CCSN’s Questions to Parties & Candidates

Dear Candidate:

Over 200,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer every year, including 910 new cases in Prince Edward Island. Approximately 410 people Islanders will die of cancer each year. Clearly, this life-threatening illness affects entire communities, especially families, friends and co-workers.

The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) is a national network of patients, families, survivors, friends, families, community partners and sponsors. Its mission is to work together by taking action to promote the very best standard of care, support, follow up and quality of life for patients and survivors. It aims to educate the public and policy makers about cancer survivorship and encourage research on ways to alleviate barriers to optimal cancer care in Canada.

The government of Prince Edward Island (PEI) has an important role to play in making sure that everyone diagnosed with cancer has timely access to cancer care and essential medical services as well as access to emergency rooms and the treatment and medications they need.

We invite you to respond to the following questions related to cancer care and healthcare in PEI. Your responses will be circulated to cancer patients and survivors in Ontario and included on our website, http://survivornet.ca/act/ccsn-election-campaigns/, and posted on our social media.

Question 1: National pharmacare

Canada’s universal healthcare system does not include access to prescription medicines. The result is a provincial/territorial patchwork of public and private insurance plans that are costly, ineffective and do not guarantee access to prescribed drugs. The federal government has set up an Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare to look at how access to prescription drugs can be improved in our healthcare system. Patients throughout PEI are concerned that national pharmacare will lead to a list of covered drugs that only meets the lowest common denominator.

  1. If elected, will your government support the implementation of a national pharmacare program that guarantees access to prescription medicines and a coverage plan that goes beyond a formulary that meets the lowest common denominator?
  2. If not, please explain how your party will ensure that Islanders will have timely and affordable access to prescription drugs.

Question 2: Information on breast density

Over 40% of women over the age of 40 have dense breasts. Having dense breasts can make it more difficult for radiologists viewing mammograms to spot cancer because dense breast tissue shows up as white, which is the same color as a cancerous tumour. Dense breasts increase an individual’s risk of developing breast cancer, and as a result, are missed on a mammogram.

  1. If elected to government,will you commit to notifying all women their breast density upon receipt of their mammogram reports?
  2. If elected to government, will you commit to raising public awareness and education on breast density?

Question 3: Cancer and pesticide use

Many Islanders are concerned about the link between cancer and pesticide use in the agricultural industry.

  1. If elected to government, what will your party do to address this issue?

We thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Yours sincerely,
Canadian Cancer Survivor Network & Dense Breasts Canada