Painful Truth: Cancer gives a special clarity

When you find out that you or someone you love has cancer, it’s like a bucket of cold water to the face.

The doctor is talking about treatment and options and you’re just sitting there, not really hearing much. You’ll process it later.

The good news is that most people now survive their diagnosis. Canada is really good at getting people through treatment and out the other side. We benefit from our own research and that of other nations.

But we could still be doing more. We could be doing better.

A couple years ago, I wrote about how Canada could run its own moonshot style program.

We spend what sounds like a lot of money on cancer research. The Canadian Institute of Health Research spends just over a billion total on all kinds of science, although the money doesn’t all go to cancer.

Why not spend a full billion just on cancer research? A couple years ago I suggested spending more than $6 billion on cancer – equivalent to the percentage of funding the U.S. spent on getting a man on the moon in the 1960s. Awesome as that program was, it didn’t bring us as many direct, obvious benefits as curing cancer would.

So, with a new government in Ottawa, and Langley’s Relay for Life almost here, I thought I’d renew my call.

Hey, Justin Trudeau! You want to go down in history? Make Canada the world’s heavy hitter of cutting edge medical research.

The thing about spending money on curing diseases is that you tend to be paid back over time. It’s not a cost, it’s an investment in the future.

Spend the billions. Give grants to Canadian doctors and scientists, and draw the brightest minds from around the world to work here, too.

Set them loose on a project that will improve and extend the lives of millions of people around the world, for centuries to come. A project that will along the way unlock other discoveries about the human body, DNA, and biochemistry that will have untold spinoffs.

And if (when) we finish working on treatments for the last stubborn strains of cancer? Well, there’s plenty of other worthy projects. Cystic fibrosis and AIDS, malaria and ALS, Alzheimers and multiple sclerosis.

There’s a clarity to a diagnosis of a serious disease. You realize where your priorities lie very quickly. Politicians? Please prioritize.



Just Posted

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Outdoor terrace opens at Langley City hall

The outdoor terrace renovation is the final component of the Timms Community Centre renewal.

A GoFundMe for the goats

Matthew Farden surpassed his fundraising goal for Aldergrove’s Happy Herd Farm rescue animals.

Langley Township’s Froese named vice-chair of Mayors’ Council

The Township mayor will be one of the top officials overseeing TransLink.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read