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Cancer - About Us

Every year, millions of Canadians are affected by cancer, either through personal struggle, or by supporting a family member, friend or neighbour who suffers from this devastating disease. The Government’s commitment [is] to keep Canadians and their families healthy, to help doctors detect cancer sooner and give health-care workers, support groups and survivors the help they need to fight back.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper - March 10, 2011

Every hour an average of 20 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and eight will die from it. Cancer is now the leading cause of death in Canada and an estimated 177,800 new cases will be diagnosed in 2011.

Many cancers can be prevented or controlled through early detection, diet and physical activity, reduction of smoking and use of alcohol, and other healthy behaviours.

Recognizing the growing burden of cancer, the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial partners and over 700 cancer experts and survivors developed the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. The Strategy addresses eight areas regarding cancer:

  • primary prevention
  • screening/early detection
  • standards
  • cancer guidelines
  • cancer journey
  • health human resources
  • research
  • surveillance.

To implement this Strategy, the Government of Canada created the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, an independent not-for-profit organization which in 2006 received federal funding in the amount of $250 million over 5 years.  In March 2011, the Prime Minister announced plans to renew funding for another 5 years beyond 2012. The expected benefit is to prevent 1.2 million new cases of cancer and almost half a million deaths due to cancer over a 30- year period and to improve the quality of life of Canadians currently living with cancer.

The Government of Canada, through the Public Health Agency of Canada, also works with stakeholders through its role in:

  • providing leadership in cancer prevention, early detection, and surveillance, with a particular focus on underserved and at risk communities
  • the Integrated Strategy for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease, a $300 million investment that was launched in 2005 to provide federal leadership across a range of public health actions
  • the Canadian Breast Cancer Initiative, a program that supports national standards for breast cancer screening and community participation in breast cancer information and support to people affected by breast cancer.

Health Canada focuses include:

The Government of Canada has invested $159 million in cancer research through the Canadian Institute of Cancer Research of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. External link

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