Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another lobby group piece of research & 'report' on cancer

Mom, prior to chemo treatments

Dad following radiation

But I am fearful...

Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC)
The survey, called Weighing Quality of Life in Cancer, focuses on three areas:
·         Impact - Majority of Canadians (82 per cent) have been exposed to cancer
·         Quality of life - 87 per cent of Canadians see value in providing quality of life treatments to prolong life of cancer patients
·         Access to therapies - 23 per cent of Canadians lack confidence have that their government provide access to cancer therapies

I am really uncomfortable with some of these studies.

1. The language is unspecific, and vague. 'The majority of Canadians (82 %) have
'been exposed to cancer'. (What, like a flasher?)

Quality of life
2. Quality of life vs. extending life is very personal. My mom's chemo killed her. Oncologists are very shameful in not providing treatment plans, side effects. etc. My mom's lymphedema destroyed her quality of life in her last few months.
These studies fearmonger... they do not improve treatment plans, and lengthen a life, but at what cost?

Access to therapies
3. I loathe the opinion questions, the 'man in the street' polls, Canadians 'lacking confidence' in the government shrieks of lobbying and electioneering. What is the hidden agenda of this study?
Give me facts, prove your facts with numbers not, '82% of Canadians believe'.

Most of us do not understand the healthcare system. Many of us, like the families I had to deal with in 25 years of teaching, that their child was the only one in my classroom.
The system handle most cases well. The cases that go horribly wrong get publicity.

If you have money, position, power, an education, you know how to make your way through the system. Until we all have a patient navigator, the playing field will not be even.

All media seem to believe that everything related to healthcare is broken, dysfunctional, and needs to change.

In my experience, we need more doctors who understand palliative care. We need more nurses who can take care of palliative patients, and more PSWs to provide home care. We are terribly short funding as well as the personnel to fill these jobs. We need regulated PSWs to do home care, and people to provide transportation for those who are ill.

"Not surprisingly, almost all (87 per cent) of Canadians feel that access to treatments that could prolong life for a few more weeks, with a good quality of life, would be valuable for their loved ones."

In my case I wanted real research, designed to give me information. From all my work with my parents, hospice clients, day hospices, there comes a point when treatment must stop and palliative care must start.

This doesn't hold true for all the people I have worked with. The pain and suffering of chemo doesn't justify a few more weeks while caregivers face their own health issues.

Materials for Your Reference
The social media release (SMR) and top-line survey results can be accessed through the following link:

We really must read these 'studies' for what they are. Hidden agendas, and lobbying for funds for particular health groups.

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