Life after cancer: Transforming the post-treatment experience

Better research for people living with cancer

Thanks to the latest advances in cancer detection and treatment, more people than ever are surviving after cancer — and they’re living longer, too. But every individual is different. People living with cancer come from different communities, were diagnosed at different stages in their lives, received different treatment regimens and survived different types of cancers. They all have unique needs as they navigate life after cancer. And that makes strengthening Canada’s capacity to conduct research into life after treatment vital.

Doing that involves:

  • ensuring the meaningful involvement of those living with cancer and their caregivers in research;
  • aligning funding calls to the needs of diverse groups, including equity-denied communities;
  • building and maintaining the necessary infrastructure and expertise to support ongoing research; and
  • translating research findings into real-world practice and policy.

How the CCRA drives research forward for people living with cancer

The Canadian Cancer Research Alliance (CCRA) is a group of more than 30 organizations that work together to develop national research priorities and maximize the collective impact of their investments in cancer research. Supported by the Partnership, the CCRA is committed to supporting projects that advance Canada’s understanding of cancer survivorship and contribute to ongoing improvements in this field.

The Transition Study is an important and substantial piece of work that has yielded many great benefits. It has made regional survivorship data accessible to inform the development of local programming and services across the country, and has resulted in a tremendous number of publications that have helped advance the entire field.

Cancer Cancer Research Alliance

Deeper insights into the survivorship research landscape
How have Canada’s investments in cancer survivorship research changed since 2005? The CCRA’s Cancer Survivorship Research Visualization tool makes it easy to answer that question. This interactive digital dashboard lets users drill down and stratify the data in ways that were simply not possible with a static PDF.

Users can select specific research funders to see which cancer sites they have funded over the years as well as its distribution across categories such as:

  • physiological effects
  • psychological effects
  • social needs
  • quality of life
  • care delivery

An interactive map shows where that funding has been allocated.

This gives users a customized view of current and historical research funding so they can pinpoint gaps where more research is needed. Organizations and funders can then strategically direct resources to address specific needs, while researchers can craft more competitive grant proposals.

Maximizing the collective impact of survivorship research
The Pan-Canadian Framework for Cancer Survivorship Research is designed to optimize the excellence, relevance and impact of cancer survivorship research in Canada by helping CCRA members and other funders determine where and how to allocate research resources in the most effective and efficient ways. The document presents four recommendations across three research domains:  

  • experiences and outcomes of people living with cancer
  • late and long term effects
  • models of care