Working Together to Improve Control of Cancer in Canada

    Canadian Partnership Against Cancer marks World Cancer Day by reporting
    on progress

    TORONTO, Feb. 4 /CNW/ - Today is World Cancer Day. The Canadian
Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) is marking the occasion by
reporting to Canadians on the key accomplishments and progress to date in
advancing the country's cancer control strategy.
    Canada is one of several countries worldwide committed to implementing a
national strategy aimed at systematically reducing cancer rates and deaths and
improving patients' lives.
    "A ground-breaking population study in cancer risk, electronic checklists
for surgeons, screening patients for pain and distress to better provide
relief, and a shared national approach to colorectal cancer screening are just
a few examples of Canada's cancer control strategy in action," says Jessica
Hill, CEO, the Partnership.
    "On a day dedicated to raising awareness of the global impact of cancer,
we are releasing this progress report to demonstrate Canada's collective
commitment to reducing the burden of cancer on patients and their families.
Together with our partners, we are taking steps to ensure Canadians are served
by the highest quality cancer control system possible."

    The Need is Great

    Despite advances in cancer prevention, detection and treatment, the
number of Canadians diagnosed with cancer continues to rise, and cancer will
be leading cause of death world-wide by 2010, according to the World Health
Organization (WHO). This year, it is estimated that almost 74,000 Canadians
will die of cancer and more than 165,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with the
    The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) began
operations in April 2007, with the mandate to oversee implementation of
Canada's cancer control strategy - a plan developed by hundreds of
stakeholders in the cancer community. The Partnership works with governments,
federal agencies, patient organizations, provincial cancer agencies,
professional associations and others to bring Canada's cancer control strategy
to life and create a more coordinated and efficient cancer control system. The
Partnership's work spans cancer prevention, screening and early diagnosis,
research, the patient journey and survivorship, quality and standards, health
human resources, surveillance, and guidelines.
    "On World Cancer Day, it's important for us to recognize that we are all
touched by cancer, but together, we can make a difference," said Dr. Barbara
Whylie, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society. "In the future, I'm convinced that the
improvements in the cancer control system sparked by the Partnership will mean
that cancer patients and all those touched by cancer will have better support
and suffer less unnecessary hardship."

    Partnership + Momentum = Progress

    The following highlights information presented in the Partnership's
Progress Report released today:

    -   Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, Canada's largest ever
        population study, will see researchers follow 300,000 healthy adults
        over the next 30 years. The study will examine interactions between
        genetic variations, environmental exposures, and the subsequent
        impact on cancer risk, as well as other chronic diseases.

    -   Building on the internationally groundbreaking work done in Alberta
        with funding from Canada Health Infoway, the Synoptic Reporting
        project is introducing standardized electronic checklists for cancer
        surgeries. This project focuses on improving collection and use of
        surgery and treatment information through standardized electronic
        reports, and supports surgeons' use of best practices and ensures
        that clinicians and patients have the information needed for
        appropriate treatment and follow-up.

    -   The Colorectal Cancer Screening Network is developing a shared
        approach to colorectal cancer screening across the country. Part of
        this work involves developing elements for common information
        databases, building greater public and professional awareness of the
        importance of colorectal screening, and working with clinical
        partners to improve the quality and consistency of colorectal

    -   The Partnership has united over 100 leaders in immunization, HPV
        surveillance, screening and diagnosis, resulting in a consensus on
        priority actions around HPV screening and vaccination. A key goal is
        to ensure that information on HPV immunization and screening on
        individual women is able to be integrated by the time those young
        women currently being vaccinated reach the age of screening (18 to

    -   The benefits of research must reach the individual to make a
        difference. The Partnership is collaborating with the Terry Fox
        Research Institute to strengthen translational research that will
        enable discoveries to translate quickly into practical solutions for
        cancer patients worldwide. The Partnership has committed to
        collaborating on projects that involve using biomarkers to advance
        screening and treatment.

    -   Smoking, poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, obesity and
        alcohol - these are all associated with cancer and other chronic
        illnesses such as heart and lung disease and diabetes. The
        Partnership's CLASP initiative will identify groups of experts and
        front-line practitioners involved in prevention of cancer and other
        chronic diseases to provide advice and support for the development of
        evidence-based prevention programs.

    About World Cancer Day

    Marked annually on February 4, World Cancer Day aims to raise awareness
of the global impact of cancer and increase understanding of prevention,
detection, treatment and care. It is coordinated by the International Union
Against Cancer and is supported internationally by members and partners,
including WHO and the Partnership. For more information on World Cancer Day

    About The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

    The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is an independent organization
funded by the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control for
all Canadians. We are bringing together cancer survivors, patients and
families, cancer experts and government representatives to implement the first
pan-Canadian cancer control strategy. Our vision is to be a driving force to
achieve a focused approach that will help prevent cancer, enhance the quality
of life of those affected by cancer, lessen the likelihood of dying from
cancer, and increase the efficiency of cancer control in Canada.
    For more information or to download a copy of the Progress Report please

For further information:

For further information: Matt Salvatore, Hill & Knowlton Canada, (613)
786-9958; Polly Thompson, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, (416) 915-9222

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