New stats are out from the Canadian Cancer Society and they’re alarming. It’s estimated 202-thousand Canadians will be diagnosed this year. Of those, 78-thousand Canadians are expected to die from cancer in 2016. Joe Scarpelli reports.
Robbie Stewart was a school teacher in the south end of Oshawa, but four years ago, everything changed. Stewart was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
“Cancer was the last thing that came to mind. I thought why did this happen to me?”
To this day, Stewart is still asking that same question and his doctor isn’t able to give him an answer.
“I guess it’s kind of like poker…you didn’t draw the right hand…and this is where I’m at.”
And Stewart isn’t alone in his fight against cancer. This year, an estimated 26 thousand more Canadians will be diagnosed with the same form of the disease. But that’s only a part of the picture. Wednesday, the Canadian Cancer Society is out with some alarming numbers. More than 200 thousand Canadians will be diagnosed with new cases of cancer this year. Lakeridge Health President and CEO Tom McHugh says he has been aware of these disturbing numbers for years.
“That’s why we built the centre here and that’s why we developed a system here in Durham and even more broadly in the central east.”
McHugh says how the hospital approaches cancer and its treatment, is ever changing.
“One of the key things that’s changing is the role of the patient in their own care and the role of the patient in telling us about their care and shaping the system going forward.”
This means that cancer patients are able to give feedback to the hospital and even be involved in decision making when it comes to the cancer centre. Stewart is on the advisory council.
“It’s been absolutely what we can do as patients. We have a great amount of power and influence and that helps not only myself but my colleague patients and people to come.”
But the best medicine is preventative. Both men agree regular cancer screening is vital. As for Stewart, he will continue to fight.