History of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre

Historical Overview

pdfHistory of Tom Baker Cancer Centre:
Celebrating Cancer Care 1981-2011

Alberta’s leadership in cancer services commenced in 1940 with the enactment of the Cancer Treatment and Prevention act that established the first cancer services program for Albertans. The purposes of the program were to alleviate the economic hardship of cancer patients through payment of their medical expenses, provide centralized radiation and statistical services and a variety of services relating to early diagnosis and follow-up. Organized programs in prevention, education and research did not exist at that time.

Cancer services were administered by the Department of Health of the Provincial Government from 1940 until 1967 when the Provincial Cancer Hospitals Board was established and assumed responsibility for operating cancer treatment and research facilities in Alberta. In 1982 the Cancer Treatment and Prevention Act was replaced with the enactment of the Cancer Programs Act and the renaming of the governing body to the Alberta Cancer Board. Revisions to the Cancer Programs Act were made in 1983, 1984 and in 1992. The 1984 amendment to the act established the Alberta Cancer Foundation, a charitable organization with the mandate to solicit and receive donations to support the purposes of the Alberta Cancer Board in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer and cancer research.