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Canada needs a national strategy for early cancer diagnosis – TVO

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After two years of nasal swabs and case counts, we understand the importance of proactively testing for disease.

We have even brought COVID-19 screening into our homes, doing millions of rapid tests to detect the disease as early as possible.

But while we focus on finding cases of COVID-19, we are missing too many cases of cancer — which remains the country’s leading cause of death.

Evidence is piling up that health screenings and checkups postponed during the pandemic have caused delays in cancer diagnosis and early treatment, leading to worse health outcomes.

There were about 40 per cent fewer pap tests, mammograms, and tests for colorectal cancer in Ontario in 2020 than a year earlier, and many countries are reporting significant drops in the number of cancers diagnosed over the past couple of years.

These cancers are still out there, though. We just can’t see them yet. And by not diagnosing them early, we are missing the chance to treat them early, when survival rates can be more than three times higher.

This all signals a coming surge of late-stage cancers that could cost countless lives and push our health system to its limits. But we can take this opportunity to learn from the past two years by adopting a more proactive approach to diagnosing and treating cancer.

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Researchers in Ontario and across Canada are already at the forefront of a revolution in how we can detect cancer earlier. By using modern technologies to study cancer at a molecular level, we have identified markers in blood and other biological fluids that indicate the presence of cancer months to years before traditional screening would.

Canadian scientists led a global initiative to analyze common mutations in the DNA of more than 2,600 cancers, which showed how potential tumours could be identified years or even decades before diagnosis. More than 225,000 Ontarians volunteered their personal health information for the Ontario Health Study, which researchers in the province are using to study how to prevent, detect, and treat cancer. There’s also the new Ontario Hereditary Cancer Research Network, spearheaded by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research — a first-of-its kind data registry aimed at better detecting and treating patients with a genetic predisposition to cancer.

These and other initiatives can generate the tools we need to be proactive about cancer by determining who should be screened, what to look for, and when treatment is necessary. We can envision a future in which surgical biopsies have been replaced with non-invasive blood, saliva, and urine tests — so-called liquid biopsies — for cancer that we can do in our homes, much as we are doing now for COVID-19.

But knowledge and tools will take us only so far. This ground-breaking diagnostic research relies on huge volumes of data to determine who will benefit from which tests. Currently, there are barriers to collecting and sharing data across jurisdictions, which limits what we can learn from research and what we can put into practice.

That’s why we need a coordinated national cancer early detection strategy that connects diagnostics research experts with existing national groups, such as the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and other agencies, as well as engaged community partners and cancer philanthropic organizations. Together, we can develop and validate innovative methods for detecting cancers that help Canadians get treatment earlier in the disease process — or even before cancer takes hold in the first place — and quickly identify when cancer returns after a period of remission. 

[embedded content]Agenda segment, April 27, 2021: Is COVID-19 devastating cancer care?

This is not a pie-in-the-sky dream. Ontario is already a world leader in cancer research, diagnostic imaging, and data processing, bolstered by significant long-term investment from the provincial government. Nationally, we have a universal health-care system that reaches 38 million people across the country. And our communities have proven eager to participate in large-scale health studies and take an active approach to testing for disease. Now we just need to assemble these resources with an achievable strategy.

The coming months and years are going to be difficult. More Canadians than ever will be diagnosed with advanced cancer, and for many, their diagnoses will come too late.

But a future is within reach where we detect most cancers when they are most treatable, where we are empowered to take charge of our health, and where our response to one urgent health challenge — like a pandemic — doesn’t cause us to lose sight of another.

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Toronto Public Health hosting pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout Canada Day weekend – Toronto.com

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Toronto Public Health continues to host summer pop-up vaccination clinics across the city in partnership with Toronto’s Canada Day festivals and special events. This is part of Team Toronto’s continued efforts to bring COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to places residents live, work and play.

“As people gather to celebrate Canada Day across the city, Team Toronto will be out helping residents get vaccinated against COVID-19 and keep their vaccinations up to date,” said Mayor John Tory. “We have made such progress thanks to our world-leading vaccination efforts, and that’s why we’re continuing to work throughout this holiday and into the summer to help deliver vaccine doses.”

TPH will host the following vaccination clinics in early July:

• High Park Canada Day Festival at High Park, 1873 Bloor St. W., Friday, July 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• East York Canada Day Festival at Stan Wadlow Park. 373 Cedarvale Ave., Friday, July 1, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Canada Day event at Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St. Friday, July 1, 2 to 7 p.m.

