2017 is the second annual OneWalk to Conquer Cancer™ benefitting the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The 2016 OneWalk raised nearly $1 million dollars.
Funds raised through OneWalk to Conquer Cancer enable the Alberta Cancer Foundation to make investments that are reducing people’s risk of developing cancer, diagnosing cancer earlier, and improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families. Through the support of the OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, the Alberta Cancer Foundation is making life better for Albertans facing cancer.
When participants register for OneWalk, they can select which cancer fund their dollars raised will support. The Alberta Cancer Foundation invests in research that will improve outcomes and enhance care for Alberta cancer patients. OneWalk Cancer Funds include: Area of Greatest Need, Brain and Central Nervous System Cancers, Breast Cancer, Clinical Trials, Gastrointestinal Cancers (including Colon and Rectum), Genitourinary Cancers (including Prostate and Testicular), Gynaecological Cancers (including Ovarian and Cervical), Hematological/Blood Cancers (including Lymphoma, Leukaemia, and Multiple Myeloma), Head and Neck Cancers, Lung Cancers, and Rare Cancers.
Funds raised through OneWalk to Conquer Cancer are reducing people’s risk of developing cancer, improving treatments, and improving the care and quality of life for cancer patients and their families. Here are some of the ways that OneWalk is making life better for Albertans facing cancer:
Immunotherapy — A new investment into immunotherapy will look to harness the power of the immune system in cancer patients. Scientists will use small molecules aimed at specific targeted binding sites to jumpstart the body’s T cells to fight off cancer. Using the IBM Blue super computer, the team is able to simulate our physiological environment and mimic the behavior in human cells. A potential game-changer in cancer therapy worldwide, starting right here in Alberta.
Lung Cancer Screening Program — Lung Cancer Screening Program - This year alone, nearly 2000 Albertans are expected to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Sadly, 1700 will die. So far, no Canadian province has a lung cancer screening program. With help from OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, Alberta will be the first, launching a province-wide screening program that best determines who to screen and when, saving many Albertans’ lives.
Breast Cancer Research — Every day, six Albertans are diagnosed with breast cancer. Funds from OneWalk will support ground-breaking research looking to identify biomarkers that could help medical teams determine the best treatment for each patient at the right time. Similarly, we also launching a new pilot program that will allow breast cancer survivors the opportunity to recover from mastectomies at home—improving patient care, while integrating enhanced recovery into routine impact-based breast cancer care.
Prostate Cancer Research — In Alberta, one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. If detected early, prostate cancer is one of the most successfully treated cancers. Funds from OneWalk to Conquer Cancer will assist Dr. John Lewis to determine which cancerous cells are at risk of metastasizing and how the spread can be managed with the development of a new “glue-like” drug.
Head and Neck Cancer Therapies — Swallowing disorders affect 70 per cent of patients with head and neck cancer, which can lead to a dependence on tube feeding, affecting social interactions and overall quality of life. The current therapy required is time and labour intensive for both patient and therapist. A research team in Edmonton is testing a mobile app that will receive information from a simple adhesive pad under patients’ chins, and instantly share that feedback with clinicians. This will enhance patient quality of life, as they can receive treatment from the comfort of their home. The goal is to have this device in clinical trials within two years.
Enhanced Therapies for Colorectal Cancer — Colon cancer continues to be one of the most prevalent cancers in Alberta. Most patients will receive surgery, and almost half will require chemotherapy and radiation in addition to surgery. OneWalk to Conquer Cancer will help Dr. Michael Weinfeld and his team discover a novel and promising line of chemotherapeutics that will increase survival and improve quality of life for colorectal cancer patients. If successful, their discoveries could be applied to other cancer types.
Simply put, clinical trials save lives. The Alberta Cancer Foundation supports every single clinical trial that takes place in Alberta, bringing the latest innovation to cancer patients faster. Funds from OneWalk will ensure that the Alberta Cancer Foundation can continue to invest in clinical trials—giving Albertans access to potentially life-saving treatments years before they would otherwise be available. Over the past five years, 6,000 Albertans have taken part in life-saving clinical trials.
No matter where a patient faces a cancer diagnosis in this province, we want to ensure they receive the best possible treatment and care. Alberta Cancer Foundation donors and funds from the OneWalk enable local support at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary, the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and 15 other cancer centres around the province. These investments offer patients and families enhanced care, over and above what is typically provided and may include comfortable reclining chemo chairs, vital sign machines in clinic rooms, patient journals, blanket warmers during radiation treatment or advanced training for staff that helps improve patient care and quality. Programs include:
Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators — There are 15 Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators in rural communities across the province who assist patients who are struggling with the emotional, financial, and physical components of their diagnosis. They explain how treatment will work and understand additional challenges rural Albertans face with a cancer diagnosis. Since the program began Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Navigators supported almost 5,000 patients in rural Alberta last year, with 17,000 recorded visits to discuss a myriad of cancer-related issues, resulting in a reduction of emergency room and physician visits across the province.
