We are pleased to let you know that we have started the process to formally start the Patient Advisory Committee of Atlantic Cancer Consortium!
Atlantic Cancer Consortium is a part of the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centre Networks led by the Terry Fox Research Institute. This consortium consists of a team of over 70 scientists, clinicians, staff, and trainees in Atlantic Canadian provinces.
The primary aim of the Cancer Centres Network is to advance the way to cancer cure via research (particularly focusing on Precision Medicine), collaboration, and training the next generation cancer researchers.
ACC PAC will be led by Sevtap Savas, PhD. Sevtap is a cancer scientist, patient advocate, and professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, NL.
Information, Membership Conditions, Screening Process, and Consent Thank you for your interest in the Marathon of Hope Atlantic Cancer Consortium (MoH ACC) Patient Advisory Committee. Please read this document carefully. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sevtap Savas, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, 300 Prince Philip Drive, Room 5M324, St. John’s,…
The Canadian Cancer Statistics 2023 report is publicly available! You can access it here.
This annual report is important for seeing the cancer reality in Canada.
As a Canadian resident, cancer scientist and cancer advocate, this report is an interest and an excellent reference for knowledge for me.
Some data presented in this report that may be an interest to you:
Cancer is the number of cause of death in Canada (more people are dying from cancer than other reasons for death)
2 in 5 Canadians are estimated to be diagnosed with cancer
1 in 4 Canadians are estimated to die of cancer
The annual new cancer cases estimated is around 240,000 Canadians
Similarly, the estimated annual number of deaths from cancer is around 86,500 Canadians
The 5-year survival rate (the chances of being alive 5 years after the cancer diagnosis) is currently around 64% for all types of cancer combined (up from 55% in 1990’s)
Another good news is that the risk of cancer has been decreasing for individuals, while the total numbers of new cases and deaths because of cancer have been increasing. This latter increase is attributed to increased population size of Canada and the fact that we have an aging population (as age increases, cancer risk increases as well)
Almost 90% of the cancers will be diagnosed on Canadians who are 50 years of age or older (again, generally speaking, as our age increases, our risk of cancer increases).
Lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers make almost half of the new cancer cases
In a long while, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) is NOT the province to have the highest cancer incidence rate – this time it is our neighbour Nova Scotia
In Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), the estimated new cancer diagnosis for the year is 4,000. Around 1,400 NL residents are estimated to die of cancer in 2023.
The most common cancers estimated in 2023 for NL are lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers
Generally, the cancer (incidence and mortality) rates are lower in Western Canada than central and Atlantic Canada (talking about our postal code having an impact on our health…)
Colorectal cancer incidence rates have been declining – which is great news! Eight per cent of the colorectal cancers are estimated to be diagnosed in young folk (younger than 50 years of age)
Overall, Canadian cancer control efforts have been working well in some areas particularly, but there is certainly more work to do
Until then, folks, please try to reduce your cancer risk as much as possible; educate and advocate for yourself, your health, knowledge, and healthcare; take advantage of cancer screening programs and support programs.
Wish you all healthy and joyful days ahead!
Sevtap Savas. PhD. St. John’s, NL, November 9 2023
Incidence of some cancers have been increasing in young individuals. Colorectal cancer is one of them.
Since often times cancer is considered a disease affecting the older folks, this new trend may mean that some young folks are not suspected to have cancer and as such their symptoms may be dismissed at the clinic, leading to delayed diagnoses and late stage diseases.
I talk about this a bit here in this short video – take a look:
We are delighted to note that our group has made two presentations at the The Canadian Centre for Applied Research in Cancer Control (ARCC)Conference (Sept 14-15, 2023)!
The titles and authors of these presentations are:
1. Partnering with patient advisers in designing and delivering public engagement events on cancer. Sevtap Savas, Alicia Follett, Holly Etchegary, Cindy Whitten, Namiko Sakamoto, Janine Taylor-Cutting, Jason Wiseman, Derrick Bishop, John King, Tristan Bilash, Teri Stuckless.
2. The Public Interest Group on Cancer Research – The 2022 Update. Sevtap Savas, Holly Etchegary, Cindy Whitten, Alicia Follett, Namiko Sakamoto, Janine Taylor-Cutting, Jason Wiseman, Derrick Bishop, John King, Teri Stuckless.
You can find the recording of the 1st talk here:
Our group will continue to produce public and scientific knowledge AND disseminate them for access by anyone locally, nationally, and globally.
We thank our funder (Office of Public Engagement at Memorial University) and supporters (NLSUPPORT) for giving us a much appreciated support to grow our group’s activities!
What a pleasure to share with you our new scholarly manuscript on lessons learnt, experience and perspectives gained as a result of the Public Conference on Cancer (Oct 15, 2022)!!
This conference was organized and delivered by the Public Interest Group on Cancer Research. I strongly believe that the public members of this group were crucial in making this Conference truly meaningful.
So, what do we describe in this paper?
Key points can be summarized as follows:
– “Participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive“
– More than 95% of the 52 feedback providers said that “The session was presented in an understandable manner” and that “I learnt valuable information in this session”
– “The most impactful/valuable parts of the conference identified by the survey participants were the patient stories and talks“
Am I surprised? Not at all; These were real folks, real stories. It is impactful.
We also learnt about how the conference participants heard about the event:
– It was mostly social media and Memorial communication channels.
This is good to know, as we know we have work to expand these, so that we can reach out to more folks in NL.
This Conference also helped us the Public Interest Group on Cancer Research increase our skills as conference organizers, moderators, and speakers. We really loved this experience, but the contents of this Public Conference on Cancer were also impactful on us.
-“Some of us felt hope for others who could benefit from the information shared during the Conference but at the same time felt guilty too that if the information was out/accessible earlier, it could help their loved ones who were lost to cancer“
That was me.
To date, I still feel guilty That I could not help my family members and friends as much as I could, as a cancer researcher. The pain I feel is nothing like I know. Please know your rights and risks, and protect yourself from cancer.
The Public Interest Group on Cancer Research and I try very hard to bring useful knowledge on cancer prevention, early detection, and support to you.
We need your support to change things for the better. It will be the residents who will change things here.
We try everything in our power, by disseminating knowledge and our work in public and academic environments. We have local and global presence. But, how do we get the attention of local decision-makers?
Sometimes I feel like I keep hitting my head on that wall we call “silos”.
But luckily then I remember power of people and motivation given to us by the cancer patients and families, and I gather my strength I try and try and try.
One day, it will work out.
People have the power, not the systems or governments. We can change things for the better. I believe in this. I will keep trying.
NOBODY can say that I have not tried.
Going back to paper, I wanna emphasize 2 points on patient speakers:
– Speaking about cancer can lead to emotional impact. So we had one patient speaker recorded their talk. We got one criticism about this – please understand that sometime it is necessary.
– The 2nd point is that sometimes speakers could not share their conference presentation materials publicly – we present these reasons on the paper. In one case it was because it could harm “personal safety of a patient speaker”.
We all are learning – so join us in this process. We will continue to provide a safe environment and conditions for patient speakers and speakers from vulnerable communities.
There are many great points made, lessons learnt, and perspectives gained by organizing and delivering the Public Conference on Cancer We are beyond proud that we share these with you and globally in this scholarly paper.