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Canadians with Lung Cancer Declare, 'I DESERVE TO LIVE' - Support Hope and Survivorship

Lung Cancer Canada launches #IDESERVETOLIVE social media campaign to activate access discussions during Lung Cancer Awareness Month

TORONTO, Nov. 6, 2019 /CNW/ - Lung Cancer Canada (LCC) is honoured to represent the voice of Canadians who refuse to accept the status quo and want to improve lung cancer survivorship situation for all Canadians living with lung cancer. Lung cancer is Canada's number one cause of cancer related death and every Canadian fighting the disease should have access to the same resources and treatments. Canadians are leaders in innovation, but advancements mean nothing if they're inaccessible. #IDESERVETOLIVE launches during Lung Cancer Awareness Month (LCAM) to drive awareness and action since those with lung cancer deserve to live.

"It is really important for us to listen to our community, so that our focus represents and addresses critical issues facing Canadians with lung cancer, #IDESERVETOLIVE reflects the voices of patients and their families", says Shem Singh, Executive Director of Lung Cancer Canada. "The progress we have made in the last 10 years in screening, diagnostics and treatments have been truly remarkable. However innovation is not effective if it does not reach patients. No province has implemented a screening program, and in some cases years go by after Health Canada approves a drug before it is covered by the provinces. This is too long and cannot continue if we truly believe that lung cancer patients deserve to live."

The #IDESERVETOLIVE  social media campaign encourages Canadians with a connection to the disease to get involved by asking an important question, "Do lung cancer patients deserve to live?" To emphatically say "Yes!" supporters are asked to 1) go to http://bit.ly/IDeserveToLive and sign a pledge in support; and 2) share their story using #IDESERVETOLIVE in their social media posts to spread the word, tag and challenge others to sign the pledge.

For Anne-Marie Cerato, she asked herself that very question a decade ago  and this year she celebrates her 10-year 'cancerversary' as a survivor. Cerato remarks, "Living with lung cancer for 10 years is rare, I often call myself a unicorn. I was fortunate to have access to new treatments through clinical trials but not every patient does. We need new strategies for the delivery and funding of care in Canada so that we can have more 10-year lung cancer survivors. Access is key."

"There is a lot of discussion right now about our health system, drug prices and how to make these available to Canadians who need them. However with a disease where close to 50% are diagnosed at an incurable stage and the 5-year survival rate is 19%, lung cancer patients have no time to wait. Swift action is required and by engaging all stakeholders in this healthcare emergency, we can actualize change and save lives." says Singh.

The 6th Annual Faces of Lung Cancer Report focusses on access and starts this discussion. How do we ensure that someone living with lung cancer in PEI has access to the same treatments and services as those living in BC? As lung cancer treatments become more effective and more personalized to a patient's specific lung cancer, how can our public healthcare system fund these in light of rising drug costs? Can time-limited funding models and re-evaluation based on additional clinical or real-world evidence play a role? There are more questions than answers. Establishing a dialogue between all stakeholders  is critical - including patents, clinicians, manufacturers, and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) bodies - to discuss ways of modernizing Canada's public system. It is clear ? Canadian lung cancer patients deserve to live and they are losing valuable time. #IDESERVETOLIVE.

For more information on lung cancer or a copy of the report, visit: www.lungcancercanada.ca.

About Lung Cancer Canada

Based in Toronto, Lung Cancer Canada (LCC) is Canada's only national charitable organization that is solely focused on lung cancer. Lung Cancer Canada serves as Canada's leading resource for lung cancer education, patient support, research, and advocacy. LCC's mission is three fold: 1) to increase public awareness of lung cancer, 2) to support and advocate for lung cancer patients and their families, 3) to provide educational resources to patients, family members, healthcare professionals, and the general public.

SOURCE Lung Cancer Canada

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News published on 6 november 2019 at 12:00 and distributed by: