TORONTO — Canadians overwhelmingly support a national strategy to reduce the burden of cancer, saying the plan should prioritize providing timely access to cancer treatments, timely and effective access to cancer screening and spreading the use of effective prevention techniques.
“Working together on a national cancer control plan is bringing us closer to a future where fewer Canadians are living with cancer,” said Shelly Jamieson, Chief Executive Officer at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, which was set up by the federal government in 2007 to act as the steward of Canada’s national cancer control strategy. “Reducing the risk of cancer through prevention and early detection is a top priority for Canadians.”
The Partnership commissioned the poll, which shows 94% of respondents support the cancer strategy, in concert with today’s celebration of World Cancer Day. More than half of participants surveyed said addressing cancer should be a high priority for the federal and provincial governments.
Prevention and quality of life are priorities
Nearly two-thirds of respondents said emphasis should be placed on reducing the risk of cancer through prevention and early detection, while half of respondents said it was “extremely important” for the cancer control community to focus on enhancing the quality of life for those affected by cancer. Some 49% of respondents said it is equally important to lessen the likelihood of people dying from cancer.
Respondents said they felt good progress had been made in educating Canadians on cancer prevention, screening and care, improving access to high quality cancer information and improving support to cancer patients and their families, but felt more could be done to shorten screening wait times, improve the cost-effectiveness of cancer drugs and treatment, and improve access to cancer drugs and treatments in rural areas across the country.
Nearly half of all respondents who had personally experienced the cancer care system within the past five years said they were “extremely satisfied” with their experience of investigating symptoms or screening for the presence of cancer. Some 42% said they were “extremely satisfied” with their experience accessing different treatments in a timely fashion.
Nielsen Consumer Insights surveyed 2,543 Canadians by telephone on behalf of the Partnership between Nov. 6 and Dec. 3, 2014, yielding a margin of error of plus or minus 1.94% at the 95% confidence level. The data was weighted to be nationally representative of the Canadian population.
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About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer works with Canada’s cancer community to reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians. Grounded in and informed by the experiences of those affected by cancer, the organization works with partners to support multi-jurisdictional uptake of evidence that will help to optimize cancer control planning and drive improvements in quality of practice across Canada. Through sustained effort and a focus on the cancer continuum, the organization supports the work of the collective cancer community in achieving long-term population outcomes: reduced incidence of cancer, less likelihood of Canadians dying from cancer, and an enhanced quality of life of those affected by cancer.