ANNUAL REPORT CARD ON CANCER IN CANADA(TM) REVEALS CANADIANS FIGHTING CANCER ON TWO FRONTS: THE DISEASE AND THE SYSTEM
Toronto, ON, April 12, 2011 – The Cancer Advocacy Coalition of Canada (CACC) reveals in its 2010-2011 Report Card on Cancer in Canada that the current roadmap for cancer care in this country presents patients with numerous unnecessary barriers to accessing the care and support they need, from prevention programs, to timely diagnostics and access to treatment. At a time when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable, too often Canadian cancer patients are forced to fight not only their disease, but the healthcare system as whole, making an already complex and challenging journey even harder.
“In the past two years approximately 345,000 Canadians were diagnosed with cancer and many of them will have encountered the numerous barriers and roadblocks to care that our healthcare system presents to cancer patients,” says Dr. Pierre Major, Co-Chair, CACC Board of Directors and Report Card Committee Chair. “As health professionals, we’re working against discouraging odds to adjust to increasing constraints, shifting priorities, growing caseloads and a lack of capital and human resources. We shouldn’t have to fight the system to get our patients the diagnostics and treatments we know they desperately need.”
The CACC’s annual Report Card on Cancer in Canada is the country’s only independent evaluation of cancer system performance. The 2010-2011 Report Card asks the question on behalf of all Canadians touched by cancer, “Why should our governments make an already tough fight even harder?”, and calls on governments to work together to find solutions to the current crisis in access to cancer care.
“This year’s Report Card highlights the burden carried by cancer patients as they cope with their disease and some issues in the design of cancer care that need improvement,” says Dr. Major. “Whether we look at the lack of prevention programs that could prevent thousands of women from developing breast cancer, or to the decline of clinical trials in Canada that provide patients access to new and potentially effective therapies, or to the under-utilization of nurse practitioners and pharmacists in cancer care, we see that our cancer care system needs an overhaul. Patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals are embattled at every turn, just to ensure patients have a fighting chance against this disease.”