The Canadian Cancer Society reports that every year more than 200,000 Canadians are told the words we all fear, “You have cancer.”
Cancer is the biggest killer in Canada, making up 30.2% of all deaths around the country. While each individual’s experience can be vastly different, all patients share many of the same challenges and fears after receiving their diagnosis. Often overlooked along a cancer patient’s journey, cancer charities play an important role behind the scenes, supporting patients and their families as they face those challenges.
Many Canadian charities are helping cancer patients and their loved ones with care, treatment, and other services including hospice services and end of life support. Some of these organizations also fund critical research to spread awareness and educate the public about prevention and symptoms to catch cancer before it’s too late.
With so many charities working to help Canadians facing cancer head-on, the following are just a few charities working to address cancer in different ways.
Cancer Charities Spreading Awareness and Educating the Public
Many Canadian charities play a crucial role in raising awareness and educating the public on cancer prevention and awareness. They aim to decrease cancer rates by providing information on risk factors and improving treatment outcomes by helping Canadians detect symptoms earlier.
The Melanoma Network of Canada is one such charity, focused on the prevention of melanoma – a potentially life-threatening skin cancer, through advocacy and education. They provide information on the disease and assist in efforts to secure funding for melanoma research to advance prevention efforts.
Raising awareness and providing education is also central to Lung Cancer Canada’s mission. Lung Cancer Canada is the only charity in Canada with a focus on raising awareness and providing information to people affected by lung cancer. Formed by caregivers and healthcare professionals in response to the lack of information, treatment options, and support, they have become an authority on the disease in Canada.
Charities Supporting Cancer Patients and Their Loved Ones
Cancer treatment is a physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially taxing experience for each and every patient. It is also challenging for family members, partners, and other loved ones to witness someone they love so dearly go through a tough time. A number of charities exist to support patients and their families through this experience.
Young Adult Cancer Canada connects young adults aged 15-39 who are on their cancer journey. They aim to support young adults as they move with, through, and beyond cancer by providing a connection with peers to eliminate isolation and create inspiration for their patients.
Knowing that cancer also takes a toll on families, Ontario Parents Advocating for Children with Cancer, supports parents and families of children with cancer throughout their cancer journey. They coordinate peer support and support groups across Ontario – both in hospitals and in local communities.
Many small, local cancer charities also make a difference in their communities by offering a welcoming environment for patients to share their stories. Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka offers programs for emotional support where men, women, and children can find the information and support they need to live with the emotional stress of a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and bereavement.
Cancer Charities Supporting Research
Cancer research plays an important part in beating cancer. Many cancer organizations are leading research initiatives to identify more risk factors, early warning signs and symptoms, new treatments, and a possible cure for cancer.
Many charities exist to fund more specialized research such as the Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation while others, like the Canadian Research Society and Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, are committed to researching all types of cancer.
Cancer Charities Providing Palliative Care
While the majority of those diagnosed with cancer survive, many do not. Many charities work to ensure terminal patients and their families are given the best palliative care possible. These charities are dedicated to making patients more comfortable, getting them the necessary treatments, and providing a network of support around them.
The Palliative Home-Care Society Foundation has been providing palliative care for cancer patients since 1980. The foundation has helped more than 50,000 cancer patients and their families by providing end-of-life care in their homes so they can be closer to loved ones and in a more comforting environment.
The Ian Anderson House Foundation is another such charity, offering quality end-of-life palliative care by trained medical professionals, for cancer patients who cannot be given the necessary round-the-clock care in their own homes. The House is designed to create a homelike and safe environment where residents receive round-the-clock care.
Cancer Charities Need Your help
While Canadians are lucky enough to have most medical care provided for them, charities are filling an important gap. Without these charities and their generous donors, Canadians with cancer would have faced a much harder journey. Discover more charities fighting cancer and support their initiatives with a donation today!
Find more Canadian charities helping different causes and support your favourite charity.