Saskatchewan Cancer Agency

The Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (or SCA; this name has been used since 1997) is guided by the mandate set out in the Cancer Foundation Act of 1979, which changed the 1930 founding name of Saskatchewan Cancer Commission to Saskatchewan Cancer Foundation. The SCA is committed to providing programs for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer to the residents of Saskatchewan. Its two out-patient treatment centres provide radiation and chemotherapy treatment, as well as supportive care services. The current Saskatoon Cancer Centre building, located adjacent to the Royal University Hospital, opened in 1988. The Allan Blair Cancer Centre, within the Pasqua Hospital (previously the Regina Grey Nuns) in Regina since 1939, underwent a major expansion in 1996.

The patient lodges in Saskatoon and Regina, built by the Canadian Cancer Society and operated by the SCA, opened in 1983 and 1985 respectively, to provide a “home away from home” for out-of-town cancer patients. Provincial treatment programs include the Community Oncology Program of Saskatchewan (COPS) and the Malignant Hematology/Stem Cell Transplant Program. Since 1997, the COPS program, partnering regional health authorities and the SCA, provides selective chemotherapy treatments and supportive care in sixteen certified COPS centres throughout the province. This allows cancer patients to be treated closer to home. Since 1998, the Malignant Hematology/Stem Cell Transplant Program in Saskatoon provides highly specialized services in acute and chronic leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma management, and autologous (patient's own) and allogenic (related and unrelated donor) stem cell and bone marrow transplantation.

The Screening Program for Breast Cancer provides screening mammography for Saskatchewan women aged 50-69 who are not on active follow-up for breast cancer. The Prevention Program for Cervical Cancer was implemented in August 2003. The SCA is actively involved in basic biomedical, translational, clinical trials, and epidemiologic research. The Saskatchewan Cancer Research Unit, with a grant from the Terry Fox Foundation, began operation in 1990. It currently houses 40-60 scientific research staff, who are employed by the SCA or the University of Saskatchewan College of Medicine. The SCA employs a wide range of health professionals, including medical, radiation and pediatric oncologists, physicists, radiation therapists, nurses, social workers, and health records staff. It receives 96% of its annual funding in the form of an operating grant from the government of Saskatchewan, of which 79% goes to cancer treatment, 15% to prevention, education and screening, and 6% to research.

Robert Allan