November 19, 2014 – Canadian Cancer Survivor Network hosts Ontario Legislative Reception to raise awareness of metastatic prostate cancer

Ottawa, ON – November 19, 2014 – In the month of November focused on men’s health, the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) was pleased to host its third annual breakfast reception at the Ontario Legislature to highlight the challenges faced by metastatic prostate cancer patients and their families and the increasing number of treatment options that provide a good quality of life while living with this disease.

The reception was hosted by Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie, followed by an overview of CCSN by Sapna Mahajan, CCSN Board member, who shared the personal journeys of important men in her life to illustrate why young women should be concerned about best treatment for prostate cancer.


Ann Hoggarth, MPP Barrie; Jackie Manthorne, CCSN President & CEO; Indira Naidoo-Harris, Parlimentary Assistant to the Minister of Health & Long-Term Care

Keynote speakers included Dr. Andrew Feifer, an urolic oncologist at the Trillium Health Partners’ Fidani Cancer Center at Credit Valley Hospital and Derek Lawrence, who lives with metastatic prostate cancer. Indira Naidoo-Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Christine Elliott, Deputy Leader of the PC Party of Ontario and PC Health and Long-Term Care Critic and France Gélinas, NDP Critic, also offered remarks.

“The treatment landscape for patients with metastatic prostate cancer is changing after many years without new options. We are pleased to continue to raise awareness among Ontario MPPs of the importance of access to new treatments that can extend life that is of good quality,” said Jackie Manthorne, CCSN President and CEO. “Most awareness campaigns for prostate cancer focus on early detection and prevention and celebrate survivorship. We feel it is also important to help men living with metastatic disease to tell their stories.” 

Derek Lawrence, Jackie Manthorne, CCSN President & CEO, Dr. Andrew Feifer, Urolic Oncologist, Fidani Cancer Centre, Sapna Mahajan, CCSN Board Member

Reception sponsor MPP Ann Hoggarth shared her own cancer journey and that of other family members. MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris spoke of the government’s commitment working with patients rather than for patients while striving for world-class treatment in Ontario, and urged  MPPs to listen to patients and patient groups. Both MPP Elliott and MPP Gélinas echoed the need for access to treatment and support for caregivers; MPP Gélinas highlighted the special concerns of those from northeastern Ontario in accessing treatments where they live.  “It is wonderful to see such support and sensitivity for this issue from our members of the Ontario Legislature,” said Manthorne. 

Dr. Andrew Feifer, noted urolic oncologist at Trillium Health Partners’ Fidani Cancer Centre and the University Health Network, reminded the audience of the need for access to a variety of treatment options. He spoke about the husbands, brothers, uncles and sons that he treats, saying, “We should not – indeed cannot – fail these men in their time of need.  Our profession must deliver new therapies and treatment protocols.”

Eighty-four-year old Derek Lawrence gave a human face to the discussions that preceded his presentation. He spoke of the impact that his diagnosis has had on him and his wife Margaret. “Time is so important to those of us living with metastatic prostate cancer. I am 19 years post-diagnosis and treatments are much improved today.  As long as we can access new medicines and receive support, we can be around for a long time.”

CCSN has also recently launched A Family Affair: Prostate Cancer Family and Caregiver Portal, an online portal recognizing and addressing the experience of prostate cancer, whether in its early or more advanced stages, as a family affair.

About Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN)

CCSN is an organization committed to developing public policy on cancer issues and increasing advocacy for optimal cancer care and follow-up. CCSN works to connect patients, survivors and other stakeholder groups with decision makers and the wider community to engage in discussion and to act on evidence-based best practices to alleviate the medical, emotional, financial and social costs of cancer and encourage research on ways to overcome barriers to optimal cancer care and follow-up for survivors in Canada.


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Jackie Manthorne
Canadian Cancer Survivor Network