P.E.I. Can­cer Treat­ment Cen­tre re­ceives award

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY/ENTERTAINMENT -

The Coun­cil for a Smoke Free P.E.I. has rec­og­nized the P.E.I. Can­cer Treat­ment Cen­tre for its new to­bacco ces­sa­tion pro­gram.

Re­search shows to­bacco use by can­cer pa­tients re­duces the ef­fec­tive­ness of their treat­ment and their like­li­hood of sur­vival. So in Jan­uary 2016, with fund­ing from the Cana­dian Part­ner­ship Against Can­cer (CPAC), the Prince Ed­ward Is­land Can­cer Treat­ment Cen­tre be­gan a project with the aim of help­ing can­cer pa­tients quit smok­ing.

“In the past, staff would have not thought it was ap­pro­pri­ate to talk to a can­cer pa­tient about their smok­ing habits,” says Dawn MacIsaac, man­ager of the Can­cer Treat­ment Cen­tre.

“Old think­ing was that you don’t want to fur­ther bur­den some­one with can­cer by sug­gest­ing they quit smok­ing, but the re­al­ity is that even af­ter you have can­cer, quit­ting smok­ing is still the best thing you can do for your health and it im­proves the ef­fec­tive­ness of treat­ment.”

With the CPAC fund­ing, Health P.E.I. was able to train staff and em­bed the new model within the two can­cer treat­ment set­tings at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal (QEH) and Prince County Hos­pi­tal (PCH).

Early as­sess­ments found that 100 per cent of can­cer pa­tients at their first con­sul­ta­tion ap­point­ment at the cen­tres were be­ing asked about their smok­ing his­tory and be­ing ad­vised that quit­ting smok­ing is the most ben­e­fi­cial thing they can do for their health. Re­cent eval­u­a­tion of the pro­gram showed 55 per cent of cur­rent and re­cent smok­ers ac­cepted the of­fer to have fol­low-up with a staff mem­ber trained in quit coun­selling.

The coun­cil was so im­pressed by this progress that it pre­sented the cen­tre with an award at its AGM last month. Mar­lene Mul­li­gan, chair­woman of the coun­cil, says the mem­ber-based or­ga­ni­za­tion awards lo­cal lead­er­ship in to­bacco con­trol each year.

“We are thrilled to see Health P.E.I. take steps for­ward in to­bacco con­trol. Re­duc­ing the smok­ing rate and all its re­lated costs takes mea­sures on many fronts and help­ing those who are al­ready smok­ing is a key com­po­nent of an ef­fec­tive pro­vin­cial strat­egy.”

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