Through improved screening, detection, better and more targeted therapies and the uptake of evidence-based treatment guidelines, cancers are becoming chronic diseases. However, this good-news story has implications for human resource planning and resource allocation. Population-based chronic disease management is a necessary approach to deal with the growing burden of chronic disease in Canada. In this model, an interdisciplinary team works with and educates the patient to monitor symptoms, modify behaviours and self-manage the disease between acute episodes. In addition, the community as a whole is more attuned to disease prevention and risk factor management. Trusted, high-quality evidence-based protocols and healthy public policies that have an impact on the entire population are needed to minimize the harmful effects of chronic disease. Assuming we can overcome the challenges in recruitment, training and new role development, enlightened healthcare teams and community members will work together to maintain the population's health and wellness and to reduce the incidence and burden of chronic disease in Ontario.
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