This year, an estimated 10,100 people will die of cancer in British Columbia and 25,400 new cases will be diagnosed. Cancer prevention has the greatest potential to save lives and stop cancer before it starts. In fact, about half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of everyone. People can greatly reduce the risk of cancer by making healthy choices, being aware of the signs of cancer and getting involved to advocate for healthier communities. In fact BC has the lowest incidence and death rates in Canada because of the healthier lifestyle here and excellent cancer care.
However more research is also needed to establish the causes of preventable cancers, identify risk factors, develop interventions, translate knowledge into practice and influence behaviour change. The Canadian Cancer Society BC & Yukon, in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, is seeking support to continue to build a critical mass of cancer prevention research expertise through the Centre of Excellence in Cancer Prevention where research and programs can be extended and integrated with policy and practice.
This new investment will build on the success of the Canadian Cancer Society Chair in Cancer Primary Prevention at UBC led by Dr Caroyln Gotay. The funding will be used to recruit additional researchers who will focus on specific risk factors – tobacco, diet and nutrition, obesity and energy balance, physical activity, occupational and environmental exposures – and new and emerging causes.
The Centre will play an important role in educating the public and health care professionals to ensure new and existing knowledge is implemented in clinical care, community programs and policy. The researchers will build partnerships to develop an integrated approach to cancer prevention in a dedicated facility which will help British Columbians enjoy longer, healthy lives.