World Cancer Day, Feb. 4: CEO of Canadian Partnership Against Cancer available to speak about cancer in the COVID-19...
TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2023 /CNW/ - World Cancer Day (Feb. 4) is a day to highlight the extraordinary work happening to improve cancer outcomes for all. It's also an opportunity to examine where a greater focus on cancer is needed, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Craig Earle, CEO of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership), is available to provide commentary on innovations underway to contribute to a strong and resilient cancer system for all people living in Canada, as well as where gaps remain and what is being done to address them.
While the pandemic continues to push the healthcare system to its limits, the past three years have given rise to new approaches that will have a long-term, positive impact on the cancer system and for people whose lives are touched by cancer.
The Partnership is supporting partners across Canada on initiatives that will help to achieve the vision of the 2019-2029 Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. This includes a strong focus on health equity and closing the care gap – which is also the theme of this year's World Cancer Day.
Although we are making strides, our work is not yet done. We are continuing our focus on cancer in three key areas, which Dr. Earle can discuss:
- Healthcare human resources: Canada's cancer care professionals continue to do their utmost to provide excellent care through wave after wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite overwhelming pressures. However, the burden on healthcare workers is heavy, leading to burnout and contributing to delays in cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment.
- Preparing for a surge in cancer cases: Newly released data show that fewer cancer cases were diagnosed in 2020. That doesn't mean cancer rates were decreasing or that fewer people were getting cancer – just that fewer people were having their cancers detected and diagnosed. Disruptions in diagnosis, as well as prevention, screening, and treatment services throughout the pandemic are expected to lead to a surge in cancers diagnosed at more advanced stages in the months and years to come. The system needs more capacity to meet these needs of patients, including resources for cancer surgeries and procedures, and attention to the psychological, social, emotional and spiritual impacts on people whose cancer diagnosis and treatment may have been delayed.
- Building on new ways of delivering care, including those supported by digital technologies: There are new approaches to care that can help to address system capacity and access constraints. Innovations in virtual and digital health and navigation that arose during the pandemic can be game-changing for people affected by cancer and can help to improve equity.
The Partnership is working to support pandemic recovery and help map out a shared way forward. This includes The Road to Recovery: Cancer in the COVID-19 Era, a report that highlights innovative work underway and identifies improvements to boost cancer system capacity and save lives.
Dr. Craig Earle joined the Partnership in 2017 and is currently Chief Executive Officer. In his previous role, Dr. Earle was Vice-President, Cancer Control, where he led programs and initiatives that deliver on the priorities and actions of the 2019–2029 Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control. Dr. Earle is also a medical oncologist specializing in gastrointestinal oncology at Sunnybrook's Odette Cancer Centre, a Senior Scientist at ICES and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He completed his medical training and Master of Science (epidemiology) at the University of Ottawa and a research fellowship at Harvard, followed by 10 years – 1998 to 2008 – at Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham & Women's Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to joining the Partnership, he was Head of Clinical Translation at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. He is also a former Director of the Health Services Research Program for Cancer Care Ontario.
As the steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (the Strategy), the Partnership works with Canada's cancer community to advance pan-Canadian actions to ensure fewer people get cancer, more people survive cancer, those living with the disease have a better quality of life and people in Canada have equitable access to quality cancer care. This work is guided by the Strategy, which was refreshed for 2019 to 2029 and will help drive measurable change for all people in Canada affected by cancer. The Strategy includes eight priorities, which tackle the most pressing challenges in cancer control as well as distinct First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples-specific priorities and actions reflecting Canada's commitment to reconciliation. The Partnership oversees the implementation of the priorities in collaboration with organizations and individuals on the front lines of cancer care – the provinces and territories, healthcare professionals, people living with cancer and those who care for them, First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, governments and organizations, and its funder Health Canada.
Learn more about the Partnership and the Strategy at www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Partnership Against Cancer