Patient Financial Assistance Program — Cancer can be a huge strain on the finances. The costs can be so overwhelming that some patients will decide not to have life-saving therapy to save costs. OneWalk to Conquer Cancer will ensure the Alberta Cancer Foundation can continue to provide financial support to patients in need, easing their cancer journey. The Alberta Cancer Foundation Patient Financial Assistance Program covers costs such as housing, medication, transportation, and childcare. In the last year, the need for this program in Alberta has almost doubled.
Healing Arts Program — The Healing Arts Program helps patients and families find creative expression to confront the many complex feelings that come with a diagnosis of cancer. Programs available include art therapy, expressive and spontaneous painting, hand drumming, laughter yoga, origami making and other creative outlets.
Patient Comfort — OneWalk to Conquer Cancer will enable the Alberta Cancer Foundation to improve patient and family comfort by adding blanket warmers, privacy curtains, reclining treatment chairs and TVs in waiting rooms.
If ovarian cancer is caught early, it is easy to treat. But in most cases it isn’t detectable until later stages when the cure rate declines significantly. Dr. Lynne Postovit is hoping to change that. The Alberta Cancer Foundation partnered with the University of Alberta and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation to recruit Dr. Postovit, one of the brightest minds in ovarian and breast cancer research, to Alberta. Dr. Postovit, who holds the new Sawin-Baldwin Chair in Ovarian Cancer, will focus on finding better biomarkers for ovarian cancer and gaining a better understanding of how advanced cancers are able to resist treatment. Her team will study how the disease can continue to grow even when it is being treated aggressively. The funding provided by Alberta Cancer Foundation donors and OneWalk to Conquer Cancer participants will allow her team to do transformative research, with the ultimate goal of decreasing the number of women who die every year from ovarian cancers. This investment will be used to make breakthroughs that will improve health and decrease suffering for Albertans.
Dr. Luc Berthiaume, a researcher at the University of Alberta, has been working on a new treatment for lymphoma patients by evaluating a new drug that has been found to be highly selective in killing tumours. Guided by a predictive biomarker to identify patients with susceptible lymphoma cancers, this biomarker can identify molecular lesions in cancer cells that make them vulnerable to the drug. Known as “personalized medicine”, this drug will only be given to patients who will benefit from it, sparing other patients from unnecessary treatments. Support from OneWalk and Alberta Cancer Foundation donors will provide research that reduces side effects and make a significant impact for lymphoma patients.
Head and Neck Cancer Therapies - Swallowing disorders affect 70 per cent of patients with head and neck cancer, which can lead to a dependence on tube feeding, affecting social interactions and overall quality of life. The current therapy required is time and labour intensive for both patient and therapist. A research team in Edmonton is testing a mobile app that will receive information from a simple adhesive pad under patients’ chins, and instantly share that feedback with clinicians. This will enhance patient quality of life, as they can receive treatment from the comfort of their home. The goal is to have this device in clinical trials within two years.
Lung Cancer Screening Program - So far, no Canadian province has a lung cancer screening program. With help from OneWalk to Conquer Cancer, Alberta will be the first, launching a province-wide screening program that best determines who to screen and when, saving many Albertans’ lives.
There are more than 200 different types of cancers that develop from the different types of cells in different parts of the body. A cancer is considered to be rare if it starts in an unusual part of the body, is an unusual type and may need special treatment and is not one of the common types of cancer (breast, colorectal, prostate and lung). Some experts say a type of cancer is rare if fewer than 15 people in 100,000 are diagnosed with it.
There may be fewer clinical trials for rare types of cancers, but researchers in Alberta collaborate with scientists around the world to recruit the number of patients needed to run those specific types of trials. In many research projects we invest in at the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the knowledge learned in one type of cancer can be translated to others. Through your support we are ensuring that the resources are in place to build excellence and capacity across all tumour groups, and impact all patients.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30 per cent of all deaths.
It is estimated that in 2016:
Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Based on 2016 estimates:
Funds raised through OneWalk support the vital work being done at 17 cancer centres across Alberta, including the Tom Baker Cancer Centre and Cross Cancer Institute.
Tom Baker Cancer CentreCalgary, AB
The Tom Baker Cancer Centre is southern Alberta’s own tertiary cancer centre and a leader in innovative cancer research, prevention, treatment and care initiatives across the province and beyond. As one of 17 cancer centres directly supported by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the Tom Baker Cancer Centre has been redefining the future of cancer in Alberta since its inception in 1981.
Last year, more than 14,200 patients received treatment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. For many facing cancer and their families, the Tom Baker Cancer Centre will forever hold a special place in their hearts for the compassionate care they received during their cancer journey. With the support of generous Albertans like you, the Tom Baker Cancer Centre can continue pushing for accelerated change, progress and above all, results.
Cross Cancer InsituteEdmonton, AB
The Cross Cancer Institute is northern Alberta’s own comprehensive cancer centre and a leader in innovative cancer research, prevention, treatment and care initiatives across the province and beyond. As one of 17 cancer centres directly supported by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the Cross Cancer Institute has been redefining the future of cancer in Alberta since its inception in September 1968.
Last year, more than 21,700 patients received treatment at the Cross Cancer Institute. For many facing cancer and their families, the Cross Cancer Institute will forever hold a special place in their hearts for the compassionate care they received during their cancer journey. With the support of generous donations from people like you, the Cross Cancer Institute can continue pushing for accelerated change, progress and above all, results.