Cancer still exists

It will be a few more years before we are able to gauge the full impact of the coronavirus crisis on the lives of people in Quebec affected by cancer. And as ever, we are going to need data. Reliable, realistic, accurate data. Data that gives meaning, that adds nuance and that allows us to proceed in the right direction.

But if you want to know about our experience in the field as oncologists, and that of several medical colleagues, we have this to tell you:
Patients whose cancer was already being treated when COVID-19 struck have continued to be monitored, treated and their needs addressed. Most appreciated being able to benefit from telemedicine. And they followed the health rules more assiduously than anyone else.
No patient who had already been diagnosed with cancer was abandoned. We simply couldn’t let that happen. On the contrary, they were always given priority. But of course, they must have felt anxious, just like everyone else. Maybe even a little more than usual.
Those we are most concerned about today are all those we have not seen, those whose cancer remains undiagnosed, those whose needs had not been evaluated by the healthcare system last March.
What we know at this time is that there have been far fewer new diagnoses in the last few months than in previous years. And although that sounds like a reason to celebrate, we know it's not.
So there it is. We always come back to the same problem. As long as we don't have the data, we’ll be like people trying to find their way around in the dark. If COVID-19 has taught us one thing, it's that you can't claim to have a clear picture of a public health issue without up-to-date numbers and statistics. It is true of the novel coronavirus, and it remains true for cancer, one of the most pressing health issues in Quebec.
The pandemic will also have shown us that in situations of high vulnerability, we need to hold on to what is most essential. To human solidarity. To the solidarity of friends and family and the generosity of strangers such as you. But also, we need reliable sources of information that can correct the inaccuracies propagated by Dr. Google. That's why the Quebec Cancer Foundation is so important, because that's exactly what its Info-Cancer Services offer.
Whether by talking on the phone to a sympathetic nurse experienced in oncology, or online, via the Documentation Centre or the new Resource Directory, Quebecers with cancer and their loved ones have access at all times to a reliable source of information to help them find their way.
Of course, these essential services would not exist without your donations. And in these particularly difficult times for not-for-profit organizations and the people they support, the Foundation knows how fortunate it is to have you on its side.

Yes, cancer still exists. This modern disease that affects 1 out of 2 Quebecers, and that we tend to forget. Let's continue to make it a priority and give ourselves the means to curb the epidemic.

Until then, thanks to your support, the Quebec Cancer Foundation remains irrefutable proof that solidarity and benevolence still exist...

Dr. Guila Delouya
Radiooncologist at CHUM and member of the Board of Directors of the Quebec Cancer Foundation
Dr. Philippe Sauthier
Gynecological oncologist at CHUM and member of the Board of Directors of the Quebec Cancer Foundation

P.S. Thank you in advance for your generosity. It is the donations we receive from people like you that make it possible to offer our patients the services of the Quebec Cancer Foundation. And today more than ever, they need accurate, accessible information.