MONTREAL, Sept. 1, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - On this first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Leucan, the Association for children with cancer, seizes the opportunity to highlight the importance of investing in clinical research in pediatric oncology.
In 40 years, the survival rate of children diagnosed with cancer five years post diagnosis has jumped from 15% to 82%. Though this positive increase is a bearer of hope, it still presents unique challenges: nearly 70% of pediatric cancer survivors will develop post-treatment sequelae and in 30% of those cases, the sequelae will be serious. This issue of considerable importance is little known by the general public, which is why Leucan is working to raise awareness as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Ten-year-old Willem Picard was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014. His family and he are the perfect example of the need to invest in research, as evidenced by the testimonial of Willem's mother, Caroline Simard: "Cases like Willem's are the more fatal to date. Brain tumours are less well known and receive less research funding. Consequently, both the mortality and sequelae rates remain high. As such, research is extremely important to find the right medications. For the time being, we cannot think in terms of recovery because a cure for Willem does not yet exist."
Research is without a doubt key to continually improve treatments and reduce adverse effects for cancer-stricken children. Over the last 20 years, Leucan invested more than $10 million in pediatric oncology research, making the Association the main funder of this type of research.
"We must make every effort to raise awareness about this issue and improve support so that survivors can enjoy a quality of life comparable to their peers and flourish as independent adults in our society," stated Pascale Bouchard, Executive Director of Leucan.
In September, Leucan urges the public to visit a participating PROXIM drugstore to purchase a Gold Ribbon, the emblem of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and wear it proudly in support of the cause. In conjunction with the sale of the Gold Ribbon, a contest will be launched on Instagram and one lucky winner will win a family pass for Voiles en Voiles (61 games in seven different aerial adventure courses suitable for all age groups).
Other initiatives will take place throughout September to commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, including a special lighting of Parliament Hill and the Montreal City Hall on September 17. Laiterie de Coaticook Ltd also endeavoured to donate to Leucan proceeds of the sales of vanilla ice cream containers in September.
For more than 35 years, Leucan has been supporting cancer-stricken children and their families from the day of diagnosis through every stage of the disease. As a loyal ally of hundreds of families and thousands of members across Quebec, the Association provides distinctive and tailored services delivered by a qualified team with a cutting edge expertise. Leucan also funds clinical research and the Leucan Information Centre. Thanks to its network of regional offices, Leucan is available to members across the province.
For further information: Anaïs Bastien, Communications and Marketing Adviser | Leucan, 514 731-3696, ext. 514, [email protected]