Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Canada, taking more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. One in 12 Canadians will develop lung cancer during his or her lifetime. While research efforts have raised survival rates for many cancers, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer remains at 16%, where it has lingered for decades. A large part of the problem is that the disease has not received the public attention or research dollars meaningful progress requires.
To elevate the lung cancer conversation, we knew that we had to better understand public perceptions and attitudes. Unlike in the U.S., there was no benchmark polling on Canadians’ knowledge of — and attitudes toward — lung cancer. As the national organization focused on lung cancer advocacy and education, Lung Cancer Canada (LCC) had a singular opportunity to raise awareness and understanding of the disease, shed light on some widely held misperceptions, and encourage greater community support for lung cancer patients and their families.
What We Did
Together with LCC, we developed and conducted the definitive, benchmark nationwide poll on Canadians and lung cancer. The survey results were announced during the first-ever industry briefing on the “State of Lung Cancer” in Canada, which brought together leading experts to discuss the state of lung cancer incidence, awareness, diagnosis, treatment and research in Canada and what to look for in the year ahead.
For a disease that has been long overlooked, LCC is garnering attention from many high profile outlets including the Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Press and Global TV. The Vancouver Sun, one of Canada’s “Top 5″ newspapers, published an editorial urging a greater focus on lung cancer and citing LCC’s survey results. LCC’s awareness efforts have placed LCC squarely on the radar screen of other leading health care groups and potential sponsors — a key objective of the campaign.