Cancer patients and survivors around the country are asking to have their voices heard through an interactive online survey.
Lindsay MacPhee is a Bedford-based cancer survivor and patient advisor working with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC). She was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and after treatment and surgery she has remained cancer free for 13 years.
Earlier this month, CPAC launched the #30MinutesThatMatter campaign, which asks Canadians with cancer to fill out a 30 minute online questionnaire about their experiences and their thoughts on where improvements in care can be made.
MacPhee was involved in the development of the campaign. She says the questionnaire will increase understanding cancer as a whole picture across Canada.
"By filling this out, this will help with providing input on Canadian's priorities on how health care is delivered across Canada," she said in an interview with News 95.7's Sheldon MacLeod.
CPAC, which was founded in 2006, is a non-profit organization that has been the stewards and facilitators of action on cancer control for the country, says MacPhee. The group hopes to make much needed updates and changes to the decade-old Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control.
The feedback from the questionnaire will directly support updating the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control, and will inform recommendations made to the federal Minister of Health next spring.
"The long term goal is actually finding out what the priorities are for Canadians," said MacPhee. "We focus a lot on research. We take a lot of scientific feedback, we listen to a lot of feedback from physicians, but until we really get into the depths and find out what its like for a cancer patient... we're not able to make change."
The questionnaire isn't just for patients or survivors, explains MacPhee. It asks for feedback from caregivers, loved ones, family members and friends: anyone that has been touched by cancer in some way.
"We all experience cancer differently," she said.
For MacPhee, the status quo is not an option anymore, and she is urging people to use their voice and share their stories.
"This is an opportunity for us to say what we feel, to say what we want, and to do it."