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Canadian Cancer Society

by Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society

Why fund research?
Thanks to you, we are the largest national charitable funder of cancer research in Canada. Investing in the best research across 100+ types of cancer gives us a valuable sightline on all aspects of the cancer landscape and allows us to translate key learnings from one area of focus to another.

In the 1940s, only about 25% of Canadians diagnosed with cancer survived for at least 5 years after their diagnosis. Thanks to research, today more than 60% will survive 5 or more years. We now know so much more about what causes cancer, how it develops and spreads, how to treat it successfully and how we can improve the quality of life of people living with cancer. But there is still more work to do.

We believe research is the best way to accelerate progress so that more cancers can be prevented and more people will not just survive cancer, but live longer and fuller lives.

Our Investment
In 2018, CCS invested $38.9 million in the best cancer research in Canada. In fact, we invest more than any other national charity in research on breast, childhood, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancers, plus many other types. The projects we fund are chosen through a gold-standard, peer-review process that draws on the expertise of nationally and internationally renowned cancer experts.

Research Innovation
Thansk to our donors, CCS-funded researchers are at the forefront of some of the most exciting areas of cancer research today. Here are a few examples of high-impact research discoveries that would not be possible without your support.

Predicting healthy people at risk of leukemia
Dr John Dick, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

A CCS-funded study has shown that it is possible to predict who will develop acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), the leading cause of adult leukemia deaths in Canada. The international study, which was co-led by Dr John Dick, compared blood samples from healthy people who later developed AML to individuals who did not develop the disease. The researchers found that seemingly healthy people start getting genetic changes in their blood cells as early as 10 years before they are diagnosed with AML. These genetic changes represent the first steps to blood cells becoming cancerous. 

Sparing women from chemotherapy
Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Queen’s University

A clinical trial funded in part by CCS through the Canadian Cancer Trials Group found that 7 in 10 women diagnosed with a specific and common type of early stage breast cancer do not need chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy. Until now, it wasn’t clear whether chemotherapy offered any added benefit for women at medium risk of cancer relapse. This study showed that women who received both hormone therapy and chemotherapy had very similar rates of survival, cancer recurrence and spread compared to women who received hormone therapy only.

Uncovering how brain tumours spread
Dr Michael Taylor, Hospital for Sick Children

Dr Michael Taylor and his team showed for the first time that medulloblastoma can spread through the blood. Most medulloblastoma deaths are caused by tumours that have spread so, by understanding how the cancer spreads, researchers can now search for ways to disrupt the process and prevent secondary tumours. Based on this discovery, doctors in the future could get a tumour biopsy by taking a non-invasive blood sample instead of performing brain surgery. Dr Taylor’s research could not only help save lives, but it could also help people with medulloblastoma have a better quality of life.

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2018/2019 Impact Report 

Last year was another important year for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). We continued to innovate and take bold steps to increase our impact. We look to the year ahead with optimism and determined focus, knowing we are moving closer to realizing our vision of a world where no Canadian fears cancer.

Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. But we know that for people with cancer and their loved ones, life is about more than a diagnosis. With your support, we’re helping people live longer and enhancing their quality of life.

CCS is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. And we simply couldn’t do it without you.

In this report you can read about the difference we made together in 2018. We funded $40.4 million in groundbreaking research, invested $52.6 million in trusted information and compassionate and practical support to people with cancer and their families, and dedicated $3.1 million to advocating to governments for important social change.

Thank you for your generosity. Together, we are demonstrating that life is bigger than cancer.

Advocating for landmark tobacco legislation
Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of cancer in Canada and is responsible for about 30% of all cancer deaths. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer issues, CCS has been a leading advocate for tobacco plain packaging regulations since the 1990s.

Plain packaging decreases tobacco use and saves lives. It reduces the appeal of tobacco products and increases the impact of health warnings. After more than 3 decades of advocating for this important legislation, the federal government released its first draft of plain packaging regulations in 2018. The new regulations are considered the best and most comprehensive in the world and represent a significant and historic public health victory.

Enhancing our online services
Fear, anxiety, helplessness, anger – these are feelings people can have when they receive a cancer diagnosis. But knowledge and support are powerful. That’s why we offer a comprehensive support system to help people with cancer, survivors, caregivers and families cope.

In 2018 we completed 2 important projects to enhance our valued online services and make sure people can access support whenever and wherever they need it. We updated our Community Services Locator, making it easier for people to find cancer-related services and resources in communities across the country. This searchable database now contains more than 4,700 listings. We also improved and expanded, an online platform that helps people affected by cancer connect, share their experiences and build supportive relationships. The newly enhanced platform is mobile friendly, which means people can access this beloved community and find support anytime, anywhere.

Improving long-term health for childhood cancer survivors
Thanks to better treatments, 84% of children diagnosed with cancer today will survive at least 5 years. But an estimated two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors will experience at least one chronic or late side effect as a result of their cancer treatment. While the long-term physical side effects of cancer treatments are well known, the impact of a cancer diagnosis on the mental health of survivors of childhood cancer has been less understood.

With funding from CCS, Dr Sumit Gupta and his team investigated this important aspect of life after cancer and helped fill in a gap in our knowledge. Their research showed that childhood cancer survivors are at a higher risk of developing mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression. This new evidence opens the door for improved long-term care and support to help prevent and address these challenges and enhance quality of life for survivors of childhood cancer.

When you donate
You help us fund the country’s largest support system for people affected by cancer, ground breaking research and advocacy efforts that help all Canadians live healthier lives. We are grateful for your generosity and every dollar you give.

The financial statements for the year ending January 31, 2019, including the notes to the financial statements and the auditor’s report, are available on 

We are a collective of people united by the same goals. With the help of hundreds of thousands of people – including people with cancer and their loved ones, caregivers, healthcare teams, donors, scientists, advocates, and CCS staff and volunteers – we are creating a world where no Canadian fears cancer. At CCS, we know we couldn’t do what we do without you. Together, we are a force-for-life in the face of cancer.

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Organization Information

Canadian Cancer Society

Location: Toronto, Ontario - Canada
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Tina Nguyen
Toronto, Ontario Canada
$8,499 raised of $99,000 goal
93 donations
$90,501 to go
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