TORONTO – Every person’s cancer experience is unique – but common themes along the way provide insights that can help to improve care. This is the idea behind the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s new online video series, The Truth of It. Developed in collaboration with the Health Design Lab, part of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, The Truth of It features interviews with Canadians diagnosed with cancer who were asked to share their story so others could learn from their experience. By providing candid accounts of the personal impact of cancer, the video series will serve as an educational resource for health-care professionals as well as patients, survivors and others with a personal connection to cancer.
Reflecting that there is no one common experience in coping with a cancer diagnosis, the people interviewed for The Truth of It range in age from 20 to 73 and have been diagnosed with different types of cancer including breast, colorectal, lung, testicular, and ovarian. Viewers can choose to watch individual stories or compilations of multiple interview clips that deal with challenges common to the cancer journey such as receiving the diagnosis, telling friends and family, talking to kids, body image, and practical advice. Currently 30 videos are available, with more to be added over time.
“The Partnership has created this series as part of our work to better understand and improve people’s cancer experience,” said Dr. Margaret Fitch, a psychosocial expert who is Chair of the Partnership’s Cancer Journey Advisory Group and co-lead of the Patient and Family Support Program at Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Centre. “By helping health care professionals to tune into the patient’s perspective, The Truth of It will help to enhance patient care – while also serving as a unique resource for people with a personal connection to cancer who can benefit from insight and information from others who have walked the cancer journey.”
Jennifer Smith is one of the people who shares her story in the videos. In 2003 at the age of 38, she was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia and has since undergone chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. She is married and has two children.
If this resource were available when I was diagnosed, it would have helped me navigate the many uncertainties and range of emotions that I experienced. Because hearing from others in similar situations can be such a helpful way of coping, I’m hoping that other people can learn from my story.” — Jennifer Smith, The Truth of It participant
The Truth of It video series was created in collaboration with accomplished filmmaker Wendy Rowland and Dr. Michael Evans, Director of the Health Design Lab of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
“Technology is radically changing the way people seek answers to their health questions, but hearing about someone’s actual experience – their ‘story’ – is still the most powerful tool,” said Dr. Michael Evans, family physician and Director of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. “In marrying technology with stories, The Truth of It enables people to engage with other Canadians whose experiences resonate with their own. These firsthand accounts offer a range of perspectives that make this series useful to both patients and professionals.”
The Truth of It is part of the growing collection of cancer control resources, information and services available at Cancer View Canada, the online portal launched by the Partnership with and for the cancer control community. For more information and to view the series please visit The Truth of It.
About Cancer View Canada
Cancer View Canada is an online community for healthcare professionals and others interested in improving cancer. It provides a single access point to the best available cancer services, resources and information available in Canada and, through shared tools, enables the cancer community to connect and collaborate. Cancer View Canada is an initiative of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer in collaboration with a network of regional and national partners and can be found at www.cancerview.ca.
About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is an independent organization funded by the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control for all Canadians. Bringing together cancer experts, government representatives, the Canadian Cancer Society and cancer patients, survivors and their families through the Canadian Cancer Action Network to implement the first pan-Canadian cancer-control strategy, the vision is to be a driving force to achieve a focused approach that will help prevent cancer, enhance the quality of life of those affected by cancer, lessen the likelihood of dying from cancer, and increase the efficiency of cancer control in Canada. For more information about the Partnership and Canada’s cancer control strategy, visit stg.partnershipagainstcancer.ca. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is also the driving force behind cancerview.ca, an online community linking Canadians to cancer information, services and resources.
About the Health Design Lab
The Health Design Lab is part of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. It is bringing together creatives such as film makers, web producers with clinicians and researchers to redesign patient education. For more information, visit www.hdlab.ca.
For more information, contact
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
(416) 915-9222 ext. 5790
Julia Alter Edelman