Cancer is becoming a chronic disease in CanadaYet Canadians are not aware of survival rates OTTAWA (June 23, 2014) – Cancer is no longer a matter of life or death. Today, more and more Canadians are living long enough with cancer to see it as a chronic disease. However, the majority of Canadians and the health care system have not necessarily adapted to this change.
“The reality is that 63% of Canadians with cancer live for more than five years after diagnosis [i], and if the patient survives for more than a year, this figure rises to 81% [ii] “Says Jackie Manthorne, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Survivors Network (CCAN). “This requires a radical change in how to treat patients. We need to make sure people are aware of this change and that our system is adapting to meet the needs of people throughout their fight against cancer. ”
In addition, although survival rates are improving, according to a new RCSC-commissioned survey, Canadians believe that only 47% of cancer patients survive beyond five years, indicating that they are less aware of The chronic aspect of the disease.
Cancer: a chronic disease
Although there are still many cancers that rapidly strike and form metastases or are associated with low survival rates, for many patients it has become a chronic disease requiring constant treatment and support Side effects including nausea, pain and impaired immune system, as well as bone loss, heart disease and arthritis.
“The fight against cancer is radically different from what it was 15 years ago. Therapeutic advances have resulted in a vast improvement in survival rates for many forms of cancer and in many cases we hope to treat patients in the hope of curing them, “says Dr. Sandy Sehdev, medical oncologist at William Osler Health Center in Brampton, Ontario.
The CCSN survey
The CCSN survey found that 70% of Canadians do not know how long the side effects last or believe they last only a few weeks or months; However, these effects may persist for years and have a significant impact on the quality of life of patients.
“Canadians are confident that there will be a cure. 66% of canadians believe the cure will be found soon. “But in the meantime, we must continue to support patients in their fight against cancer. By ensuring that survivors have access to the medications they need. we allow them to focus on their struggle and live better and healthier lives. ”
About the Canadian Cancer Survivors Network
The Canadian Survivors Network is a national organization representing patients, survivors and relatives of people living with cancer. We have partnered with 30 groups representing a number of cancers and problems related to this disease. Our mission is to
- encourage collaborative effort,
- provide training and action opportunities,
- educate the public and cancer decision makers about the impact of cancer on financial, emotional costs
- encourage research to identify ways to overcome barriers to access and optimal patient care and appropriate follow-up.