On December 12, 2019, Prostate Cancer Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) announced that they are amalgamating, much as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) merged with CCS in early 2017. Not long before that Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support merged with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
While the Canadian Cancer Society has promised to prioritize the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and now Prostate Cancer Canada’s initiatives and activities, it is not clear to patients, caregivers and survivors that breast cancer is prioritized in services, funding support to local breast cancer organizations, or research. Indeed, what is visible on the Canadian Cancer Society’s website are fundraising events like the CIBC Run for the Cure, which was the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s signature fundraising event. Additional information on fundraising events for breast cancer can be found at https://www.cancer.ca/en/get-involved/support-us/breast-cancer-futures-fund/breast-cancer-corporate-partners/?region=on.
However, Prostate Cancer Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society state that they are excited to embark upon a strategic amalgamation that will strengthen and support cancer research, education and the needs of Canadians and their families dealing with the disease.
“For 25 years, Prostate Cancer Canada has been the leading national charity investing in world class research, increasing awareness about the disease and supporting Canadians and their families dealing with the most common form of cancer among men,” said Peter Coleridge, President and CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada.
“We have helped reduce the death rate from the disease by 50%, and with 1 in 9 Canadian men developing prostate cancer in their lifetime, this amalgamation will help ensure that our impact on patient outcomes will not only continue but also increase.”
“We have enormous respect for Prostate Cancer Canada and we’re excited to join forces,” said Andrea Seale, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Cancer Society. “A combined organization will allow us to increase impact – funding life-saving research and making life better for people with cancer, their caregivers and families. As we eliminate duplication and share best practices, more donor dollars will go to this important mission. Donors ask us why there is so much duplication among cancer causes – instead of competing, we’re joining together to redefine the cancer charity sector in Canada.”
Andrea Seale will lead the amalgamated organization. Peter Coleridge is committed to overseeing a smooth transition through the amalgamation, which requires federal government review and approval. It is anticipated that the process will be finalized in early 2020.
The merger of large organizations can have detrimental effects on the ability of local groups and events which support cancer patients, caregivers and survivors. As an example, check out the article entitled Breast cancer survivors uncertain of funding for retreat weekend at the following link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/breast-cancer-retreat-funding-cut-1.4997227
Kevin Higgins, Chair
Prostate Cancer Foundation BC – Cranbrook
Prostate Cancer Support Group Cranbrook
The recently announced merger of Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) and Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) causes me great concern. When the Canadian Prostate Cancer Network (CPCN) was taken over by PCC, it was with the hope that PCC would endure long into the future and would have the support groups as a strong part of its makeup. For the past several years, PCC has worked with the groups, providing support, supplies, and an Internet presence through the PCC website. CCS, on the other hand, decided years ago that it would cease to be involved with cancer support groups and cut us all loose from its structure. We, in British Columbia, have strong support from our Prostate Cancer Foundation BC, which has an active support group council that meets regularly (teleconference call), reviews the strength of our groups, and runs a major conference every three years. Not all groups in Canada will find that support. For now, I await word from CCS to hear if they have any kind of plan for the continuation of prostate cancer support groups within their organization. Or is it time to resurrect the good old CPCN???
Doug McIntyre, Co-Chair
As a long-time volunteer and advisor to Prostate Cancer Canada, and a 15 year Co-Chair of the Markham Prostate Cancer Network, I accept this merger allowing more funds to be directed to ongoing research. My worry is that the advisory network established so that Prostate Cancer survivors in local areas can continue to get specific guidance and resources to use in their community. Numerous pamphlets, CDs, and other website references are essential for local leaders to maintain their valued guidance. It must be maintained as a strong local advocate for the newly diagnosed.
Larry Peckford, Chair
Prostate Cancer Canada Network Ottawa
Prostate Cancer Canada Network Ottawa (PCCN Ottawa), which is a volunteer organization of prostate cancer survivors and their supporters, has never been formally associated with Prostate Cancer Canada, so in practical terms, this will not impact on our functioning. We are curious about the merging of organizations and will be interested in how things take shape.
Prostate Cancer Support group Moncton
Change always comes with reservation. To be honest, our interactions with CCS in the past have not been all that favourable. That said we have faith in the leadership of PCC and if the team feels this will be best for the PC community we are willing to do what we can to support the merger.
Don G. Partrick
Westman Prostate Cancer Support Group
I consider myself the prime example of the adage, early detection, early treatment, cure. The huge ongoing challenge is to seriously take responsibility for your health and insist on an informed communication with his doctor….to understand the circumstances of your condition and in most cases pursue information from all sources. Also, you must stay within the circumstances of your own condition. Everybody’s road is different! I also believe in the PSA process…it worked for me!
Brad Sterling, President
PROSTAID Calgary has been supporting men and their families in Calgary and the surrounding area since 1993. For over 26 years we have been the “Local Voice of Prostate Cancer.” These are definitely exciting times in the prostate cancer research field, with many new developments happening almost daily. At the same time the fundraising landscape is changing and continues to evolve. PROSTAID Calgary has enjoyed working with Prostate Cancer Canada over the past 25 years. We are excited to be part of this changing landscape and look forward to working with the Canadian Cancer Society which has a strong presence in communities across the country. We are anxious to learn how the Prostate Cancer Canada Network will be able to contribute to making the amalgamated organization and the society stronger together.
Graham Lockey, Executive Committee
Prostate Cancer Canada Network – Durham Region
A question of needs must. There are efficiencies to be had. Hopefully prostate cancer will get the focus it deserves as the most common cancer for men. We reserve judgement.