On Thursday, September 27, the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN) hosted its first breakfast reception at Queen’s Park to help raise awareness about metastatic prostate cancer and offer support to a patient population that is often overlooked by stories of prevention and survivorship.
President and CEO of CCSN, Jackie Manthorne, kicked-off the breakfast by welcoming more than 40 guests, including Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), other key government officials, members from prostate cancer patient groups, healthcare professionals, patients and their caregivers. She discussed the unique challenges the metastatic prostate cancer population faces and the ‘value of time’, particularly as it pertains to access to cancer medications.
From left to right:
Charlene Lee, Janssen, Jackie Manthorne, CCSN, Liz Sandals, MPP Guelph and Parliamentary Assistant to the Honourable Deb Matthews, Carrie McElroy, Sanofi Canada, Dr. Sandeep Sehdev, Oncologist, William Osler Health Centre, Isabelle-Anne Mimeault, Janssen, Ron Grant, patient from Cornwall, John Feairs, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Minister of Health and Long Term Care
Among those who addressed the room was Liz Sandals, Parliamentary Assistant to the Honourable Deb Matthews, the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care for Ontario. Ms. Sandals discussed the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s commitments in oncology, including the recent listings of two treatments for metastatic prostate cancer: ZYTIGA (abiraterone-acetate) and JEVTANA (cabazitaxel).
Dr. Sandeep Sehdev, a medical oncologist from William Osler Health System, spoke about his experience with this patient population and the exciting treatment innovations in prostate cancer. He also put the cost of new targeted therapies in perspective, explaining that it costs up to $2,000 a day to treat cancer patients in hospital, so there is a great benefit to funding such advancements in treatment that allow patients to be treated at home and to live well, longer.
Finally, 70-year old Ron Grant from Cornwall, Ontario shared his first-hand experience of living with advanced prostate cancer and how it has affected him and his family. Ron discussed how his condition improved while on a clinical trial for ZYTIGA and how it afforded him the ability to regain his life and to travel with his wife. Ron concluded by encouraging MPPs to continue to lend their support in ensuring that men like him can continue to have hope.
The event was a success in not only raising awareness of the challenges faced by the metastatic prostate cancer community among key government officials, but also provided a forum to openly discuss how to better support this patient population to ensure they receive necessary treatments, which will provide them with hope and more time to spend with family and friends.
Stay tuned for more of CCSN’s events in the community.