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Alberta can do better job helping people navigate cancer care, says patient

EDMONTON - An Alberta breast cancer survivor says if women are going to have to wait years for reconstructive surgery, the province needs to do a better job helping them along the way.

Lucia (loo-CHEE'-uh) Iorio (ee-ORR'-ee-oh) says after being treated for the cancer three years ago, she has had to go it alone tracking down health officials to find out timelines and options for followup care.

She says it's hard enough dealing with the physical and emotional trauma of cancer, never mind having to run what she calls — quote — "the hamster wheel of the health-care system."

Iorio made the statements at a news conference this morning with the opposition New Democrats.

NDP health critic Dave Eggen says it takes up to two years to see a plastic surgeon in Alberta and another year after that for surgery.

He says most other jurisdictions don't break down the wait times, but says the wait is shorter in B.C. and longer in Saskatchewan.

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