Campaign launched to improve colon cancer care at Nanaimo Hospital

By Ian Holmes
May 2, 2019 - 1:17pm Updated: May 3, 2019 - 9:52am

NRGH surgeon Dr. Daneil Jenkin explaining the dire need to expand the Endoscopy Dept. at Nanaimo Hospital.Ian Holmes/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — A new cancer detecting suite at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital is hoped to save lives by attacking a lengthy wait list.

The Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation launched a new $1.5 million campaign to expand capacity primarily geared toward colonoscopies.

Dr. Daniel Jenkin said 3,500 people wait up to a year for colon cancer screenings at Nanaimo Hospital, as well as other serious ailments.

“We're getting up to 50 bookings a day and we can do max 20,” Dr. Jenkins said. “By increasing our capacity we can get up to possibly 30 a day and be treading water a little better. Obviously with any kind of cancer the earlier you catch it the easier it is to treat.”

Pre-cancerous tumours can be removed at the time of a colonoscopy, Dr. Jenkin said.

He estimated 35 to 40 people on an NRGH wait list to get a colonoscopy have colon cancer but don't know it.

Hospital Foundation CEO Janice Perrino hoped the money could be raised and the project completed in a year.

"Our community demands the very best in healthcare and this hospital and staff provide that but they don't have the pysical space and we're gonig to make sure that they have it," Perrino said.

The Foundation's previous fundraising project of a new cardiology department is expected to open with a year.

 

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