there are over 100 types of cancers, located in different organs and subtissues and originating from different cell types. some cancer types [e.g., colon, breast, and non hodgkin’s lymphoma] contain even more specific classifications based on their molecular subtypes.
over the past decade, a more personalized approach to treating cancer has emerged based on the molecular profile of the tumour. this approach uses information from genetic tests to help doctors put together a plan for care that usually involves very specific recommendations. in some cases, precision medicine can help make a more accurate diagnosis and improve treatment. in other cases, it can help people make decisions about healthy habits, earlier screening tests, and other steps towards prevention if they are at risk for a particular cancer.
but in order to put precision medicine in place there needs to be consistent access to molecularly testing for patients. variability in access exists in how molecular testing is being utilized across canada and how this impacts patient care- from screening to diagnosing, prognosis and prevention of cancer in canadians. the goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of the current biomarkers currently approved in canada to empower patients, their families and caregivers to request testing when appropriate and to make testing for alterations standard of care for certain cancers.
the molecular information provided through testing can guide decision making for the best patient care by providing the targeted therapies for effective treatment, reducing toxicities and improving patient outcomes and bettering quality of life for patients.