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One in four Canadian cancer patients has untenable gaps in treatment

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The Canadian Cancer Society wants people to write to the federal government about the inequities in cancer care across this country.

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New survey results that will be released by the CCS on World Cancer Day, Feb. 4, show one in four patient respondents in Canada (25%) had their cancer care appointments cancelled or postponed in recent months.

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A release from the CCS states, “The most staggering finding, especially when factoring in anecdotal stories of cancelled or postponed surgeries and unexpected financial burdens, is the degree to which Canadians continue to experience our healthcare system differently.”

The organization has created an online “Get Better card” and urges people to fill one out and advocate for the government to do better.

“By filling out a card, anyone impacted by cancer can speak directly to decision makers about the gaps they or a loved one have experienced when accessing cancer care in Canada.”

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Pandemic disruptions in 2020 saw 6.1% fewer new cancer cases compared to the annual average for the previous four years — which means there may be many undetected cases (and more advanced cases) that will require treatment coming up, adding more pressure to an already overburdened healthcare system.

On their website, where the Get Better Card can be accessed, CCS explains that COVID-19 strained the cancer care system, creating backlogs and exposing gaps and vulnerabilities.

“With nearly half of Canadians expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, it is crucial that the cancer care system get better.”

CCS will gather the Get Better Cards and ensure they are delivered to elected officials as the organization urges the government to improve cancer care.

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