Research is like a car engine. It drives improvements in cancer care, from prevention and screening through diagnosis, treatment and palliation. Cancer research in all areas is important to Cancer Care Nova Scotia because it will help improve cancer care in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has many active, internationally respected researchers working in cancer-related research. Research brings cancer doctors and other scientists to Nova Scotia and helps keep them here. As well, the research done here will help improve the lives of Nova Scotians.
A lot has been learned about cancer through research over the past ten to twenty years. However, we still need to know more about:
- Understanding the molecular basis for cancer.
- Learning from research to make better and more effective treatments.
- Studying how to diagnose cancer earlier.
- How to help people change their habits and live healthier lives.
- Studying better ways to help patients and their families cope with living with cancer.
How people get access to health care, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care.
There are many different kinds of cancer research:
- Basic research may include research that takes place in a lab to help understand and treat cancers. It is also research that tests drugs before they are given to patients.
- Translational research takes what is learned from research in the lab and sees how it works with patients.
- Clinical research involves cancer patients to test new ways to diagnose cancer, new drugs, surgeries, radiation therapies, or other treatments.
- Psycho-social research tests ways to help patients with their coping skills and in living with cancer.
- Epidemiologic research asks questions about cancer in large numbers of people and in society.
- Health Services Research aims to identify the most effective way to organize, manage, finance and deliver high quality care; reduce medical errors, and; improve patient safety.