TORONTO – Today’s announcement of renewed support for cancer control by Prime Minister Harper is great news for Canadians. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is receiving a second 5-year mandate, to begin in 2012, and $250 million in funding to continue implementation of Canada’s national cancer control strategy.
“This is tremendous news for Canada’s cancer control community and for all Canadians. It represents significant confidence by the federal government in the positive impact we are having in reducing the burden of cancer,” says Dr. Simon Sutcliffe, Chair of the Partnership’s Board of Directors. “Effectively controlling cancer requires a dedicated and long-term focus. This is why a second mandate is so important for Canada. It allows the critical work underway with our cancer and chronic disease partners to continue – work that will benefit all Canadians. On behalf of the Partnership, I thank the Harper Government for their commitment to controlling cancer.”
The Partnership opened its doors in 2007 as a non-governmental organization funded by the federal government with an initial 5-year mandate to implement a cancer control strategy aimed at reducing the number of Canadians diagnosed with cancer, lessening deaths due to cancer and improving the quality of life of those affected by cancer. Defined by the collective vision, expertise and firsthand experience of more than 700 cancer leaders, advocates, patients and survivors, the strategy embraces the full spectrum of what is needed to control cancer: prevention, screening, data gathering, research, guidelines,standards, treatment and supportive care for patients and survivors.
“Cancer is the number one health concern for Canadians, and each of us plays a role in reducing its significant impact – that includes governments, cancer agencies, national health organizations, patient groups like the Canadian Cancer Society, and members of the public,” says Jessica Hill, CEO of the Partnership. “Our role is to coordinate with a broad range of partners in health from across Canada to find what is working best in one part of the country and make it available to others, to address gaps in evidence and to launch efforts to seek new knowledge. I am confident our second mandate will allow us to accelerate action together to address this complex disease.”
In the short time the Partnership has been in operation, this collaborative approach to advancing the best evidence to control cancer is yielding significant results, including:
- better access to and awareness of colorectal cancer screening, the second leading cause of cancer deaths;
- funding of a world-class research initiative to find out why some people get cancer and other chronic diseases, and others do not;
- improvements in cancer stage data collection and a new approach for reporting how Canada’s cancer system is performing;
- resources to help patients navigate a complex care system, deal with psychosocial and practical challenges, and help healthcare professionals identify which patients need more support on their cancer journey;
- supportive programs to help survivors adjust to life after treatment, when many are faced with physical, emotional and practical challenges, and;
- an innovative online community to support those working in or affected by cancer to share, develop and access the best evidence and information.
With this second five-year mandate, the Partnership looks forward to driving excellence in cancer and chronic disease prevention, screening, and cancer care, and focusing on improving the cancer journey for patients and their families – whether they need support to live well after they finish cancer treatment or require palliative and end of life care. An important part of this work is continuing joint efforts with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to address their unique cancer control needs and reduce the impact of cancer and chronic diseases in their communities.
“Cancer affects all of us. With over 40% of Canadians developing cancer in their lifetime and one in four likely to die of it, we all know someone who has cancer, who has lost someone to cancer or who is living as a survivor beyond cancer,” says Peter Goodhand, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society. “The strength of our national cancer control strategy is that so many dedicated organizations and people are contributing to its success across the country, including the Canadian Cancer Society. With this renewed commitment we will be able to continue this important work to realize the benefits that Canadians deserve.”
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