Every year on the first Sunday in June, we mark National Cancer Survivors Day by honouring the Canadians who inspire us with their strength and perseverance in the face of cancer.
Every day, more than 500 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer and more than 200 will die from the disease. While these figures seem alarming, the percentage of Canadians surviving at least five years following their cancer diagnosis has improved from 53% to 60% between 1992 and 2008.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadians living with cancer and their families. Over the past decade, the Government has invested more than $1.3 billion in research to advance knowledge of cancer and to guide new treatment and prevention strategies. The federal government also provides $47.5 million per year in ongoing funding to the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, which works with cancer experts, charitable organizations, Indigenous communities, governments, cancer agencies, national health organizations, patients, survivors and others to implement Canada’s cancer control strategy.
In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada has invested $49 million and leveraged more than $43 million in non-governmental funding in programs that promote healthy living and reducing the risk factors for chronic diseases. These risk factors, such as unhealthy eating, physical inactivity and smoking, can lead to cancer and other diseases.
Our Government recognizes that cancer survivors have unique healthcare needs – Canadians living with a chronic disease like cancer are more likely to report their mental health as poor or fair compared to Canadians without a chronic disease. We will continue to work closely with partners and stakeholders to develop innovative and engaging ways that support Canadians in improving their mental health and that prevent mental illness.
National Cancer Survivor’s Day is an opportunity to recognize the strength and resilience of cancer survivors across Canada. I never cease to be inspired by their stories and wish them continued good health and strength.
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health