Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer.
Jun 10, 2016

HPV vaccination program leading cancer prevention

Tiffany Bond, HPV related cancer survivor
Tiffany Bond, HPV related cancer survivor

The Human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause cancer in men and women and will infect 3 in 4 Canadians during their lifetime. Canadian Cancer Society staff and volunteers have been working closely with other stakeholders, Members of Provincial Parliament at Queen’s Park and across Ontario to expand the immunization program to include boys.

“The time between initial HPV infection and development of cancer is about 20 years,” explains Rowena Pinto, Vice President, Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “We urge parents to get their sons and daughters vaccinated against HPV. It will help prevent them from getting cancer.”

HPV infection is associated with almost all cases of cervical cancer but the lesser known HPV-related cancers include anal, penile, vaginal and oral and oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancers. About one-third of oral and oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV and 89% of these are attributable to HPV types 16 & 18.

Canadian forecasts are not yet available, but the number of HPV-related head and neck cancer cases in the United States is expected to surpass cervical cancer within 4 years, underscoring the importance of including boys in school-based vaccination programs.

As part of the Society’s efforts to advocate for the inclusion of boys in the immunization program, a video featuring the story of Tiffany Bond, a cancer survivor whose type of throat cancer was caused by HPV, was released.

“When I was first diagnosed with oropharynx (throat) cancer it was a big shock. I had no idea it could be caused by the HPV virus,” says Bond, a Society volunteer. “After my near-death experience with the disease, I am thrilled that the government has taken this initiative. I just wish the vaccine was available to my son when he was younger. I would have had him vaccinated right away.”

Because of the long lead time, it may take several years before the full impact of HPV vaccination on the incidence and death rates of HPV-related cancers is established. Australia was one of the first countries to introduce a national HPV vaccination program for women 12 to 26. Three years later, the country is  already seeing a decrease in signs of early cervical cancer.

To learn more about cancer, HPV and the HPV vaccine, speak to one of cancer information specialists at 1 888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca/HPVvaccine

Links:

Mar 14, 2016

Improving treatment options for cancer patients

Jack Shore, Prostate Cancer Survivor
Jack Shore, Prostate Cancer Survivor

“I’ll have this cancer for the rest of my life, so my quality of life has become a priority to me. I’m thankful that the Canadian Cancer Society funds research that is helping to improve treatment options for patients like me.”

-Jack, living with prostate cancer, Port Colborne, Canada

Jack's life turned upside down after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the most common cancer among Canadian men. A 67 year old with a lifestyle of someone half his age, he boldly braved both surgery and radiation treatment, only to have his cancer return. Hormone therapy was Jack’s next treatment option, and though the injections slowed the growth and spread of cancer cells, they came with side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, and depression that drastically impacted his life.

A clinical trial supported by the Canadian Cancer Society is changing the length of time that men with prostate cancer require these injections. Work led by Dr Klotz and Dr Crook found that men who took breaks from hormone therapy lived as long as those receiving continuous therapy, reducing side effects and improving quality of life.

Thanks to donors like you, clinical trials are leading to improved treatment options, survival rates and overall well-being for the almost 200,000 people diagnosed with cancer in Canada each year – people like Jack.

With your ongoing support we can continue to fund Canada’s top research and clinical trials to provide Canadians living with cancer with a better quality of life. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those facing cancer.

Cancer in Canada Infographic
Cancer in Canada Infographic
Nov 12, 2015

Improving the lives of those living with cancer

Logan- brain cancer survivor
Logan- brain cancer survivor

“When I heard the words; your daughter has a brain tumour, I remember feeling like everything was closing in on me. I was in a room full of doctors and they didn’t think that there was anything they could do.”

- Jennifer, mother of childhood brain cancer survivor

When Logan was eight years old, her parents were grief-stricken to hear she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and given a few weeks to a month to live. After 153 doses of chemotherapy, 31 rounds of radiation and multiple surgeries, Logan is now a healthy, cancer-free teenager with a spark for life.

Brain and spinal cord tumours are the most common cause of cancer death for children in Canada, and treatment can have devastating consequences for a child’s brain development. For Logan, the many daily challenges resulting from long-term negative side effects remind her each day of her fight against cancer.

Research funded by the Canadian Cancer Society aims to minimize the devastating effects of treatment for young patients like Logan. Society-funded researcher Dr Sorensen’s project on the adaptation and survival of tumour cells under stress, could lead to more effective and targeted treatment options for childhood brain cancer.

Thanks to donors like you, the Society can continue to fund innovative research toincrease the survival rates for children with brain cancer, and improve their quality of life for years to come.

With your ongoing support we can continue to fund Canada’s best and most innovative research – research that leads to prevention, earlier detection, better treatment and longer, healthier lives. To learn more, or make a donation visit www.cancer.ca 

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