Cancer Care Ontario – My time so far with the Cancer Surveillance and Registry Team

I am completing my practicum at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) in the Cancer Surveillance and Registry department. While I’ll be participating in a number of Surveillance-related activities, the main focus of my practicum will be to evaluate the CCO SEER*Stat Package – Release 10. The CCO SEER*Stat package contains the SEER*Stat software, which was originally developed by the National Cancer Institute in the United States, and de-identified data from the Ontario Cancer Registry. This allows analysts and other public health professionals to generate tailored incidence and mortality statistics at the provincial, Census division, PHU, or LHIN level which guides decision-makers in cancer-related policy and program development. I am currently in the process of developing our evaluation matrix for this project and will begin data collection in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for further updates!

Since beginning my practicum, one of the most interesting activities in which I participated was the Knowledge Translation (KT) Advisory Committee Workshop for the Canadian Population Attributable Risk of Cancer (ComPARe) research project. ComPARe aims to quantify the number and proportion of cancer cases in Canada, now and projected to the year 2045, attributable to specific modifiable lifestyle and environmental risk factors. The main objectives of this Workshop were to obtain input from stakeholders on their priorities and goals for ComPARe, discuss how the findings might be used, communicated and disseminated, and obtain input for the ComPARe KT template. It was really interesting to hear stakeholders from across the country, each in their own unique fields, provide their perspectives on KT strategies and dissemination channels for this project. I was able to listen and participate in the discussions with this multi-disciplinary group and I learned a lot about stakeholder engagement and KT in the process. This was definitely a valuable and unique experience for me.

It has been great learning from and working with members of the Cancer Surveillance and Registry Team – a group of hardworking, and talented individuals.  I have really enjoyed the positive and supportive team dynamic here and have learned a lot about cancer surveillance, knowledge translation, and project and dissemination planning among other things. I am looking forward to the rest of my time here at Cancer Care Ontario and the experiences it will bring!