Minister Ambrose Celebrates Sarcoma Cancer Awareness Week in Canada

Communities Across Canada Unite in Support of Awareness and Education

OTTAWA, June 16, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, in front of the memorial to Canadian hero Terry Fox, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, alongside Diana Arajs, Chair of the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada, celebrated Sarcoma Cancer Awareness Week in Canada by shedding light on a still relatively unknown cancer.

While most Canadians have heard of Terry Fox, who ran across Canada to raise money for cancer research, and know that he died of cancer before he was able to complete his run, few are aware that he suffered from osteosarcoma, just one of over fifty different types of sarcoma.

In her remarks, Minister Ambrose underscored the importance of raising awareness and noted the Government of Canada's investment in establishing the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and its efforts to coordinate cancer control work across the country as well as support research focused on finding new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. She also applauded the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada for their invaluable efforts in raising awareness and providing patient education and support programs.

Sarcoma Cancer Awareness Week provides Canadians with an opportunity to learn more about sarcoma cancers and to reflect on the prevention, detection and treatment of this aggressive disease.  

Quick Facts

  • Sarcoma is a type of cancer that attacks connective tissues within the body, often causing tumours in muscles, bones, nerves, fat, and blood vessels. While sarcoma affects people of all ages, it is especially common in children and young adults.
  • Canadian icon Terry Fox, who ran across Canada to raise money for cancer research, had osteosarcoma, a form of sarcoma cancer of the bones.
  • Close to 1,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma cancer each year, as well as the many others diagnosed with osteosarcomas, and tragically, approximately 500 will die from one of the many types of sarcoma.
  • Since 2006, the Government of Canada has invested up to $50 million each year, through the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, to mobilize partners across the country to reduce the burden of cancer.
  • The Government of Canada has also invested more than $1.3 billion in cancer research through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research since 2006. This research is guiding the development of new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat different types of cancer including sarcoma.


"I am thrilled to participate in this year's event at such an important location – the memorial to Canadian icon Terry Fox. Many Canadians don't realize that Terry Fox died of sarcoma cancer, thus underscoring the important work to be done in raising awareness for sarcoma cancer. I applaud the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada on their work in raising awareness, promoting research and supporting patients and their families, which together will contribute to our shared goal of improving cancer treatment for Canadians."
Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

"The momentum we have seen since the inception of the awareness week truly is a result of the unwavering support from the sarcoma cancer community. We are so thankful for Minister Ambrose's continued support, and Daryl Kramp's effort to have the House of Commons officially recognize this important week. We also thank all of the patients and families across the country who are helping us to raise awareness about this forgotten cancer, not only this week, but throughout the year."
Diana Arajs
Chair of the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada

"This event is another reminder of the great courage demonstrated by Canadians who live with cancer, those who have survived the ordeal and those who have lost their battle to cancer. Though there have been improvements in both the detection and prevention of cancer, such as sarcoma, since Terry Fox had his bold vision to run across Canada, cancer remains a major challenge and health concern globally. Fortunately, with the support of patients, families and organizations such as the Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada, our talented researchers are tirelessly building on the remarkable advances of the last decades in cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment."
Stephen Robbins
Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Cancer Research

Associated Links
Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Ethan Pigott, Sarcoma Cancer Foundation of Canada Board Member,, (416) 558-2783; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, (613) 957-2983


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