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Call to include cancer care in emergency preparedness plans

Cancer Can’t Wait, the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network’s (CCSN) slogan to emphasize the disruption of cancer care during the COVID-19 pandemic, reflects the urgency of its campaign to call on all levels of government to include cancer care in their emergency preparedness plans, says Jackie Manthorne, the president and CEO of the public policy organization that works to improve patient access to care.

CCSN is a network of patients, survivors, friends, families, community partners and sponsors working together to promote the very best standard of care, support, follow-up and quality of life for cancer patients, caregivers and survivors.

Ms. Manthorne says governments need to do a better job of continuing cancer care during future pandemics and natural disasters, noting surveys conducted by Leger on behalf of CCSN found the disruption of care for cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic took a serious toll on people battling the disease.

CCSN is also urging governments to make good on their promise to protect firefighters from cancer.

“During COVID-19, we witnessed the interruption of cancer care delivery to patients. Now, after the worst wildfire season in Canadian history, we’re all witnessing the risk of structural and wildland firefighters developing cancers due to occupational exposure. It’s critical to protect firefighters from developing cancer,” says Ms. Manthorne.

... after the worst wildfire season in Canadian history, we’re all witnessing the risk of structural and wildland firefighters developing cancers due to occupational exposure. It’s critical to protect firefighters from developing cancer.

Jackie Manthorne
President and CEO, Canadian Cancer Survivor Network

As part of its mission, CCSN provides access to tools to make people aware of the decision-making processes that can result in positive change on issues that are critical to patient care, and to learn the latest information about cancer screening and treatment through a weekly webinar series that covers topics such as drug approval processes, the latest in cancer research, and how patients and caregivers can advocate for themselves.

In addition, the CCSN’s virtual 10-module Science of Cancer course gives people an understanding of the disease and prepares course graduates to potentially have a seat at the table in peer review research panels and other committees dealing with health care and cancer care.

Information: survivornet.ca


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