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The Need

“You have cancer.”

Every day in Alberta, over 60 people hear these three words.[1] One in two Albertans will hear these words in their lifetime.[2]

By 2030, the projected number of new cancer cases in Alberta annually is 27,000, a 65% increase since 2010.[3] Thankfully, people are also living longer with cancer, further escalating the need for support for those who are impacted.

We all know the importance of cancer research and medical treatment. Fortunately, we have excellent medical resources to treat cancer. However, those living with cancer know that the steps to recovery, the mindset of living well, and the hope of living longer with cancer, all require support and resources beyond the medical umbrella.

0
Estimated number of People living with cancer in southern Alberta as those diagnosed in the last 5 years, their caregivers or children.
Research indicates that after treatment ends, cancer patients report [4]
0
%
physical challenges
0
%
emotional challenges
0
%
practical challenges

100%

benefit from basic emotional support, good communication & symptom management [5]

Wellspring Calgary offers programs and services that meet the identified needs of those living with cancer.

The emotional distress (of a cancer patient with unmet emotional needs) can escalate to significant levels where it can compromise adherence to therapy, increase utilization of other healthcare services and elevate costs for care.[6]

Wellspring has devoted its work to address these non-medical impacts of cancer. Research suggests cancer patients who participate in the types of programs offered at Wellspring experience improved mental health resulting in higher quality of life and lower healthcare costs.[7]

In other words, Wellspring’s programs and supports benefit cancer patients, caregivers and their families, and reduce the strain on healthcare resources.

Southern Alberta

In addition to challenges faced by all who are living with cancer, there are unique challenges faced by those living outside of Calgary.

Some of these challenges include:

  • access and availability to a range of services due to geographic location
  • the cost and logistics associated with travelling greater distances
  • online connectivity issues
  • not having programs and services that are specific to local needs
  • awareness of services available

Barriers to quality cancer support services can result in isolation and poorer health outcomes for patients and caregivers.

Wellspring exists so no one has to face cancer alone.

We invite you to invest in the future of those we are privileged to serve. We invite you to invest in Wellspring.

26-50%

The increased risk of premature death as a result of loneliness and social isolation. [8]

Interventions such as mentoring, group therapy and other community interventions have been shown to be effective in decreasing loneliness. 

96% of Wellspring Calgary members said that participating in programs helped them feel less isolated in their cancer journey. 

[1] Surveillance & Reporting: The 2019 Report on Canadian Statistics in Alberta. Edmonton: CancerControl Alberta, Alberta Health Services, 2019. Available at: https://public.tableau.com/profile/cancercontrol.ab

[2] Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2019. Available at: www.cancer.ca/~/media/cancer.ca/CW/publications/Canadian%20Cancer%20Statistics/Canadian-Cancer-Statistics-2019-EN.pdf accessed Sept 2020)

[3] Alberta Health Services. Changing our future: Alberta’s cancer plan to 2030. February 2013. Available at: https://www.iccp-portal.org/system/files/plans/Cancer-Plan-Alberta-2013.pdf

[4] CPAC: Experiences of cancer patients in transition study: Emotional challenges. Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. (2018, March). Available at: https://s22457.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/experiences-cancer-patients-transition-study-emotional-challenges-en.pdf

[5] Fitch, M.I. (2008) Supportive care framework. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 1 (18) 6-14. Doi:10.5737/1181912×181614 http://www.canadianoncologynursingjournal.com/index.php/conj/article/view/248/251 

[6] Fitch, M.I. (2008) Supportive care framework. Canadian Oncology Nursing Journal, 1 (18) 6-14. Doi:10.5737/1181912×181614 http://www.canadianoncologynursingjournal.com/index.php/conj/article/view/248/251 

[7] Carlson and Bultz, 2004, Compen et al, 2019, Dieng et al 2016, Simpson et al 2001

[8] Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. B., Baker, M., Harris, T., & Stephenson, D. (2015). Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality: A Meta-Analytic Review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227–237. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691614568352