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Indigenous Cancer Control

Improving Cancer Control for Indigenous People
Everyone experiences cancer in their own unique ways. Indigenous people may share similar unique experiences and needs when on their cancer journey. This page is meant to provide resources and links to support Indigenous cancer patients, survivors and their families, and to highlight work underway to improve Indigenous cancer journeys in BC. 

BC Cancer, First Nations Health Authority (FNHA)Métis Nation British Columbia, and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres are working collaboratively to better understand the Indigenous cancer journey, and have been engaging with Indigenous cancer patients, survivors and families from throughout the province. This engagement has informed the development of a joint Indigenous Cancer Strategy titled "Improving Indigenous Cancer Journeys in BC: A Road Map".

What are we doing?

BC Cancer commitments within the Indigenous Cancer Strategy include:

  • Making cancer care more culturally safe for Indigenous people by implementing the Declaration of Commitment on cultural safety and humility in health services
  • Promoting increased uptake of San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety training course at BC Cancer
  • Making cancer services more accessible to Indigenous people by creating liaison positions at BC Cancer centres to assist Indigenous people in navigating the cancer care system
  • Increasing early detection through screening by developing culturally-appropriate information campaigns to increase participation in colon, breast and cervical cancer screening programs
  • Obtaining a better understanding of the Indigenous cancer journey in BC, with new research initiatives extending the work already done through linkages using the FNHA First Nations Client File
  • Developing a shared approach to increase culturally safe prevention initiatives, including research and prevention outreach, within Indigenous communities

What does the data say?

BC Cancer and the First Nations Health Authority completed a study in 2017 comparing cancer diagnoses and survival rates between First Nations people with Status and non-First Nations people living in BC. The study found that, overall, First Nations people have lower cancer rates, but are more likely to be diagnosed with colon and cervical cancer, and more likely to experience poorer survival outcomes once diagnosed with cancer. There is more work to be done to understand the reasons for these results, and to improve cancer outcomes for Indigenous people.

Indigenous Screening Stories

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Indigenous Patient Navigators

An Indigenous Patient Navigator (IPN) works with the cancer team to deliver supportive, trauma-informed and culturally safe care to Indigenous patients and their families. Patients who identify as Indigenous, First nations, Metis, Inuit, Status and Non-Status, can access IPN services. 

For more information about our IPNs or refer yourself for their services, please contact your regional cancer centre:

BC Cancer - Abbotsford

Office: 604-851-4733 ext. 645225

Cell: 604-845-1750

BC Cancer - Kelowna



BC Cancer - Prince George


BC Cancer - Surrey


BC Cancer - Vancouver


BC Cancer - Victoria


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SOURCE: Indigenous Cancer Control ( )
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