"Cancer remains a national shame for a country as advanced as ours, with uneven levels of care and no coherent strategy for improving the situation," Globe editor-in-chief Edward Greenspon wrote Nov. 18.
"And that is why . . . over the next several weeks, The Globe and Mail is going to shine our journalistic light on the affliction that in 2007 will surpass heart disease as the biggest killer of Canadians."
The cancer series began Nov. 18 and continues until Dec. 9 in the pages of the News and Focus sections of The Globe. All stories, along with discussions, narrated photo galleries, interactive graphics, an opportunity to share your personal stories and photos about cancer, and much more can be found in our special online report on cancer.
We were very pleased that The Globe's publisher and CEO, Phillip Crawley was online earlier today to take your questions about his personal experiences with cancer and what he, as an individual, wants the series to achieve in terms of government response.
Your questions and Mr. Crawley's answers appear at the bottom of this page.
The Harper government did say on Friday that it will support the formation of a national agency to co-ordinate the fight against cancer, a long-awaited strategy that many involved in the battle say will help iron out inequities in prevention and care that currently face patients in different parts of country.
The prime minister announced that Ottawa will dedicate $260-million over five years to the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, fulfilling a promise Mr. Harper made during the last federal election campaign.
Phillip Crawley has been publisher and CEO of The Globe and Mail for more than seven years. He came to Canada in 1998 after working for newspapers in New Zealand, Britain and Hong Kong in editorial and management roles.
His wife, Joyce, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 and died in Toronto in 2004. In 2005, he underwent surgery for prostate cancer at Toronto General Hospital.
Mr. Crawley is a member of the board of Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto. This month he gave the annual Penfield Lecture about his wife's cancer diagnosis at the Montreal Neurological Institute, and also spoke to Ontario Cancer Care's management retreat.
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Jim Sheppard, Executive Editor, globeandmail.com: Good afternoon, Phillip, and thanks for joining us today to take questions from the readers of globeandmail.com on The Globe's month-long cancer project. Could you start by giving our readers an idea of why The Globe chose this approach and what response it hopes to get from governments at all levels?
Phillip Crawley, publisher and CEO, The Globe and Mail: Thanks, Jim. The Globe made a decision to turn the spotlight on cancer because it affects so many lives, and because Canadians want to understand more about why there are such huge regional variations in the treatment available to patients.
I make no apologies for using the power The Globe possesses to put this topic at the top of the agenda, for our readers and users, and for our politicians.
There is a lot of great work going on in our hospitals right across the country, and I welcome the federal government's announcement of a national cancer strategy last week.
But I am also well aware that researchers are worried that funding is being cut back, and that we risk losing some of the key people working in this field.