Mr. Speaker, recently the MP for Cumberland—Colchester credited a free cancer screening clinic here on the Hill for detecting a mole diagnosed as malignant melanoma. He was lucky to have the screening and can now continue to enjoy his life.
The big cancer killers are lung, breast, colon and prostate cancers and, with the exception of breast cancer, there are no adequate screening programs in any province or territory in Canada despite scientific evidence that screening would be an effective tool to reduce both the incidence of cancer and deaths from cancer.
We as a nation continue to spend most of our health dollars treating cancer and very few dollars screening and preventing cancer. This policy has to be reversed. How long can we ignore scientific evidence that screening for cervical, prostate, breast and colorectal cancers saves lives in large numbers?
In rural areas, with the shortage of physicians, these screening programs are becoming a vital necessity. Swift and decisive action must be taken by Ottawa and the provinces to put these programs in place without delay.