• CIMA Mayor’s Cricket Trophy event at Sunnybrook Park, 1132 Leslie St. Saturday, July 2, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Lakeshore Ribfest at 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr. Saturday July 2 and Sunday, July 3, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Afrofest at Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St. E. Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10, 1 to 7:30 p.m.

• Dragon Boat Challenge (GWN Sport Regatta) at Marilyn Bell Park, 1095 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Saturday July 9, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

These family-friendly and youth-friendly clinics will provide first, second, third, fourth and children’s COVID-19 doses to eligible residents age five and up on a walk-in basis, with no appointment or health card required. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be offered by TPH nurses, who will also answer COVID-19 and vaccine-related questions.

Residents can continue to get vaccinated at city-run immunization clinics, primary care offices and more than 525 pharmacies. A full list of clinic locations and hours is available on the City’s COVID-19: Where to Get Vaccinated webpage.

As of Monday, July 4, the city-run immunization clinic at Metro Hall will operate Monday to Friday noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents can find a pharmacy offering COVID-19 vaccination by using the Government of Ontario’s COVID-19 pharmacy vaccine locations webpage.

All eligible residents are encouraged to get their third and fourth dose as soon as possible. As with vaccines for other diseases, people are protected best when they stay up to date. COVID-19 vaccines have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of illness, hospitalization and death while protecting oneself, loved ones and the community, and residents with three doses had the lowest rates of hospitalization, ICU and death over any other level of vaccination.

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Style File: Smart sunscreens – Montreal Gazette

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Sunscreen is always a good idea.

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Skin cancers are the most common forms of cancer in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. And severe sunburns are noted as “an important risk factor for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers,” according to the agency.

With this in mind, it’s important to slather, smooth, spray — or whatever your chosen format of sun protection may be — this summer.

Here are four smart sunscreen options to consider adding to your daily sun-protection plan:

Tint time

From the French brand La Roche-Posay, this “ultralight” sunscreen formula features a universal tint to match most skin tones. See you later, face makeup. The Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Fluid boasts a sun protection factor (that’s the SPF) of 50, thanks to 100 per cent mineral filters. Suitable for sensitive skin, the broad-spectrum sunscreen — it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, is sweat resistant and water resistant for up to 40 minutes.

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$35.95 | Shoppers Drug Mart, Laroche-posay.ca

Double duty

This advanced sunscreen formula from Shiseido acts as a moisturizer, sunscreen and face primer all-in-one formula. The Urban Environment Oil-Free Sunscreen has an SPF of 42 and features skin-loving ingredients such as spirulina and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and smooth skin while broad-spectrum UV filters protect against ultraviolet rays.

$45 | Sephora, Shiseido.com

Smooth operator

Perfect for those who struggle with acne, this Clear as Day SPF 46 from the brand Starface is vegan and cruelty-free, while also being oil-free and non-comedogenic. The fragrance-free formula features a unique gel texture and is completely clear so there’s no fear of a white cast on skin. Water resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you can spend a little extra time splish-splashing about.

$32 | Starfaceworld.ca

All-over option

Sun protection doesn’t stop at the face, neck and décolletage. Introduce head-to-toe coverage to your summer routine with the Garnier Ombrelle Sensitive Expert Body Lotion SPF 60. The hypoallergenic sunscreen formula features broad-spectrum coverage, is fragrance-free, dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic and water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Plus, the lotion formula is easy to apply, and absorbs quickly.

$24.99 | London Drugs, Londondrugs.com

Aharris@postmedia.com

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Mysterious staggering disease in cats down to previously unknown virus – New Scientist

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A previously unknown rustrela virus might be the cause of a staggering disease that affects cats in some parts of Europe



Life



1 July 2022

Pet cats in some parts of Europe can sometimes develop a mysterious disease

Laurie 4593/Shutterstock

The cause of a brain disease in cats that makes them develop symptoms such as staggering is a previously unknown virus, a study suggests. The pathogen is a rustrela virus and is probably carried by wood mice.

The findings show that rustrela viruses are more diverse and widespread than previously thought, according to Kaspar Matiasek at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and his colleagues. They write that the viruses might cause neurological diseases in other mammals …

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