Sunday, November 26, 2006

An Unwanted Journey: Day 0368 - A New Hope

12.6 men die daily of colorectal cancer in Canada. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada.

But today, there is reason to hope. The Canadian government has just announced a $260-million plan to equalize treatment across Canada where geography often means that state-of-the-art cancer treatment protocols are unevenly distributed to those most in need. Friday at the Montreal General Hospital, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a new agency called the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer would implement a new, 5-year strategy.

From a cancer survivor's perspective, the effort is truly admirable since it was conceived and developed by 700 cancer survivors and experts. The objective of the strategy and agency is to prevent, detect and treat cancer faster. The hope is that the new plan will prevent 1.2 million new cases of cancer and prevent 400,000 deaths from cancer over the next 30 years.

Current trends are staggering. Over 44% of men and 38% of women in Canada will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Over 24% of women and 29% of men will die of cancer. In the next 20 years, 3.6 million Canadians will get cancer and 1.7 million will die of the disease.

In my particular case, I have been extremely fortunate to have had the geographic advantage of living in the Region of Waterloo. The recently constructed Grand River Regional Cancer Centre was the location of all of my treatment, with the exception of surgery in the adjacent Grand River Hospital. Not all cancer patients in Canada have such advantages. But perhaps the new agency and the new national plan will make equal access to cancer treatment a more realistic goal in Canada.

1 comment:

RDoc said...

the main form of prevention is just to do regular screens FOBT, colonsopy etc.