Getting Past Persuasion – Understanding Cancer Screening

Myth 02: There are no signs or symptoms of cancer

Truth: For many cancers, there are screening tests, warning signs and symptoms, and the benefits of early detection are indisputable.

Another cancer myth gets busted at World Cancer Day 2014

Although every province and territory offers evidence-based screening programs for breast, cervical and colon cancers, too many Canadians don’t have the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about screening.

According to a recent Canadian survey 81% of Canadians are aware that cancer screening tests exist and they recognize the benefits of screening. However, 60% don’t understand that screening is a “health behaviour” that is offered free of charge thru provincial government cancer agencies to everyone, including healthy people, based on age and other risk factors.  People in the GTA have some of the lowest participation rates in Canada in our provincial screening programs.

The challenge is finding the right way to communicate about screening in a way that supports informed decision-making. We need to overcome the clutter, confusion and mixed messages so often promoted to the public.

In order to get past persuasion to informed decision making, we want to make it easy for doctors and patients to see the key data about screening tests’ benefits and harms.  We are creating innovative programs and campaigns targeted at new audiences to build understanding and informed decision-making about cancer.

On February 4, 2014 the Campaign to Control Cancer, along with partners from ReThink Breast Cancer, the Youth Advocacy Training Institute (YATI), the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and Let’s Talk Science will be delivering a curriculum about cancer control and risk reduction to students from grades 6-8. Together, we will educate and empower young people from the Greater Toronto Area and provide them with the advocacy skills they need to support healthy behaviours in their families, schools and communities.

A new generation of advocates, researchers, physicians and community support workers is becoming inspired to take on the challenges of cancer control. C2CC is mobilizing students across Ontario – come hear what they have to say on World Cancer Day.

Date:             Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Time:              5:00 – 8:00 PM

Location:        MaRS Centre Auditorium, 101 College Street, Toronto

Cost:              Free


Why We Need to Talk About Cancer


Why Did Angelina Jolie, Terry Fox, Lance Armstrong, Nancy Reagan and Siddhartha Mukherjee Need to Talk About Cancer?

Myth 01: We don’t need to talk about cancer

Truth: While cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level.

Another cancer myth gets busted at World Cancer Day 2014

Talking about cancer has long been considered taboo in many cultures – and silence might have been warranted in ancient and medieval times.  Until advances in anaesthesia and antibiotics, most surgical operations were performed in dank chambers or barbershops.   No wonder people fled from doctors and sought the comfort and silence of practitioners who offered goat dung, laying on of hands or blessing of water.  When alcohol and opium were the only relief for intractable pain, it may have seemed more humane to whisper about cancer.  But today, cancer isn’t treated with a soldering iron heated on coals or burning with sulphuric acid paste.
People from all walks of life are talking because talking about cancer can change outcomes:
  • by making patients feel less fearful and alone;
  • by providing support to families and friends;
  • by sharing research findings and advances across systems and borders;
  • by providing cancer professionals with opportunities to attend digital and real-time international conferences, events, educational opportunities to ensure awareness of and application of effective new treatments;
  • by raising questions about the direction and impact of research and public policy;
  • by raising new funds for research and treatment;
  • by raising the profile of the value of clinical trials;
  • By engaging people everywhere thru storytelling and collective action.

Negative public perception of cancer can stifle informed public discussion and perpetuate a cycle of fear and misinformation that hinders raising awareness about cancer prevention and the importance of early detection. Even within highly engaged communities, the level of knowledge of cancer and the willingness to talk about it with friends and family can be low. Our Engaging Emerging Leaders in Cancer Control (E2C2) changed the game by mobilizing a network of engaged student leaders to take innovative-province wide action for a healthy campus, healthy community development and cancer control. 5 campaigns at 5 universities connected healthy choices today, policy change and student engagement for long term health and wellness. 

To hear from E2C2 student leaders join us on February 4 for World Cancer Day:

Date:           Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Time:           5:00 – 8:00 PM

Location:     MaRS Centre Auditorium 101 College Street, Toronto

Cost:           Free

Register Here: