April is Cancer Month and across the province, the country and the globe, people are working hard to combat cancer and its effects.
Last year, our Chief Public Health Officer released the 1980-2009 Cancer Trends Report for Prince Edward Island which provides us with a clear, realistic picture of our current cancer rates.
The report showed that with the increasing age of our Island population, we have seen the number of people diagnosed with cancer over the past 30 years rise.
However, in general, Islanders are living longer with cancer.
While significant improvements have been made in the area of cancer prevention and care, there is much more work to be done and our government plays an important part.
We have already brought in amendments to the Smoke Free Places Act, increased screening programs for colorectal and breast cancers, added cancer drugs to our provincial formulary, expanded the Cancer Treatment Centre and the cancer patient navigator program.
Most recently, we passed new legislation on restricted tanning bed use.
As well, we will be creating a task group to review the Cancer Trends report and make further recommendations as to where we need to focus next in cancer care.
Here on Prince Edward Island, we have many wonderful organizations who are working diligently to help in the fight against cancer.
I want to recognize the PEI Division of the Canadian Cancer Society and Lori Barker its executive director who is with us in the legislature today.
Today, we wear the daffodil to promote awareness for cancer screening and cancer research, to recognize the impact that cancer has on our community, to support those living and fighting cancer every day of their life, and to symbolize the work our community has done and will continue to do to battle cancer.
I ask that all Islanders support these efforts and show that support by wearing the daffodil pin or purchasing daffodils. Thank you.