Milestone reached: Cancer Information Service answers one million inquiries

04 August 2011

Vancouver -

Today, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Service marks its one-millionth inquiry. The Cancer Information Service has been providing Canadians with friendly, accurate and prompt support and information about cancer since 1996.

“The Cancer Information Service offers an invaluable service to Canadians who are dealing with cancer and everything that entails,” says Sandra Krueckl, director, information and support, Canadian Cancer Society B.C. and Yukon. “One million is a great milestone but we want every Canadian touched by cancer to know that this free service is available to them and their families. We also couldn’t provide it without the generosity of our supporters.”

“The person I spoke to really understood my anxiety. It was nice to have someone to talk to about the process and our lack of knowledge,” says Wendy Ingham, Cancer Information Service user. “The information we received allowed us to cope much better. We were so happy to have a reliable contact to ask questions and is only a phone call away. If we could help one other person, we would encourage them to contact the Cancer Information Service.”

The Cancer Information Service is a free, national, bilingual, toll-free service that provides comprehensive and credible information about cancer and community resources to cancer patients, their families, the general public and healthcare professionals in a personalized, confidential and timely manner. The phone service is also available to Canadians in many other languages through interpreters.

Highly trained information specialists answer phones and provide accurate and up-to-date information about all aspects of dealing with cancer. Cancer information specialists are available to answer inquiries 5 days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., year-round by phone and by e-mail in English and French and in 140 other languages through interpreters. These specialists are highly trained and have many resources available to them so they can answer most questions immediately. They also send information to clients by mail or e-mail and frequently make follow-up calls based on their conversations.

“Many callers have questions and worries and aren’t sure who to talk to, they appreciate a caring and informed voice,” says Krueckl. “In addition to cancer patients, often the calls are from family members and other caregivers who need someone to talk to.”

Canadians have a lot of questions about cancer, from prevention to screening to diagnosis right through treatment and beyond. Fear, anxiety, helplessness and anger are some of the often-overwhelming feelings that people can face when dealing with cancer.


What types of questions does the CIS respond to?

Information specialists answer questions about:

  • all types of cancer
  • cancer treatment and side effects
  • clinical trials
  • coping with cancer
  • emotional support services
  • prevention
  • help in the community
  • complementary and alternative therapies

Some inquiries the Cancer Information Service has responded to:

·  “I have noticed pain in my breast for about the last 3 weeks. I’m worried that this might be cancer.”

·  “I had radiation therapy for lung cancer. I’m feeling quite tired and I wonder how long I’m going to feel this way.”

·  “Someone came to my door from the Canadian Cancer Society and I wanted to make sure you are canvassing right now.”

·  “I am 70 years old and when I went for my physical my doctor said I don’t need a Pap test anymore. Is this right?”

·  “I saw a piece on TV last night saying that dogs could sniff out cancer. Have you heard about that?”

·  “I was diagnosed with cancer just recently. I have 3 teenagers and I haven’t told them about it yet. Can you help me figure out what to say?”

How can I reach the Cancer Information Service?

Call toll-free 1 888 939-3333 or by e-mail

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Catherine Loiacono

Manager, Media Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: 604-675-7340