Many hearts, many minds, one goal

Raissa Tetanish
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District cancer committee honoured for work

With the same goals of cancer awareness, education and living in mind, a group of roughly 16 people were honoured Wednesday by the province for the steps they've taken at achieving those goals.

The group, who are all members of a local cancer committee, were presented with plaques by Theresa Marie Underhill, chief operating officer for Cancer Care Nova Scotia.

Many hearts, many minds, one goal

With the same goals of cancer awareness, education and living in mind, a group of roughly 16 people were honoured Wednesday by the province for the steps they've taken at achieving those goals.

The group, who are all members of a local cancer committee, were presented with plaques by Theresa Marie Underhill, chief operating officer for Cancer Care Nova Scotia.

"It's days like today that make me think back years ago to 1998 when Cancer Care Nova Scotia was created. One of our first steps was to go across the province to find out what are the real issues to you, what should be priorities," Underhill said to about two dozen people gathered in the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre cafeteria.

One of the things people across Nova Scotia need to do is be on the same page to move forward, says Underhill. There also needs to be more education.

In this district, the cancer growth rate from 1995 to 2004 was 20 per cent. There are 250 new cancer cases diagnosed in the district every year. Underhill says it's the norm across the province.

When honoured with their plaques, members of the committee had to talk about the different ways they've been involved in cancer awareness.

Carol Amirault, along with many others, have been involved with frontline education on palliative care.

But because of the work people such as the 16 people have been doing across the province, Nova Scotia has become a leader.

"Nova Scotia has been recognized as a leader, not just across Canada, but internationally," Underhill said. "We've become a leader in patient education, patient navigation and professional education."

As Underhill puts it, it's about the patients and their families.

"I always say that a person doesn't have cancer, a family does."



rtetanish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cancer Care Nova Scotia, Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Canada

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