Our ImpactAbout Us
For over three decades, the Cancer Assistance Program has been dedicated to supporting cancer patients in Hamilton and its neighbouring regions during their time of need.
Cancer can be an isolating experience, and recent events have only exacerbated this reality. Cancer treatments compromise patients’ immune systems, heightening their vulnerability to health risks, including the challenges posed by COVID-19.
The financial burden of cancer adds another layer of complexity. Treatment plans are costly to manage, often leading to patients and their caregivers facing significant financial strain. From the inability to work to the expenses associated with nutrition, personal care items, and home safety equipment, the financial impact is substantial. Moreover, shortages of essential home health equipment due to increased demand and safety precautions further compound the issue.
Research conducted by Dr. Chris Longo from McMaster University highlights a staggering 132% rise in the monthly out-of-pocket costs of cancer between 2003 and 2019, reaching $2798 per month. The pandemic has only exacerbated these financial challenges, amplifying the financial toxicity associated with a cancer diagnosis.
In response to these pressing needs, the Cancer Assistance Program offers vital services at no cost. With the number of newly diagnosed cases on the rise and individuals living longer with the disease, the demand for our services continues to grow. In 2023 alone, our services saved cancer patients and their families over $907,000 through:
- Providing 11,823 rides to cancer-related appointments
- Offering 2,224 free parking spots
- Distributing 3,885 free packages of incontinence products
- Supplying 5,622 six-packs of nutritional supplements
- Facilitating 2,029 doorstep deliveries of food, personal care items, and small home safety equipment
The demand for home safety equipment has particularly surged due to supply chain challenges and the early release of cancer patients from hospitals amid the pandemic. In 2023, our provision of over 1,500 pieces of equipment, including the top seven items fitted and loaned, saved families almost $507,000.