Cancer is made up of more than 200 individual diseases, each with its own unique causes, risk factors and care pathways. It takes more than one physician or clinic to treat and control cancer; it takes an entire healthcare team that includes, among others, public health professionals, family physicians, oncologists, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, spiritual care providers and community volunteers working in a variety of institutions and care settings.
The cancer system begins with prevention and health promotion, with the ultimate goal being to prevent cancer in the first place. The detection and care of cancer patients involves every area of the healthcare system in some way.
While there are many health professionals, organizations and groups involved in cancer prevention and care, Cancer Care Ontario works to ensure cancer services are well planned and coordinated across the province.
Cancer Care Ontario is the provincial agency responsible for continually improving cancer services. As the government’s cancer advisor, Cancer Care Ontario:
Directs and oversees close to $700 million public health care dollars to hospitals and other cancer care providers to deliver high-quality, timely cancer services.
Implements provincial cancer prevention and screening programs designed to reduce cancer risks and raise screening participation rates.
Works with cancer care professionals and organizations to develop and implement quality improvements and standards.
Uses electronic information and technology to support health professionals and patient self-care and to continually improve the safety, quality, efficiency, accessibility and accountability of cancer services.
Plans cancer services to meet current and future patient needs, and works with health care providers in every Local Health Integration Network to continually improve cancer care for the people they serve.
Rapidly transfers new research into improvements and innovations in clinical practice and cancer service delivery.
Ontario’s cancer system has 14 regional cancer centres.
Regional Cancer Programs
The cancer system is organized into Regional Cancer Programs (RCPs) corresponding with the province's 14 Local Health Integration Networks. RCPs are networks of healthcare providers, including regional cancer centres, and stakeholders including patient groups involved in providing cancer prevention, screening, and diagnostic and treatment services in the LHIN.
Each RCP is led by a Cancer Care Ontario Regional Vice President who also leads the regional cancer centre (RCC), which is located in the LHIN area.
The Regional Cancer Programs were established in 2005 to respond to local cancer issues and needs; to act on provincial quality standards for cancer services locally; and to improve wait times, access and quality by managing and coordinating care across local and regional providers – including hospitals, CCACs, public health and primary care.
Regional Cancer Programs are designed to ensure that all Ontarians receive a consistently high quality of cancer care, as close to home as possible.
Find out more about the Regional Cancer Programs