Ottawa – Cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in Canada. Two in five Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime and one in four Canadians will die of the disease.
Unfortunately, the number of new cancer cases continues to rise steadily as the Canadian population grows and ages. To address this issue, our government continues to fund the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer at close to $50 million annually. The Partnership is having an important impact on the lives of Canadians through its work on prevention, early detection, treatment, and support for those living with cancer.
We are also committed to supporting research in the fight against cancer. Through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, we invested more than $1 billion over the last five years toward cancer research and we recently announced an additional $30 million to fund targeted research for pediatric cancers.
As a way to promote awareness, the month of September marks several Cancer Awareness months and days, including for blood cancers, prostate and ovarian cancers, as well as childhood cancers.
While supporting research is crucial in advancing our fight against cancer, there are also individual steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing cancer such as adopting and maintaining a healthier lifestyle through healthy eating, regular physical activity, and getting good quality sleep on a regular basis, as well as limiting alcohol consumption and not smoking. Lifestyle plays an important role in our overall health, well-being and quality of life. It also helps to prevent obesity and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.
Mental health is also very much interconnected with physical health, and central to overall health and well-being. Positive mental health has a bearing on one’s ability to cope with life’s challenges and stress, and affects one’s sense of belonging and feelings of being in control of their life. If you are in need of support, or if a loved one is struggling, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth). The Wellness Together Canada portal provides free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer-to-peer support, and one-to-one counselling with qualified health professionals.
Indigenous persons who need immediate support, crisis intervention, or referrals to community-based services can access experienced and culturally sensitive help line counsellors through the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or online at www.hopeforwellness.ca.