Statement from Cynthia Morton, CEO, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer in support of the Quebec Government’s announcement of lung cancer screening pilot for the province on World No Tobacco Day

Monday, May 31, 2021 – (Toronto, Canada) – Today, on World No Tobacco Day, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) is pleased to congratulate Quebec’s Minister of Health and Social Services and the Quebec cancer community for their leadership on organized lung cancer screening. The Partnership is proud to be part of this work, and we know that more provinces and territories will follow in the months ahead.

Quebec has been a leader in many fields of cancer care, focused on new and better ways to prevent cancer, detect it early and treat it with world-class care. Lung cancer kills more people than colon, breast and prostate cancers combined in Canada because it is often detected at a late stage. We can change this with organized screening programs for people at high risk of developing the disease. Lung cancer screening is a priority for the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux’s Programme québécois de cancérologie (Quebec cancer program) as it is in the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control.

The Partnership acts as the steward of the Strategy and works with our partners in Quebec to embrace proven, life-saving new approaches to detecting and treating cancer at the earliest stage possible. We will continue to work with our partners in Quebec to make lung cancer screening programs available for people at high risk of the disease.

Lung cancer is the most common—and deadly—cancer. However, survival increases dramatically with early diagnosis: screening those at high risk for lung cancer can reduce deaths by up to 24 per cent.

I would like to thank our partners at Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ) for their contributions and commitment to this work.

We look forward to continuing to work together along with stakeholders of the Quebec cancer network as the province moves forward with program rollout.

-Cynthia Morton, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer CEO

The Partnership is pleased that the Quebec pilot will support the engagement with underserved populations and Indigenous communities to ensure equitable access to lung cancer screening for rural, remote and First Nations communities in the province. Designing lung cancer screening programs to meet the needs of underserved communities is an important step forward. Addressing the higher rates of smoking in particular populations, such as people living in remote or rural areas, is another. All developing programs across the country will include culturally appropriate smoking cessation supports to help people access the help they need to quit.

The Partnership is working with all provinces to, for the first time, implement organized lung cancer screening for people at high risk. The Partnership has made an initial investment of $5.0 million to this work to accelerate planning and implementation across Canada.

Find out more about the Partnership’s work to accelerate organized lung cancer screening across Canada and our report on Lung Cancer and Equity.


For further information, please contact: