Affected by colorectal cancer in Nova Scotia?


Our friends at Cancer Care Nova Scotia sent us the following message to share with you about colorectal cancer diagnosis and referral standards. Please have a look, and get in touch with them if colorectal cancer has affected your life.

A clinical standard provides doctors and all other health care professionals with clear direction about the kind of tests and treatments needed for a certain cancers, where they need to take place and in what time frame they need to occur to ensure patients receive high quality care, based on the latest evidence.

Cancer patients/survivors and their families have a valuable role to play in the development of clinical standards because they have experienced the system first-hand. They know the issues that are important.

Cancer Care Nova Scotia has developed the draft Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Referral Standards and they are designed to support and guide healthcare providers and patients through the diagnostic period of colorectal cancer. The diagnostic period is from the time a person first visits a doctor or nurse practitioners with symptoms or warning signs that might indicate colorectal cancer through until they are told they definitively have cancer. The diagnostic period also applies when someone has a positive screening test for colorectal cancer (FIT or screening colonoscopy).  In this case, the diagnostic period begins from their positive test result, until the patient is told they have cancer.

A first draft of these standards is complete and we want to hear from colorectal cancer patients/survivors and their families to ensure that these draft standards reflect the patient perspective.

How you can contribute:

We are looking to hear from colorectal cancer patients/survivors and family members. Because of your experience, your thoughts and comments will help us create Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Referral Standards that meet the needs of Nova Scotians.

There are two ways you can help us:

1. Online Survey: 

2. Focus Groups: 

Review the draft standards and participate in a focus group. Spaces are limited, and the registration deadline is Friday, October 3. Focus groups will be held in:

To register for the focus groups, please call Jill Petrella at 902-473-2936/ 1-866-599-2267 or email by October 3.

If you are interested in the focus groups but don’t live in Halifax Sydney or Truro, or are unavailable at these times, please contact Jill to discuss.

If you are interested in contributing, please visit On the website you will find:

You can choose to participate in one way, or both. If you choose to participate in the focus group, you will be asked to review the draft Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Referral standards prior to your participation in the session.

If you know of anyone else who has experienced colorectal cancer and would be interested in giving feedback on the draft standards, please feel free to forward this information to them.  The more we hear from patients, survivors and their families, the better.

How will your contribution be used? A summary report will be given to the Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Referral Standards Working Group for consideration. Your name and contact information will be kept confidential. The report will not identify who gave what information. A copy of the report, along with the final clinical standards will be available on the Cancer Care Nova Scotia website.

If you would like to talk about this in more detail or if you have any questions or concerns, please call Jill Petrella at 902-473-2936/1-866-599-2267, or email

We thank you for your time and support.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah MacDonald

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