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CCNS seeks feedback from rectal cancer patients

Cancer Care Nova Scotia is asking rectal cancer patients, survivors and their families to review and provide feedback on draft clinical standards for the treatment and management of rectal cancer.

Clinical standards provide doctors and other health professionals with information about the requirements for diagnosing and treating a disease based on the latest evidence. This includes types of tests and treatments, where they are done, and when they need to take place to ensure patients receive high quality care. Clinical standards also help patients know what to ask for and expect from the health system in the course of their own care.

RCS_May13"Cancer Care Nova Scotia recognizes that engaging patients and their families is key to improving and enhancing the cancer system," said Dr. Carman Giacomantonio, Chief Medical Director, Cancer Care Nova Scotia. "That's why rectal cancer survivors are among the members of our standards working group. It's also the reason we're asking patients, survivors and their families to review the draft standards to ensure they address patient concerns."

Cancer survivors Robin McGee and Archie MacEachern are members of the Clinical Standards Oversight Committee. They also believe that people with experience in the cancer system have a unique and important perspective to share.

"As cancer survivors, we have first-hand experience," said Robin McGee. "We know what works and the areas that need improvement. Our perspective is unique and the patient voice on the Oversight Committee has already brought issues to the table that may not have been addressed without patient representation. I strongly encourage patients, survivors and family members of a loved one who has had rectal cancer to consider sharing their perspective on this first clinical standard."

The draft standards are available on the Cancer Care Nova Scotia website at .

Rectal cancer patients, survivors, and family members, who are interested, can read the draft standards and contribute in two ways:
-- An online survey is available on the website until June 15, 2013; and
-- Focus groups will take place in Halifax on June 11 and in Sydney on June 13. Call 1-866-599-2267 to register.

Individuals unable to provide feedback in either of these ways may call Sarah MacDonald, Patient Engagement Coordinator, at 1-866-599-2267.