Minutes of Your Time: How A Canadian Program is Changing Cancer Medicine

What can you do with half an hour? That’s the question that a new Canadian program asks. An online program called #30MinutesThatMatter gives Canadian patients an opportunity to share how they think cancer care could be improved in their nation. All a person has to do to share their experience is login online and answer a series of questions to make a difference. Keep reading to learn more, or follow the original story here for more information.

Public Opinion

The #30MinutesThatMatter campaign is organized by The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC). The most prominent component of the campaign is an online “choicebook.” The choicebook consists of a series of questions designed to last no longer than half an hour, with the goal of engaging the general public and learning more about what they prioritize in cancer systems. One sample question asks participants if they had $100 how they would best like to see the money spent; participants may choose categories such as cancer prevention or drug development.

CPAC describes a determined effort to carefully sort through the data this program provides. By identifying the major themes and priorities, CPAC hopes that the information will be useful in reshaping Canada’s approach to cancer. The results from, #30MinutesThatMatter will be assessed alongside expert consulting and ultimately presented to Canada’s Health Minister.

Personal Perspective

Doreen Edward is one of CPAC’s patient advisers for the #30MinutesThatMatter campaign. In 1994, Doreen received treatment for colon cancer. In 2010 she survived an aggressive form of ovarian cancer. Doreen expressed by sharing both her opinions and advice, that it is important for everyone to share their voice about the Canadian medical system.

One of Doreen’s biggest concerns is how Canadian healthcare will be prepared to deal with an influx in new cancer cases. As people live longer, the expected frequency of cancer in a population also increases. Some estimates say that half of all Canadians will experience some form of cancer within their lifetime. She says that prevention and reduction of treatment costs should be major concern for Canada’s medical future. Doreen also points out that though Canada has national healthcare the system is not always equitable to every people group. She describes a number of more vulnerable groups (including lower-income, immigrants, LGBT communities) that shes believes need extra attention in order to ensure that they have access to equal and fair benefits.

Anyone who would like to participate in the campaign is invited to do so at www.cancerstrategy.ca between now and mid-December.

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