Canadian Cancer Survivor Network 
January 2022 Update

Provinces cancel elective surgeries again, putting cancer patients at risk

CCSN has written open letters to the health ministers of provinces in which elective surgeries – which includes most cancer surgeries – have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Below is an excerpt from the letter to the Ontario government. All the letters are available on CCSN's website.

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) is very concerned that the province of Ontario has instructed hospitals to “pause ‘non-emergent and non-urgent’ procedures and surgeries until at least January 26, 2022.” These procedures and surgeries include surgery and other procedures for cancer.

The disheartening results of CCSN’s three Leger surveys conducted during the first three waves of COVID-19 have shown that the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian cancer patients has been severe and have led to a second public health crisis.

For example, over four in 10 patients, seven in 10 caregivers, and nearly six in 10 waiting to find out whether they have cancer or not had appointments cancelled or rescheduled during the pandemic. Three in ten caregivers, seven per cent of patients, and 18 per cent of those awaiting a diagnosis have had a surgery or other procedure cancelled.

Read the open letters

CCSN encourages anyone who is likewise concerned about the consequences for cancer patients of the cancelling of elective surgeries to write to their elected representatives and provincial health ministers as well. Let CCSN know if you are reaching out by copying jmanthorne@survivornet.caon your email.

2021 Webinar Series

CCSN's entire 2021 webinar series is available on YouTube! Here are a few of the highlights from last year's webinars.

How Government Works in Canada

January 22, 2021

In this webinar, Ryan Clarke provides an overview of the structure of our federal and provincial governments. He reviews how citizens can engage our decision-makers and emphasizes the importance of advocacy in the context of elections.

Watch the video | View the slides


Let's Talk Lymphedema

March 4, 2021

Our presenters talk about the work the LAO does, provide information about the causes and symptoms of lymphedema, and inform lymphedema patients on how to access help and support. They will also include the physiotherapist perspective and discuss what treatments are available.

Watch the video | View the slides


Drug Approval & Reimbursement Processes in Canada

March 18, 2021

This webinar provides an overview of the drug approval and reimbursement processes; reviews the updated CADTH patient group/clinician input processes; and examines how the processes are connected and flow into one another.

Watch the video | View the slides


What's New in the Treatment of Gliomas (Brain Tumours)

A Neuro-Oncologist's Perspective

April 29, 2021

This presentations highlight the promising new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of gliomas, with a focus on trials or therapies that will soon be available for Canadian patients.

Watch the video | View the slides


Tumour Agnostic Treatments and the Future of Specialized Medicine

From a Clinician and Patient Perspective

May 27, 2021

Twenty years ago, Dr. Poul Sorensen discovered a gene mutation in a rare paediatric cancer, which has led to the development of a new drug that targets tumours not according to their location in the body, but by targeting a certain property of the tumour cells, called a biomarker.

In this webinar, Dr. Sorensen speaks about his groundbreaking discovery and how it contributed to the development of tumour agnostic treatments. He is joined by Dr. Zulfiqar, a medical oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency, and Ted Taylor, a TRK fusion cancer patient.

Watch the video | View the slides

Agree that Cancer Can't Wait?

Tell your Federal Member of Parliament
(Responsible for Pandemic Planning)

Tell your Provincial Representative
(Responsible for Healthcare)

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In this issue:

Cancer patients remain at increased risk from COVID-19

Cancer patients who get COVID-19 have a higher risk of hospitalization and death than others, even if they are fully vaccinated, according to a small-scale study published in December 2021. The study was conducted by the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19), a group of 129 research centres U.S. that have been collecting international data on the virus's impact on cancer patients.

The results of this study show that vaccines, although important and necessary, are not sufficient. Other public health measures are still needed to keep cancer patients safe.

UICC launches campaign for more equitable access to cancer services

On 4 February, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) will launch a new three-year campaign for World Cancer Day that brings together individuals, organisations and governments around the world in an effort to create awareness and help close the gap in cancer care.

The campaign highlights the significant barriers related to socioeconomic factors, stigma and discrimination that prevent many people around the world from accessing life-saving preventive services, diagnostics, treatment and care. These barriers lead to wide discrepancies in the risks of developing and surviving cancer.

Read more about the campaign

Participation Opportunities

Survey: Setting Priorities for Pediatric Cancer Research

The Pediatric Cancer Priority Setting Partnership (PCPSP) is surveying people affecting by pediatric cancer (childhood cancer) about their top unanswered questions about childhood cancer. The survey is available in both English and French. They will use the survey results to create a relevant and new research agenda for childhood cancer.

The PCPSP is looking for survey responses from these groups of people:

  • Children and teens with cancer
  • Survivors of childhood cancer
  • Family members or friends of a child who has cancer or is a cancer survivor, or of a child who had cancer and has passed away
  • Health care professionals who take care of children with cancer or survivors, or who do research on childhood cancer

Survey links: English survey | French survey

Survey: Topics for Ontario Drug Policy Research Town Halls

In 2022, the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) will be conducting a series of virtual town halls on various topics related to drug policy research in Ontario. These town halls will be a platform for Ontarians to be able to openly discuss drug policies and programs with relevant research and policy experts. These discussions may then be used to inform and prioritize ODPRN research.

The ODPRN is requesting that Ontarians help them in determining which drug policy topics are most important by filling out their survey for a chance to win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards!

Take the survey!

Connect with us on Twitter

@survivornetca - our main twitter account of information, news and resources on all cancers
@cancercantwait - information on COVID-19 and cancer care
@bestbreastnews - information on breast health and breast cancer
@prostatepost - news, events and resources on prostate cancer
@canadianmeso - details on asbestos and mesothelioma
@LungCancerCan - focuses on lung cancer news, events and awareness
@CCSNpoli - general, non-partisan talk about the politics of healthcare and cancer care
@MedMarijuanaCan - news and information regarding medical marijuana
@stomachcancerca - resources and articles on stomach cancer 
@cervicalcanca - information and news on cervical cancer and HPV
@melanomacan - information and resources on melanoma
@LiverCancerCA – news and information on liver cancer
@headandneckcan - everything you need to know about head and neck cancer

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