Very few untouched by cancer

| Filed under: National, Social Issues

Most turn to doctor, Internet for information

TORONTO AUGUST 20th, 2014 – In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 1798 Canadians 18 years of age and older, as many as 9-in-10 or more had been closely touched by cancer (92% in total), either as a close family member of someone who had died of cancer (35%) or of someone who has had cancer and survived (26%), followed by those who have had cancer themselves (10%). Somewhat fewer say they have a friend who died of cancer (6%) or one who survived (5%). One tenth have had multiple encounters with cancer (10%).

Doctor, Internet are leading information sources

While the family doctor is seen to be the primary information source on cancer for the largest group (45%), this is followed by the internet (32%) and no other information source is used by as many as a tenth, including the media, friends and family or somewhere else (6% each). Just one-twentieth claim not to look for information on cancer (5%).

Two thirds say cancer information in Canada is "excellent "or "good"

Two thirds of adult Canadians say cancer information sources in this country are good or excellent (62%), with just fewer than a quarter saying they are excellent (22%). Perceptions of excellence are common to the youngest (26%), males (25%), mid-income groups ($40K to $60K - 27%), in the Atlantic provinces (27%) and especially Alberta (36%), among those who seek information from their doctor (27%) and the best educated (post grad - 26%).

6-in-10 are cancer patients, care for them or treat them

Fully 6-in-10 Canadians are involved in treating cancer, caregiving those who have it or are patients themselves (59%). This includes doctors who treat cancer patients (11%), other medical professionals who treat cancer (7%), support workers (3%), cancer patients (6%) or their family members (33%).

"These are the cancer years. It touches everyone, and more and more Canadians are directly involved in treating it. That's why the sources of informed and unbiased information available are so important, and why it is so critical to ensure the Internet, the largest non-medical data source, is effective and easy to use," said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.