A Message from CCS President & CEO Lynne Hudson on Cancer Research Funding in Canada

18 May 2017

Toronto -

Recently, the National Post published an article about cancer research funding in Canada titled “The New War on Cancer: The Fundraising Complex.” At the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), we appreciate that the National Post is contributing to the conversation and shining a much-needed spotlight on this topic. In terms of the Post’s suggestion that consolidating the number of cancer charities in Canada may help get the best value for each dollar spent: we couldn’t agree more.

The reality is that the charitable landscape in Canada is changing, and charities must change with it. This is what brought CCS and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) into unchartered territory for Canadian charities: knowing that we had to make some big changes to keep up with Canada’s charitable landscape, CCS and CBCF officially merged on February 1, 2017 in order to eliminate duplication of efforts and make the biggest possible impact against cancer. A merger of this type is unprecedented in the Canadian charitable sector, and we are breaking ground on the foundation for a new, stronger charitable landscape.

We’re still in the very early stages of our merger, but we are aiming to be as transparent as possible with our donors. Without these dedicated and passionate people, we wouldn’t be able to fund groundbreaking research, advocate for healthy public policy, provide information about cancer and prevention and support those living with cancer.

An important question that is frequently raised is about the proportion of research funding allocated to different types of cancer. Establishing criteria for the distribution of cancer funding is not a linear process.  Many different factors are considered, including incidence, prevalence, mortality rates, the preventability of the cancer, and the number of survivors with ongoing needs. As well, the type of research we fund is a reflection of the types of funding applications we get from our researchers. Some years, there may be more promising research proposals to tackle lung cancer; other years, we may see more researchers looking to address brain cancer.

There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to reducing cancer burden in Canada, but one thing we can be sure about is that CCS remains dedicated to funding the best cancer research in the country. It’s also important to note that investments in one cancer site can have broader applicability. For example, many findings within the high-quality breast cancer research field have yielded results that may be transferable and translatable to the study of other cancers as well.

CCS funds more research on more types of cancer than any other national charity in Canada, and under our newly merged organization, we are more dedicated than ever to making each donor dollar the most impactful it can be. We know more about cancer today than ever before thanks to the generosity of our donors. With the help of Canadians, CCS will navigate this new charitable landscape to create a world where no Canadian fears cancer.

Lynne Hudson
President & CEO, Canadian Cancer Society