patient talking to doctor

Cancer has touched the lives of every Canadian in some way – through family, loved ones, or friends. Together, we put in tremendous effort to work towards improving cancer treatments, understanding more about the disease, and supporting those in our lives and community who are suffering. With all the energy and money devoted to cancer and cancer treatments, many Canadians have some questions:

Why haven’t we cured cancer yet?

Cancer is a very complicated illness that can take on many forms. Cancers happen when our cells are damaged on an incredibly small scale, changing their DNA patterns. These changes can be dangerous as they grow or spread in the body. While this seems simple, it can manifest in so many different forms, making it more complicated.

While there are still many promising treatments and lots of progress, we aren’t very close to a cure for all cancer simply because we’re still learning so much about it on a minuscule, cellular level, and investigating how it develops in people.

It seems like everything these days causes cancer. How reliable is cancer research?

With new studies coming out all the time, proving or disproving connections to cancer, it can be overwhelming and confusing, leaving many people without much faith in the research.

It’s important to remember that each study is just a small part of the medical community’s understanding of illnesses. When we look at only one study at a time, the results can be confusing, but scientists and medical professionals are dedicated to looking at all the evidence to learn more about cancer.

From what we’ve learned, there are a few factors, like smoking and UV ray exposure, that undoubtedly increase cancer risks. There are also many other healthy lifestyle factors that help to manage cancer risk, as well.

Cancer research - microscope and cryo storage for cells

Do charities and fundraisers actually help?

Not-for-profit organizations play an essential role in our community’s fight against cancer. These organizations help in many ways, from improving the lives of people fighting cancer to finding better treatments and solutions. There are lots of charities big and small that focus on different elements of improving the lives of Canadians.

What do these charities do to help fight Cancer in my community?

Some charities focus on cancer research, where they put money raised towards funding research projects to help us understand cancer better and develop better treatment options. Others focus on providing support and services to people affected by cancer. These organizations help to ease the suffering of those currently fighting cancer by helping them and their families to meet their needs to live a more comfortable life while they are battling their illness.

How do my time and money help people through these organizations?

breast cancer awareness runEach charity and foundation is different and has their own vision for the goals of what they want to achieve to help people in need. While some of the bigger foundations have the ability to take on more and larger projects, thanks to their far-reaching support and financial reserves, they also lose more money to managing their organization and other administrative costs.

Smaller organizations are often more focused on providing services for those suffering. While they don’t have the same reserves of cash as the bigger foundations, they can work more efficiently and meet the needs of people more directly, making sure that donations are put exactly where they are needed.

With the variety of organizations we have in Canada, everyone has the ability to support those in their lives suffering from cancer in a way that is most meaningful to them. With all the progress we’ve made already, there’s hope that we can make even bigger strides towards a future free of cancer with the support of all Canadians.