Alberta Cancer Diagnosis (ACD) Initiative

Cancer Strategic Clinical NetworkTM


Did You Know?

diagnosis pathway of appraisal, help-seeking, diagnostic, and treatment

One in two Albertans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Early diagnosis is critical for better patient outcomes, but navigating a cancer diagnosis is complex.

The Cancer SCN is working with patients, families, communities and primary care to build and implement an Alberta Cancer Diagnosis program.

This program will be patient-centred and operate provincially. It will provide a single access point for all cancer diagnosis pathways, timely access to appropriate diagnostic work-up and referrals, and link patients to access supportive care and educational resources.

Our Vision

To expedite cancer diagnosis across Alberta by providing:

  • Patients: timely diagnosis and supports in navigating the cancer system
  • Primary care providers: consistent processes for accessing appropriate tests and referrals and enhanced communication to expedite and support patients through diagnosis
  • Health system: improved coordination and value through best use of resources, including elimination of unnecessary tests, avoidance of unnecessary hospitalization, and enhanced care in the community

Our goal is to design a program that is inclusive, equitable, and meets the needs of patients, providers and communities across Alberta.


Program Design

This transformative program has been co-designed by the people of Alberta, Primary Care, and health system stakeholders. The ACD initiative launched in December 2021, with engagement continuing throughout the project.

Work is currently in the design phase, focusing on clinical pathway development to support cancer diagnosis across Alberta. It is aims to improve patient outcomes and their experience navigating the health system and support them through their cancer journey.

Progress Updates

Information for Healthcare Providers

The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer has developed maps that show the complexity of navigating a cancer diagnosis. These maps highlight potential delays, barriers and interventions based on current practice in Canada and in different contexts (remote, rural and urban).


The CSCN broadly engaged the people of Alberta with a focus on those with unique needs (e.g., newcomers, people living in rural areas, Indigenous communities, older adults, the LGBTQ2S+ community, people with disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness

More than 120+ community members participated in focus groups, workshops and design testing. These activities produced a rich body of knowledge and insights about the desired state for cancer diagnosis in Alberta. The CSCN also connected with key stakeholders like primary care, specialists, and operational areas to co-design key functions of a provincial cancer diagnosis program. Learn more about our approach and what we learned to date: