Right To Survive’s Open Letter To All Prospective Candidates in Québec’s Upcoming Election

August 25, 2022

Subject: Enhancing access to lung cancer screening across all regions of Québec

To all prospective candidates in Québec’s upcoming election:

Lung cancer is the leading killer among all cancer types in Québec and we, the lung cancer community,
need your support to help change that.

For far too long a diagnosis of lung cancer has been a death sentence, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
With new technologies, innovative medicines, and early detection strategies through lung cancer
screening programs, we can significantly improve the outcomes of people who are diagnosed with lung
cancer. We need you to take action today because lung cancer patients deserve to be cancer survivors

As part of a lung cancer screening pilot project due to end in 2023, right now, lung cancer screening is
only available at eight hospitals across six regions: Montréal, Québec, Laval, de la Côte-Nord, de l’Estrie,
de l’Outaouais et de la Montérégie.

There isn’t a single centre for lung cancer screening in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean,
Gaspésie, Mauricie, Centre-du-Québec, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, les Laurentides or Lanaudière. Many
patients in these regions do not currently have access to the pilot where they live, and travel costs must
be paid by patients from these regions who want to participate in the pilot.

Moreover, there is currently no public plan to transition the ongoing pilot project into a fully-funded and
province-wide formal lung cancer screening program. The Québec lung cancer community needs to know
that lung cancer screening will continue to be a priority for government beyond 2023.

If you are successful in this election the lung cancer community is calling on you to take the
following actions to ensure fair and equal access to lung cancer screening across our province:

  1. Upon the conclusion of the pilot project in 2023, introduce a fully-funded, formal lung cancer
    screening program that is available across all regions of Québec.
  2. Immediately improve access to the lung cancer screening pilot program by adding new sites as
    quickly as possible, across all regions of Québec, before the end of 2023.
  3. Reimburse a portion of travel costs for participants in Québec’s lung cancer screening pilot who
    must travel outside of their region to access the program, in line with the 2021 Travel Policy for
    users of the health and social services network.
  4. Publish all results of the lung cancer screening pilot project.
  5. Work with community organizations to create and fund an awareness program that will encourage
    people to get screened for lung cancer and help reduce the stigma associated with the disease.

As proud advocates for the lung cancer community, we are counting on you to address these concerns
beginning on October 4 th , so that more lung cancer patients in Québec can become lung cancer survivors.

Jackie Manthorne
President and CEO
Canadian Cancer Survivor Network