Working Toward Best Practices in Cancer Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment in Every Part of Canada

September 11, 2019

"We hope that this array of articles leaves you feeling informed about changes to your health-care system and some key supportive strategies that can improve your quality of life during treatment."

Imagine a world where more people practised cancer prevention strategies, and those who did get the disease received a diagnosis earlier and were given access to all the testing and therapy they needed, treated in a world-class health-care system and supported along the way with information and palliative care.

Cancer would certainly take a much smaller toll on the people of Canada: Fewer people would get the disease and more would survive with a better quality of life.

That’s the vision of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, which recently released an updated 10-year Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. On behalf of the federal government, the partnership will help provinces and jurisdictions bring their healthcare systems into line with the plan, with a goal of more equitable prevention, treatment and support throughout the country.

In this, our second Canadian edition of CURE ®, you can learn about the effort in an article describing the partnership’s plan and the positive health outcomes it’s designed to generate. Then, as you use your province’s or territory’s health system, you can help push the plan forward by asking for the kinds of care it recommends — smoking cessation programs, human papillomavirus vaccines for everyone eligible, telemedicine for those in remote locations and more.

Even bigger changes to the Canadian health care system may be in store when it comes to coverage for prescribed drugs, and we explore this topic in our cover story about a universal pharmacare plan put forth by the federal government. The article delves into the details of the plan — what it would provide, how much it would cost and when it would roll out. It also considers a variety of opinions about the plan and how it will factor into the upcoming federal election.

The recent country-wide legalization of cannabis for recreational use also has implications for cancer care, as patients are now able to get the drug without a prescription. But is that a good idea for those using the substance to ease symptoms from cancer or its treatments? Find out in an article that addresses cannabis in cancer care.

We round out the issue with several articles aimed at helping patients navigate their treatment. One explains clinical trials and discusses how to find and enroll in them, and others look at the ins and outs of patient portals and treatments for chemo brain.

We hope that this array of articles leaves you feeling informed about changes to your health-care system and some key supportive strategies that can improve your quality of life during treatment. As always, thank you for reading.


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