As part of the Métis Nation of Ontario’s (MNO) Healing and Wellness initiatives, MNO frontline staff work with the Ontario Health’s Indigenous Cancer Care Unit (ICCU) to improve cancer care with, and for, Métis people in Ontario. This unit works to reduce inequities in care and access to cancer services to ultimately improve cancer outcomes. It does this by building regional capacity through Indigenous Navigators, Regional Indigenous Cancer Leads, and Project Coordinators and by developing Regional Indigenous Cancer Plans across the Regional Cancer Programs.
Building on the success of earlier Indigenous Cancer Strategies (II and III), the First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Urban Indigenous Cancer Strategy (2019-2024) highlights 7 strategic priorities that Ontario Health continues to implement to address the inequities, variations, and disparities experienced by First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous peoples in Ontario’s cancer system. This is done through collaborative partnerships and greater integration of care services. To aid in this goal, the MNO has undertaken multiple cancer research projects, including the Cancer Patient Journey Project and the Cancer Screening Research Study, which were completed collaboratively with the ICCU.
REPORT: Increasing Cancer Screening in the Métis Nation of Ontario (2022) — The MNO led a program of targeted, participatory research to better understand the burden of cancer and cancer risk factors among the Métis people in Ontario. Prior work suggests that cancer risk factors are more prevalent, and the incidence of some cancers are higher among the Métis than non-Indigenous people in Ontario. Some of this is detailed in the 2015 report (see below).
Building on this work, the MNO, Ontario Health (formerly Cancer Care Ontario) and Sunnybrook Research Institute partnered on a community-based study that aimed to examine factors that impact cancer screening among Métis in Ontario. A final report has been produced titled: Increasing Cancer Screening in the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO). The report found that key factors that impede participation in cancer screening among Métis included: limited Métis-specific resources and supports; widespread lack of cultural competency among healthcare providers; limited access to screening services; and challenges with long-distance travel to access services. An infographic summarizes key findings from the report.
REPORT: Cancer in the Métis People of Ontario: Risk Factors and Screening Behaviours (2015) Jointly developed by Cancer Care Ontario and the Métis Nation of Ontario this report showed that within the Métis population in Ontario, cancer risk factors are significantly higher when compared with the non-Indigenous provincial population. The report, Cancer in the Métis People of Ontario: Risk Factors and Screening Behaviours, identifies key factors that impact cancer rates in the Métis population and provides recommendations for cancer prevention and risk reduction.
Cancer Screening Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Cancer screening is a way to stay healthy. It is testing done on people with no symptoms who generally feel fine but may be at risk of getting cancer. Getting screened regularly is important because it can find some cancers or pre-cancers early, when treatment has a better chance of working.
Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) oversees 4 organized cancer screening programs in Ontario: breast, cervical, colorectal and lung. You can find up-to-date information about the screening programs and guidelines on the Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) website.
Breast, cervical, colorectal and lung cancer screening tests are free for eligible people in Ontario with an up-to-date Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card. Some financial supports for travel required to get to a screening appointment are available, for example, the Northern Health Travel Grant and MNO travel supports.
You might get a letter in the mail inviting you to participate in breast, cervical or colorectal cancer screening. The letters are part of Ontario’s organized cancer screening programs. They are to remind you about when you are eligible for screening. Sometimes screening test results are shared via a letter too. You can find more information about the letters on the Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) website.
Breast Screening Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
No, but if it is found early there is a good chance it can be cured.
Yes. Most women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
Yes. More than 80% of breast cancers are found in women over age 50.
If you are 50 years or more phone the Ontario Breast Screening Program for an appointment. If you are under 50 years discuss with your health practitioner.
Yes. You should see your doctor or nurse practitioner right away even though most changes are not cancerous.
Yes. 1% of all breast cancers happen in men.
Less than 1% of women are estimated to be at high risk for breast cancer.
See your doctor for a referral for screening based on your family and medical history.
Cervical Screening Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
70% of cervical cancer is caused by certain types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common family of viruses found in both males and females. Some HPV viruses cause genital warts and other HPV viruses cause cancer of the cervix.
HPV is passed from one person to another through intimate sexual contact and skin-to-skin contact.
A Pap Test is a screening test that looks for abnormal cells on the cervix. These cells could develop into a cancer if not found and treated.
Talk to your doctor about getting the HPV vaccine preferably before you are sexually active. The vaccine prevents 70% of HPV infections.
You can reduce your chances of developing cervical cancer by 90% by getting the HPV Vaccine, having regular Pap Tests performed, and having follow up Pap Tests performed if abnormal results are found.
No. There are no symptoms and often people do not know that they have an HPV infection until informed by a medical professional.