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Insights & Perspectives

The importance of being seen and heard in the cancer system

Jane Smart, Senior Specialist, Technical Training, Legal and Privacy, CCO, shares her unique perspectives of cancer as a patient and as a parent.

Cancer has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mother had kidney cancer when I was a young adult. She survived, but the disease robbed me of the belief that my mother was invincible. As I grew older, the list of my family members with cancer just kept getting longer. Eventually, I joined the list – twice.

The power of a supportive network

The first time Lauri P. met with her fellow patient and family advisors at Cancer Care Ontario, she was unprepared for the emotions stirred up by the encounter. Sitting in her car after the meeting, she suddenly started to cry.

“The tears came out of left field. Meeting other survivors face to face was overwhelming,” she says. Far from being sad, Lauri says it was comforting to connect with people who had faced the same fears and frustrations she had.

Ontario's cancer care system: Amazing care, important lessons

Working at CCO, I hear “cancer” every day. But when my doctor said to me, “I think you have cancer,” the word took on a very different meaning.

I was suddenly thrust into the healthcare system I had been writing about for more than five years in my role as Communications Advisor with CCO’s Marketing Communications. 

Beyond prevention: Primary care providers in the cancer system

This past spring I was giving a talk about the My CancerIQ risk assessment tool at one of Ontario’s largest primary care conferences. And, as I so often do, I remarked that chronic disease prevention and screening are reasons why I choose to practise family medicine. They've always resonated with me. 

Towards a greater understanding of cancer in Ontario

The science of gathering and reporting on cancer burden data in Ontario began nearly a century ago, several years before the organization now known as CCO came into existence.

Ieva and Malcolm: In sickness and in health

When a couple can count their wedding anniversaries in decades, they usually have their relationship pretty well worked out. But as Malcolm and Ieva F. discovered, cancer can dramatically alter a couple’s roles as husband and wife, even after 40-plus years of marriage.

A closer look at cancer drug shortages

While cancer drug shortages are not new, they are more frequent than ever. The reality today is that one or more cancer drugs may be in short supply at any time.

Patients with cancer, already dealing with a serious diagnosis, may be concerned about access to their treatments and the possible consequences of delays or changes from preferred treatments.

Help improve a cancer patient's experience. Draw a picture.

In honour of Patient Experience Week, CCO patient advisor Deb K. shares her thoughts on how healthcare providers can communicate more effectively with patients. Patient Experience Week runs from April 23 to 27, 2018.


A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when communicating with patients. While writing at a lower grade level and in plain language can improve comprehension, using fewer words and carefully chosen visuals can be even more helpful.

Why it’s so important to quit smoking when you have cancer

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or had a loved one receive this news, you know that it can be quite overwhelming. There are often multiple clinic visits and tests, new healthcare providers to get to know and lots of information about treatment options and their side effects. And there is the stress of not knowing how well the treatments will work or what your prognosis will be.

New cancer statistics: Better outcomes, but increasing need in Ontario

This year, more than 90,000 people in Ontario will discover they have cancer. Approximately one in two Ontarians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.

Michael Sherar, CEO & President of CCO
CCO President & CEO Michael Sherar

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