Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Canadian Cancer Survivor Network launches Stomach Cancer Portal

Ottawa, ON – November 24, 2014 – For those dealing with stomach cancer, the road from diagnosis to treatment and management of the disease is a challenging, burdensome journey. Stomach cancer impacts one of our most vital organs forcing patients to undergo significant lifestyle changes, and caregivers, partners, families, friends and other loved ones 
may share in the hardship of this life-changing disease.

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) recognizes the burden a diagnosis of stomach cancer places on patients and the noticeable absence of Canadian resources available to them. In response, CCSN is proud to announce the launch of The Stomach Cancer Portal, an online portal recognizing and addressing the experience of gastric and esophageal cancers, whether in its early or more advanced stages:  Stomach Cancer Portal.

"It is critically important to address the information and support needs of stomach cancer patients,” says Jackie Manthorne, President and CEO of the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network. "We know that stomach cancer includes many practical decisions and adjustments during and after treatment, and these changes can impact the entire family. So we wanted to provide patients and families with a place to find reliable information and a place to connect to help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with a stomach cancer diagnosis.”

About the Portal

The Stomach Cancer Family Portal provides a trusted and accurate source on gastric and esophageal cancer information – and connection. The sections in the portal centralizes information on diagnosis and treatment of stomach cancer, provides information and resources on financial planning, all while imparting essential links and resources to websites, blogs and other materials specific to Canadian patients.

The portal also includes:
·         Links to blogs and websites related to survivorship 
·         Nutritional information for pre and post-gastrectomy
·         Financial information and resources
·         Stomach cancer organizations and news

In addition to the Stomach Cancer Family Portal, CCSN has established a unique Twitter page, which can be accessed @stomachcancerca

About Stomach Cancer in Canada

It is estimated that in 2014 [1]:
·         3, 300 Canadians will be diagnosed with stomach cancer
·         2,100 men will be diagnosed with stomach cancer and 1,300 will die from it.
·         1,200 women will be diagnosed with stomach cancer and 790 will die from it.

Incidence rates of stomach cancer continue to decline in both males (2.3% per year) and females (1.3% per year). Current rates are about half of what they were in 1985. This decline may be due to long-term improvements in diets and decreases in smoking and heavy alcohol use. The declining incidence rates of stomach cancer may also be related to the more recent recognition and treatment of infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, an important risk factor for stomach cancer [2].

[1] "Stomach Cancer Statistics." Canadian Cancer Society. Canadian Cancer Society, 2014. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
[2] Canadian Cancer Society's Advisory Committee on Cancer Statistics. (2014). Canadian Cancer Statistics 2014. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Canadian Cancer Survivor Network hosts Ontario Legislative Reception to raise awareness of metastatic prostate cancer

Ottawa, ON – November 19, 2014 – In the month of November focused on men’s health, the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) was pleased to host its third annual breakfast reception at the Ontario Legislature to highlight the challenges faced by metastatic prostate cancer patients and their families and the increasing number of treatment options that provide a good quality of life while living with this disease.

The reception was hosted by Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie, followed by an overview of CCSN by Sapna Mahajan, CCSN Board member, who shared the personal journeys of important men in her life to illustrate why young women should be concerned about best treatment for prostate cancer.

Ann Hoggarth, MPP Barrie; Jackie Manthorne, CCSN President & CEO; Indira Naidoo-Harris, Parlimentary Assistant to the Minister of Health & Long-Term Care
Keynote speakers included Dr. Andrew Feifer, an urolic oncologist at the Trillium Health Partners’ Fidani Cancer Center at Credit Valley Hospital and Derek Lawrence, who lives with metastatic prostate cancer. Indira Naidoo-Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Christine Elliott, Deputy Leader of the PC Party of Ontario and PC Health and Long-Term Care Critic and France Gélinas, NDP Critic, also offered remarks.

"The treatment landscape for patients with metastatic prostate cancer is changing after many years without new options. We are pleased to continue to raise awareness among Ontario MPPs of the importance of access to new treatments that can extend life that is of good quality,” said Jackie Manthorne, CCSN President and CEO. "Most awareness campaigns for prostate cancer focus on early detection and prevention and celebrate survivorship. We feel it is also important to help men living with metastatic disease to tell their stories.” 
Derek Lawrence, Jackie Manthorne, CCSN President & CEO, Dr. Andrew Feifer, Urolic Oncologist, Fidani Cancer Centre, Sapna Mahajan, CCSN Board Member

Reception sponsor MPP Ann Hoggarth shared her own cancer journey and that of other family members. MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris spoke of the government’s commitment working with patients rather than for patients while striving for world-class treatment in Ontario, and urged  MPPs to listen to patients and patient groups. Both MPP Elliott and MPP Gélinas echoed the need for access to treatment and support for caregivers; MPP Gélinas highlighted the special concerns of those from northeastern Ontario in accessing treatments where they live.  “It is wonderful to see such support and sensitivity for this issue from our members of the Ontario Legislature,” said Manthorne. 

Dr. Andrew Feifer, noted urolic oncologist at Trillium Health Partners’ Fidani Cancer Centre and the University Health Network, reminded the audience of the need for access to a variety of treatment options. He spoke about the husbands, brothers, uncles and sons that he treats, saying, “We should not – indeed cannot – fail these men in their time of need.  Our profession must deliver new therapies and treatment protocols.”

Eighty-four-year old Derek Lawrence gave a human face to the discussions that preceded his presentation. He spoke of the impact that his diagnosis has had on him and his wife Margaret. “Time is so important to those of us living with metastatic prostate cancer. I am 19 years post-diagnosis and treatments are much improved today.  As long as we can access new medicines and receive support, we can be around for a long time.”

CCSN has also recently launched A Family Affair: Prostate Cancer Family and Caregiver Portal, an online portal recognizing and addressing the experience of prostate cancer, whether in its early or more advanced stages, as a family affair.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

InspireHealth: November is Cancer Caregiver Health Month

A family member can be thrust into the role of being an informal caregiver for a loved one who is diagnosed with cancer. It can be a challenge both emotionally and financially. November is Cancer Caregiver Health Month at InspireHealth, recognizing the unique emotional and support service needs for family and loved ones of people with cancer. We are encouraging family caregivers to encourage their loved ones with cancer to try our family centered supportive care approach.

At InspireHealth healing begins with you. InspireHealth is a community-based organization that provides supportive oncology care. We create an individualized physical and mental health program for people with a cancer diagnoses that encourages personal growth, higher quality of life, and improved outlook. We offer health programs that include support services for informal caregivers, like family and friends and loved ones.

“You needn’t have to go through cancer alone,” says Dr. Hal Gunn, InspireHealth co-founder and CEO. “It is vital to bring your family and friends into your healing and recovery plan to optimally support care of both you and your loved ones.”

Most new patients at InspireHealth have at least one support person, and it can make a difference in following through with fitness and mindfulness activities if the person with a cancer diagnosis has someone to go with to classes or appointments. Additionally, there are many intangible benefits to incorporating family into this type of practice, because almost all aspects of nutrition and exercise could be applied to cancer prevention within a family.

During the month of November, InspireHealth will offer new patient member signups up to two free Support Memberships to help encourage supports to participate in InspireHealth programming to truly bring the benefits home (savings of up to $190). If you have a cancer diagnosis, please mention “Support for Caregivers promotion” or “Support Membership Promotion” at the time you sign-up with InspireHealth.

If you use social media, please use the hashtag: #support4cancercaregivers to show your support in November.