Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network physician leads study to reduce risk of cancer

EDMONTON, Oct. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - A family physician with the Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network (PCN) is leading an innovative cancer prevention initiative.

CHANGE Cancer Alberta aims to increase physical activity, improve diets and reduce obesity among adult patients identified as at risk for cancer due to diet and physical activity behaviours.

The initiative is patterned after the very successful CHANGE (Canadian Health Advanced by Nutrition and Graded Exercise) program created by leading health professionals at Metabolic Syndrome Canada to provide family medicine clinics with tools they need to offer effective, lasting lifestyle intervention to patients. In a recent feasibility study, the CHANGE program was found to improve metabolic syndrome clinical indicators—a decrease in blood pressure, Body Mass Index, fasting blood sugar, triglycerides and an increase in HDL or good cholesterol—and reduce patients' risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"As is the case with metabolic syndrome, body weight, diet and physical inactivity are all modifiable risk factors for cancer prevention," said Dr. Doug Klein, the principal investigator for CHANGE Cancer Alberta and a family physician with Edmonton Oliver PCN. "A primary care setting is ideal for identifying patients at risk for cancer who would benefit from interventions targeting lifestyle behavioural risk factors."

Based on risk factors, a custom diet and exercise program will be developed for each patient who participates in the study. Patients will be assessed for their suitability and, if accepted, will be expected to attend followup visits at regular intervals with their family physician, dietitian and exercise specialist.

Edmonton Oliver PCN was one of three primary care sites in Canada to participate in the original CHANGE research project and has implemented the CHANGE Program across the PCN. Colleen Enns, executive director at the Edmonton Oliver PCN, is excited about the possibilities of CHANGE Cancer Alberta. "We have great programs in place to help our patients manage their health. We're excited about reducing the demand for those programs through this type of prevention initiative. It's what primary care is all about."

CHANGE Cancer Alberta will be evaluated in 16 PCNs across Alberta over three years. It is a partnership between the University of Alberta, Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund (ACPLF) and Metabolic Syndrome Canada (www.metabolicsyndromecanada.ca). Stakeholders have been engaged from Primary Care Networks (PCNs), Strategic Clinical Networks, Alberta Health Services, Toward Optimized Practice (TOP) and subject matter experts across Canada.

About the Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network

The Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network serves over 150,000 patients in Edmonton clinics. The network's family physicians and clinic staff work with a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals to provide coordinated care for patients and support healthy lifestyle choices.

SOURCE Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network

Image with caption: "Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network (CNW Group/Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151014_C3322_PHOTO_EN_520471.jpg

For further information: Media inquiries may be directed to: Colleen Enns, Executive Director, Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network, Phone: 780.243.1278, Web: edmontonoliverpcn.com


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