What We Fund
Research into pancreatic cancer has been drastically outpaced by other cancers, which means a great challenge for us and our community to change the outcome. This is why funding research is our highest priority: to give patients and their families more time together and ultimately save more lives.
In recent years we have invested in clinical trials focusing on genomic testing of patients’ pancreatic cancer tumours in an effort to learn more about this disease and offer opportunities for personalized medicine for more Canadians. These trials have been so critical to our foundational understanding of the different subtypes of pancreatic cancer that they have lead to new clinical trials offering new treatment options to patients. We are proud to fund two of these clinical trials starting in 2019.
A pancreatic cancer diagnosis can have a radiating effect, impacting the patient, their caregivers, family and community. Since mid-2018, we have partnered with Wellspring, a highly respected organization with expertise in providing counselling and peer support for those affected by cancer, to bring specialized support to those impacted by this disease.
In 2019 we are expanding our partnership with Wellspring to bring peer support to even more Canadians in need by recruiting more volunteers from more communities across the country.
While we fund research that looks for new treatments options and cures, we also recognize the importance of supporting patients and their families in ways that enhance their quality of life. In addition to our investments in Peer Support, we work closely with Craig’s Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society to bring our community services that provide information and some peace of mind. Our current investments include Ask A Doctor, which enables Canadians to ask questions about pancreatic cancer to knowledgeable healthcare professionals using a free online service, and a Financial Assistance Program, which supplies grants to Canadian patients to help alleviate the cost of treatment.
Keeping pancreatic cancer symptoms and risk factors front of mind for healthcare professionals is an important factor in increasing early detection, which is one of the highest priorities for our community. As a result, we actively seek opportunities where we can share information and resources with physicians from urban centres and rural communities alike.
One way we do this is through an online platform designed strictly for healthcare practitioners called The Rounds. On this platform we host Ask Me Anything sessions with leading pancreatic cancer doctors, which spreads the word about the disease and creates a dialogue that encourages questions and further learning.
Another way we reach out to doctors directly is through the Family Medicine Forum, which is an annual multi-day conference attended by thousands of healthcare professionals from across the country. Pancreatic Cancer Canada has a designated booth at this conference, giving us the opportunity to share resources, remind physicians about risk factors and symptoms, provide updated information on treatment options and answer questions on a 1:1 level.
Advocacy and Awareness
Making more Canadians aware of this disease and advocating for patients and their families is a core facet of our mission. We are a founding member of the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, which consists of allied organizations from 21 countries that come together to discuss research and support priorities, and coordinate World Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Day every year in November.
We also work closely with a public relations firm to assist in advocacy work and help us mount large-scale awareness campaigns, such as Assumptions Can Be Deadly.