CCSN: Questions to Parties and Candidates

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) works to connect patients, survivors and other stakeholder groups with decision makers and the wider community. Our goal is to engage in meaningful discussions and to act on evidence-based best practices to alleviate the medical, emotional, financial and social costs of cancer.

In every provincial and federal election, CCSN poses a priority question to candidates from all parties. With input from local groups and individuals concerned with cancer, the question is posed to all candidates from all parties and to the parties’ leadership.

A recent CCSN-commissioned Leger survey of 1,243 Canadians revealed that the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a crisis in essential cancer care across the country. Cancer patients, their caregivers and those awaiting confirmation of a cancer diagnosis faced, and still face, postponed and cancelled appointments, tests and treatment, causing heightened fear and anxiety.

Here’s a responses we received in our Leger survey from a Stage 4 breast cancer patient living in Newfoundland and Labrador:

“Where I am stage 4, It is concerning that I may have another scan postponed because of the pandemic. It makes me worry that something might be growing that we aren’t going to catch in time due to lack of scanning. So it’s causing a lot of anxiety”

As the CBC recently reported, health care is expected to take centre stage this election, and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has a critical role to play ensuring that essential cancer care is not disrupted by COVID-19 because cancer can’t wait!

Cancer can’t be cancelled or postponed. The delay and cancellation of cancer care due to COVID-19 has triggered another public health crisis. Cancer care and diagnosis must continue during any public health crisis affecting Canadians to save lives.

Our question is, if elected, what action will your government take to ensure that all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are guaranteed safe and timely access to essential cancer care?

Your response will be circulated to cancer patients, caregivers and survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador and included on our website at Links to your responses will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter.