Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Canadian Cancer Society - Quebec Division before the Committee on Health and Social Services: strengthening of the Tobacco Act demanded

QUEBEC, Aug. 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) - Quebec Division will appear today before the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Social Services as part of the examination of the report on the implementation of the Tobacco Act 2005-2010. "Currently, smoking causes a third of cancer deaths, which are all preventable. For the CCS, it is clear that the fight against cancer will have to involve the fight against smoking," explains Rob Cunningham, lawyer and Senior Policy Analyst, CCS. Quebec has 1.5 million smokers and urgent action is needed because tens of thousands of youths start smoking every year. This is why the CCS wants the government to include the following in the Tobacco Act:
  • A ban on flavours for all tobacco products covered by the Tobacco Act.
  • The regulation of electronic cigarettes.
  • Plain and standardized packaging for all tobacco products.
  • A moratorium on the market for new tobacco products.
The CCS's demands resonate with the public. In fact, nine in 10 Quebecers want the government to make tobacco products less attractive to youths. In addition, 82% of Quebecers support a ban on the marketing of new tobacco products and more than three quarters of Quebecers support a ban on flavoured cigarettes.
"Public support for the CCS's demands is obvious. Now, it's the government's responsibility to implement adequate measures to get it done. Dr Hébert, will you be the one who will stop the tobacco epidemic?", asks Mélanie Champagne, Director, Public Issues, CCS - Quebec Division.
For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. All these years, we have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research and support people touched by the disease. From this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive. To know more about cancer, visit our website at cancer.ca or call our Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division

Monday, 12 August 2013

Perception of Fertility Affects Quality of Life in Young, Female Cancer Survivors

Newswise — A new study led by a University of Colorado Cancer Center member recently published in the journal Quality of Life Research shows that in young, female cancer survivors, quality of life is significantly impaired long after treatment. The study compared 59 cancer survivors to 66 healthy controls and found that, as expected, cancer survivors showed higher stress and anxiety than the general population. Of note, survivors reported particular stress around the issues of sexual problems, physical pain and fatigue. The study also measured hormone levels reflecting woman’s number of eggs, and showed that among young, female cancer survivors, those with reassuring fertility status were likely to report higher quality of life once treatment ends.

“What it came down to was a woman’s opinion of her own fertility status after cancer treatment,” says Laxmi Kondapalli, MD, MSCE, director of the CU Cancer Center Oncofertility Program.

See, there was one intervening step between normal ovarian reserve and quality of life: the regularity of a woman’s menstrual cycle after undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for cancer. All women lose a certain number of eggs during these treatments, but those with higher baseline reserve are more likely to withstand the treatment with their overall fertility unaffected. Women with lower ovarian reserve at baseline are more likely to have impaired fertility after treatment.

“But it wasn’t the lab and ultrasound markers of ovarian reserve alone that affected quality of life,” Kondapalli says. “It was a woman’s opinion of her fertility status based on her menstrual cycle that had the most impact on quality of life.”

Following cancer treatment, many women think that if they maintain regular menstrual cycles, their fertility is preserved, and that if their menstrual cycles become irregular, then they are likely infertile due to treatment.

“This isn’t necessarily the case, because we are finding that menstrual cyclicity is a poor predictor of fertility status in these young, female cancer survivors,” Kondapalli says. “Survivors may be falsely reassured if they resume normal periods, or they may be unnecessarily stressed if they don’t get regular periods after cancer treatment.”

According to Kondapalli, women with high ovarian reserve are less likely to experience symptoms of early menopause after cancer treatment. And it is these symptoms that go on to influence young patients’ quality of life.

“I think what our study demonstrates is that clearly there are many components that impact a survivor’s quality of life after cancer treatment. Although objective markers of ovarian reserve play an important role, a woman’s perception of her own fertility status was more influential in her overall quality of life,” Kondapalli says.

Understanding the factors that influence quality of life in this population may help identify ways to manage late effects of treatment and improve comprehensive survivorship care.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Poverty the Greatest Barrier to Good Health, Canadians tell CMA Consultation

OTTAWA, July 30, 2013 /CNW/ - Poverty kills. That's the key message in What Makes us Sick, a report released today by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) based on what Canadians said during a series of town hall meetings and an online consultation held earlier this year. The national dialogue with Canadians asked them about their experiences with the social determinants of health - the factors that cause people to suffer poor health in the first place.

"Many factors outside the health care system affect a person's health, from inadequate housing to a lack of healthy food to sub-optimal early childhood experiences," said Dr. Anna Reid, CMA president. "What Canadians told us is that poverty is the recurring theme that underpins most of these social determinants of health."

The CMA report included recommendations for action, again, based on what Canadians said. However, Dr. Reid stressed that the report does not lay blame.

"We aren't pointing fingers," she said. "We listened to Canadians and what we heard was that they want sincere, legitimate and real action. As a country we can do better in tackling issues around poverty, housing, early childhood development, food security and culture that can hinder a person's chances to be healthy. There is no one sector responsible for making this happen. It has to be a joint effort, involving health care providers, governments, patients and Canadians from all backgrounds."

The Winnipeg town hall, and many comments across the country, focused on Aboriginal health. Dr. Reid noted that poverty and education for Aboriginal peoples, whose health outcomes fall far short compared to the rest of the Canadian population, were among the issues discussed by Canada's premiers at their summer meeting last week in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

"As one of the panelists said, we talk about success in life in terms of working hard and going up the ladder. With Aboriginal children, many won't even reach the bottom rung."

Dr. Reid also said physicians have a responsibility to be proactive. "Some people have asked me what poverty, housing and so on have to do with physicians. While we certainly are not the experts on these areas, we are experts in caring for our patients and we see every day how the social determinants of health affect them."

The national dialogue was part of the CMA's ongoing efforts in advocating for Health Care Transformation, a broad-ranging initiative to modernize and improve Canada's health care system. The town halls took place in Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Montreal, Charlottetown and St. John's. Maclean's, CPAC and L'actualité were partners with the CMA in the undertaking.

An electronic copy of What Makes us Sick can be found at http://www.cma.ca/advocacy/cma-media-centre.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 77,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.

SOURCE Canadian Medical Association