Three out of four Canadians have been touched by cancer, but many don't feel prepared to support themselves or their loved ones

TORONTO, March 30, 2015 /CNW/ - More than 75% of Canadians have had a personal connection with cancer, whether through their own diagnosis or that of a loved one, according to a new survey commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society. The survey, released ahead of the charity's annual Daffodil Month fundraising campaign, also shows that more than half (56%) do not feel well equipped to support themselves, a friend or loved one with cancer.

"When I was diagnosed with colon cancer, I felt disoriented and scared. My family and friends tried to help but they just didn't have a full understanding of what I was going through," says Randy Dalton, a colon cancer survivor and peer support volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society who has so far shared his experience with more than 35 others going through their own cancer journey. "Looking back, knowing that there was someone I could talk to who could relate to what I was experiencing, would have been invaluable. It's the reason why I volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society as a peer support specialist – so I can help others who may be going through a similar experience."

The survey was conducted by Angus Reid in March 2015 and includes responses from 2,198 Canadians across the country. The results also show that upon learning of a cancer diagnosis, fewer than half of Canadians (49%) searched for information, while only 19% looked into support services.

The internet is a great source of information, but when it comes to cancer, the accuracy of that information can be questionable. The Canadian Cancer Society provides reliable information that is grounded in scientific fact. The Society can help answer questions about more than 200 different types of cancer and can connect people with services that can help them or loved ones through their cancer journey. These services have also been proven to help decrease stress and anxiety for patients and family caregivers.

"The results of this survey clearly illustrate the need for the Canadian Cancer Society's information and support services," said Pamela Fralick, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society. "We are calling on Canadians to help spread the word about our services so people can feel better equipped to help those with the disease."

By reaching out to the Canadian Cancer Society, people can:

  • Ask a trained cancer information specialist questions about cancer, prevention, supports and more
  • Talk to someone who's had a similar cancer experience
  • Connect, day or night, to get support through online communities
  • Get support to quit smoking, remain smoke-free or help someone quit smoking

These services are free, personalized and confidential. To connect, call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca.

"It's important to note that the Canadian Cancer Society's vital services are supported by Daffodil Month and our other fundraising programs," adds Fralick. "Without the support of donors, we simply would not be able to offer these services that help so many people."

During Daffodil Month in April, volunteers across the country are involved in numerous activities to raise funds for the fight against cancer, including selling daffodil pins and flowers. Money raised during Daffodil Month helps cancer patients and their families in communities across Canada. In addition to services, donations fund life-saving research and other important work so that fewer Canadians are touched by the disease.

This April, join the fight. Support Canadians living with cancer during Daffodil Month. Find out more at cancer.ca/daffodil.

About the survey
From March 5 to 11, 2015, an online survey was conducted among 2,198 Canadians who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. A probability sample of this size has a margin of error of +/- 2.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to age, gender and regional census data to ensure a sample representative of the adult population aged 18+.

About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934). Make your gift today at cancer.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (National Office)

For further information: Christine Harminc, Communications Manager, Canadian Cancer Society, christine.harminc@cancer.ca, 416 934-5340

RELATED LINKS
http://www.cancer.ca

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