A cancer survivor with her daughter

National Cancer Survivors Day 2020

Today, we honour the courage of lung cancer survivors and ask an important question: What needs to change so that more people with lung cancer make it to 5, 10, or 20+ years?
Did you know that Canada’s five-year net survival for lung cancer is just 19%? This means that fewer than 1 in 5 people diagnosed with lung cancer will live for at least five years after their diagnosis.
 
June 7th is National Cancer Survivors Day, a celebration that honours cancer survivors and sends a message that life after diagnosis can be rich, rewarding, and inspiring. In addition to celebration, this important day also allows patient organizations to highlight the ongoing challenges faced by survivors.
 
Today, we honour the courage of lung cancer survivors and ask an important question: What needs to change so that more people with lung cancer make it to 5, 10, or 20+ years?

1.  We need earlier diagnosis

Early detection of lung cancer improves survival rates and opens the door to more treatment options. Early detection requires early access to screening, and it results in more referrals to crucial specialist care.

2. We need quick access to effective treatments

There have been numerous scientific advancements and innovations in treatment, but once diagnosed, many people are waiting too long for access to the personalized medicine they desperately need. Some even die waiting for their biomarker test results.

3. We need an end to lung cancer stigma

Because smoking is seen as the main cause of lung cancer, 30% of people affected blame themselves for their illness. This can (and does) affect patient outcomes, and can make people feel like they don’t deserve care — especially when the announcement of their diagnosis is so often met with the question “Did you smoke?”

In an upcoming national campaign, we are teaming up with Lung Cancer Canada to address this issue head-on. If we are to create more survivors, we need to stop asking the wrong questions about lung cancer, and start asking the right ones:
  • How can stigma delay diagnosis?
  • Why is lung cancer research so underfunded?
  • How can I help?

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: Canadian Cancer Survivor Network

Jackie Manthorne

“We celebrate life, but we also realize that cancer survivors may suffer from sporadic or lifelong side effects of cancer and its treatment. As a cancer survivor organization, we are working toward raising awareness of the need for cancer rehabilitation services and the establishment of these services across Canada.”

Jackie Manthorne, President & CEO, Canadian Cancer Survivor Network

Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) promotes the very best standard of care, support, follow up and quality of life for cancer patients and survivors.
 
While the threat of COVID-19 means that we must observe National Cancer Survivors Day from a distance, the Lung Health Foundation applauds the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network for everything they do to support Canada’s one million cancer survivors.
 
Visit survivornet.ca to learn more about CCSN’s Celebration of Life initiative.

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