New funding for cancer in B.C. will go a long way for research, says some

Christy Clark’s announcement on behalf of the province of British Columbia pledging $3 million to cancer genomics research is miracle, say some, although any time money is being donated to cancer research is a ‘fabulous deal.’

Christy Clark announced on Jan. 11, 2016 B.C.'s government funding of $3 million to the BC Cancer Foundation. Photo: flickr

Christy Clark announced on Jan. 11, 2016 B.C.’s government funding of $3 million to the BC Cancer Foundation. Photo: flickr

“The future of cancer care is personalized, leading to the best, targeted treatments for the most challenging cases – and we’ve already seen a number of success stories coming out of this program,” said Premier Clark in a press release.

Steve Ewen, a reporter with The Province in Vancouver, had a tumour that crushed his spine after 20 radiation sessions and spent an upwards of six months in the hospital.

“If you’re going to get cancer, this is the province to get it in,” he said.

Ewen has been cancer-free for five years, but said treatment is equated to more funding and spoke highly of what the province has done, and will be able to do with additional funding.

“I’m floored by what they’re able to do.”

Luckily for Ewen, he’s been able to resume a relatively normal lifestyle, but said it’s a testament to what people in the medical field have been able to do.

The $3 million comes as an addition to the $2 million provided to the BC Cancer Foundation to support breast cancer research, which was announced in October 2015.

In Premier Clark’s press statement released on Tuesday, it said, “by understanding the genetic makeup of a patient’s tumour, researchers hope to pinpoint potential drug therapies that would be the most effective for that specific tumour at that time, and spare patients and the health care system from treatments that have little or no clinical benefit.”

Bev Shapiro, leader of the Women’s Only Support Group in Vancouver for women whose husbands are diagnosed with cancer, said the province needs all the resources it can get, and hopefully come up with a cure.

“It may not happen any time soon,” she said, “but one of these years it will.”

Shapiro, who lost her husband to cancer after battling several different kinds, said what he went through broke her heart every time.

The program will be expanding from 350 patients to 2,000 patients over the next five years.

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