The P.E.I. government has established a committee to look at high rates of cancer and poor treatment outcomes in the province.

Dr. Ethan Laukkanen - custom

The cancer coordination steering committee will report to government by June, says Dr. Ethan Laukkanen. (CBC)

Every day on P.E.I. someone dies from cancer. The Island has one of the highest rates of cancer in men in Canada, and P.E.I. women are more likely to die if they get cancer.

The new cancer coordination steering committee will look at the full spectrum of cancer in the health care system, from cancer screening and diagnosis, to treatment and palliative care.

Oncologist Dr. Ethan Laukkanen, chair of the committee, said the goal is to save more lives.

"We would like to see the end result being lower incidence of cancer overall and better cancer outcomes, looked at from a number of angles," said Laukkanen.

Lori Barker, executive director the P.E.I. division of the Canadian Cancer Society, said the committee's goal is a better understanding of the issues on P.E.I.

Lori Barker - Custom

The committee will try to determine what is leading to higher incidence of cancer and higher death rates on P.E.I., says Lori Barker of the Canadian Cancer Society. (CBC)

"If it's to do with risk factors, if it's to do with early versus late detection, treatment," said Barker.

"Whatever the case may be, this group is really going to try to understand what's at play with those numbers."

Laukkanen said the committee plans to consult the public. Exactly how hasn't been decided yet. It will also look at standards in other provinces.

The goal is to submit a three-year strategy to government by June, along with at least one action project, probably aimed at lung cancer, by summer.