Cancer Data, Engagement and Planning


​​First Nations Cancer Data in BC

In BC, we have First Nations-specific cancer data to learn from. There are certain cancers that we are seeing more often than before among First Nations people and this is signaling a need to ask more questions about access to health care and the responsiveness of the health system.

Information regarding cancer and First Nations people in BC, including some recent trends:

  • Rates of cervical cancer and colorectal cancer are higher among First Nations people in BC compared to other residents.
  • First Nations men and women have an increasing rate of lung cancer.
  • Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among First Nations women and people with breasts.
  • Some cancers, such as cervical cancer, are on average found later in First Nations in BC, illustrating the need for access to primary health care and screening.
  • First Nations people in BC have a lower rate of overall cancer diagnoses compared to other residents, when looking at all types of cancer diagnoses together. This may be due to a number of reasons, including screening rates. The FNHA is exploring these reasons further.
  • Physical distance to care, availability of trusted health care providers, safety and trustworthiness of providers and service, and individual past experiences with health services are examples of factors that can impact access.
  • Accessing screening and treatment early may contribute to positive health outcomes, such as longer survival rates after diagnosis.
  • More work is needed to support cultural safety and humility in the health system and also to increase availability of screening and care in all areas throughout BC, including in rural and remote areas. 


To learn more:

Cancer and First Nations Peoples in B C: A Community Resource

Cancer Among First Nations People Living in BC 

What We Heard About Cancer Prevention Infographic


Indigenous patients gathered in November, 2018 to share their experiences to inform cancer care quality improvement planning. 

To learn more:​

Indigenous Patient Partner Map

Journey Mapping in Cancer Care Report 

Health Attitudes and Beliefs Survey – Cancer Prevention

The FNHA supported the gathering of survey input from First Nations community members in 2018 and 2019. Some survey questions focused on cancer prevention.

Strategic Planning and Cancer​


The FNHA in partnership with BC Cancer, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres and Métis Nation BC jointly developed a provincial strategy in 2017 to identify key priorities for quality improvement work to best support the health and wellness needs of Indigenous community members in relation to cancer. 

Partnered work continues towards the goals, objectives and actions within this strategy. To learn more, visit Improving Indigenous Cancer Journeys: A Road Map.

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