Life after cancer: Transforming the post-treatment experience

The Partnership is supporting research, programs and partners across Canada to better meet the needs of people living with cancer.

It is estimated that 1.5 million people in Canada are living with and beyond cancer 25 years after diagnosis.1 While this is good news for people experiencing cancer, it requires new ways of addressing the needs of those transitioning from treatment to follow-up care and support services. The Partnership’s new hub, Life after cancer: Transforming the post-treatment experience, highlights how partners across Canada, with the support of the Partnership, are addressing patients’ needs after cancer treatment and makes resources related to cancer survivorship readily available to healthcare organizations, providers and people living with and beyond cancer.

Since 2012, the Partnership has been working with partners across the cancer system to learn more about the experience of people living with and beyond cancer and support initiatives that address their physical, practical and emotional needs.

In 2016, the Partnership heard directly from more than 13,000 people living with cancer who responded to the Experiences of Cancer Patients in Transitions Study. We learned that two-thirds of those living with cancer report difficulties after treatment, particularly during the first six to 12 months and that challenges faced by people living with cancer are amplified for those from diverse and equity-denied populations. These insights led to investments and collaboration with partners to design tools and resources for post-treatment care and most importantly, people living with cancer, as they navigate their journey.

By curating these resources, the Partnership is supporting wide adoption and adaptation of these initiatives by partners in their own jurisdictions and beyond – we can “work smarter, not harder” by sharing and building capacity in the cancer system.

These resources focus on addressing a range of challenges experienced by people living with and beyond cancer:

  • physical challenges – including fertility as well as the transfer of care following cancer treatment and returning to primary or community care;
  • practical challenges – including finding supports in the community and support for returning to work; and
  • emotional and mental health challenges.

Additionally, population specific resources for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) and First Nations, Inuit and Métis have been designed to support diverse, and equity denied populations.

Explore the Partnership’s hub: Life after cancer: Transforming the post-treatment experience

[1] Brenner, D. R., Gillis, J., Demers, A. A., Ellison, L. F., Billette, J.-M., Zhang, S. X., Liu, J. L., Woods, R. R., Finley, C., Fitzgerald, N., Saint-Jacques, N., Shack, L., & Turner, D. (2024). Projected estimates of cancer in Canada in 2024. CMAJ, 196(18), E615–E623.