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Bluewater Health Celebrates Cancer Survivors

7,436 Visits to Bluewater Health Cancer Clinic Last Year

SARNIA & PETROLIA – June 2, 2017 – June 4 is National Cancer Survivors Day, and Bluewater Health is celebrating not only our patients who are cancer survivors, but also the hospital’s best-in-class cancer care.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Canadian Cancer Statistics, about two in five Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime, and about one in four Canadians will die of cancer. In 2016, approximately 202,400 Canadians developed cancer, and 78,800 died of the disease.

“The majority of cancers we see and treat at Bluewater Health are breast, colorectal, lung and prostate,” says Dr. Ken Yoshida, Oncologist, Bluewater Health. “Once the need for a referral to a specialist is identified, we are able to proceed with an appointment in less than two weeks in most cases.”

Bonnie Griffin has first-hand experience as a cancer survivor. Thanks to a routine mammogram, Bluewater Health’s Cancer Clinic and the assistance of Patient Navigator Sarah Canning, Griffin has now completed her treatment. “Sarah took me from depression to feeling like a human again,” she says. “I received a call from her shortly after my biopsy was completed and she helped me understand what was ahead of me and what to expect. She stayed with me throughout my journey with cancer, and I’m grateful to Bluewater Health and the LHIN for providing this resource to make my experience with cancer easier to manage.” Griffin underwent a biopsy on November 9, 2016, and had a lumpectomy on November 30 before undergoing radiation treatment in London.

“Cancer Care Ontario measures Bluewater Health’s performance for cancer wait times, which are among the best in Ontario,” says Samer Abou-Sweid, VP, Operations, Bluewater Health. “In fact, wait times for diagnostics, colonoscopy screening, consultations, surgery and systemic treatment are in the top 10% of the province. Prostate cancer surgeries at Bluewater Health have seen a dramatic increase in volumes while remaining within or better than target wait times in 100% of cases. We are proud of our high-quality care and our low wait times.”

‘Wait One’ is the percentage of patients seen within the target from the date of their referral, to the date of their first surgical consult. ‘Wait Two’ is the percentage of patients seen within the target from the date of the decision to treat, to the date of treatment. The provincial target is 90% for all priority levels. In 2016/2017, Bluewater Health performed better than the provincial average in each of its cancer specialties for Wait One, reaching 100% for three quarters for gynecological and breast cancers, and one quarter for gastrointestinal. The organization achieved 100% for Wait Two for gynecological and prostate cancers and cancers of the head and neck in the same time period.

The team of specialists also participates in multidisciplinary cancer conferences, in which patient cases are presented with regional experts, and surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and radiation oncologists discuss the case as a larger team to ensure all appropriate tests, suitable treatment options and the most appropriate treatment recommendations are generated for each cancer patient.

Slightly more men than women get cancer in Canada, and the vast majority (89%) of Canadians who develop cancer are over the age of 50. Overall, the five-year net survival for people diagnosed with cancer is about 60%, but it varies widely by the type of cancer, the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer at diagnosis, and the availability of early detection, diagnostic and treatment services.

Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit www.bluewaterhealth.ca or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.


For more information contact:

Julia Oosterman
Chief, Communications & Public Affairs
Bluewater Health