals flag certain things. Main said the Health Department is moving toward a more “systemic” approach, with long-term cancer screening programs across the communities.

“It would be incumbent on the department to develop a business case — as we did for the colorectal cancer screening program — and get that business case proved through the Department of Finance and then through the house,” Main said.

“We are wanting to go in that direction eventually and colorectal cancer screening has been chosen as the first one to work on.”

The colorectal cancer screening pilot program in Nunavut is designed to screen people between the ages of 50 and 74 who are at average risk for colorectal cancer, by providing a simple-to-use at-home screening test.

“Nunavut has high rates of colorectal cancer and this program is one way the department is being proactive in its approach to improve the health of Nunavummiut,” Main said when he announced the program in February.

Following the pilot programs, he said the department will work to roll out the screening activities across the territory.


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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Long memory on

    I am curious, back in the 1980’s there were studies on seal meat and seal fat, where high concentrations of POP’s, (persistent organic pollutions) were high enough that the GNWT recommended pregnant women avoid eating seal liver or limit it to one bite…What studies have happened since then? Have all the POP’s dissapeared? the GN must invest in more studies, and as well be real with Inuit on the long term accumulation animal meat, livers, fats, and in human beings.
    lets start with that, please do those studies again, please. this was 40 years ago, i can’t imagine the problem just go away. Mr. Main, please look into that.

  2. Posted by Heresy I Say on

    Come one now, the signs at NorthMart say “All Country Food Is Health Food”. That is the government line, don’t you know?

    Don’t question the orthodoxy.

  3. Posted by S on

    There’s nothing we can do about our genes, our age, or the past. There are lifestyle factors that we can implement to substantially decrease risk of colorectal cancer:

    -High fiber diet (plenty of fruit, vegetables, beans, and lentils)

    -ONLY high fiber grains, especially bran

    -No processed meat

    -No refined sugar

    -No alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, or other drugs

    -Plenty of activity

    • Posted by Get real S on

      One shred of evidence that cannabis is linked to colorectal cancer?

      • Posted by S on

        Thanks for your comment / question, “Get real”

        All toxins contribute to cancer of one form or another; excess amounts contribute excessively.

        Cannabis contains numerous toxins. Its natural and synthetic chemicals are noxious to living organisms.

        How the cannabis is taken in – whether ingested, smoked, or other method -determines additional toxicity


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