The first of its kind in Canada, the Canadian Population Attributable Risk of Cancer (ComPARe) study provides the most comprehensive, up-to-date estimates of the preventable burden of cancer in Canada. Released on May 8, the study, led by Drs Christine Friedenreich and Darren Brenner of Alberta Health Services, provides estimates of the number and percentage of cancer cases in Canada due to modifiable lifestyle, environmental and infectious agent risk factors. The study also estimates how changes to these risk factors, through prevention efforts, could affect the number of cancer cases in the future.
The team behind the ComPARe study includes experts from across Canada in epidemiology, biostatistics, cancer risk factors, cancer prevention and knowledge translation. The study was both funded by and carried out in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). By including members of CCS (a key user of the study results) on the study team, this increased how relevant the results are to users, as well as the reach and uptake of these results.
Before the ComPARe study, the Burden of Occupational Cancer study, led by Dr Paul Demers of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre in Toronto, estimated the number of cancer cases due to workplace exposures in Canada. Given the important role that workplace exposures play in the overall burden of cancer in Canada, these results were incorporated into some of the products developed to showcase the results of the ComPARe study. This helps provide a more complete picture of the preventable burden of cancer in Canada.
If you work in cancer prevention as a policy maker, advocate, researcher or program developer, this study will help you with cancer prevention decision-making, policy change advocacy, future prevention research and program development. The study results can help prioritize prevention efforts in Canada as it indicates which risk factors and cancer sites are most likely to be affected by programs and can help identify which policies could have the greatest impact. For more information on the study and its results, check out the special issue in the journal of Preventive Medicine.
Be sure to check out the ComPARe study knowledge products that were developed to showcase the results including infographics and a data dashboard. Our team is excited to announce that we will be releasing additional products this month. The study team will host 2 webinars. The first will be an accredited webinar offered through the Public Health Physicians of Canada (PHPC) for PHPC members and residents, and the second webinar will be through the ComPARe study team and open to the public. Both webinars will provide an overview of the study as well as an opportunity to discuss current and future cancer prevention-related policies and programs. In addition, 2 new data dashboards will be released (future burden and occupational cancers) along with new cancer type infographics.
For updates on all new products, check our website regularly or follow the conversation on Twitter through #ComPARestudy. If you would like to submit a guest post to the ComPARe blog, please check out our blog guidelines and feel free to contact us.
Apiramy Jeyapalan, MPH
Project Coordinator, ComPARe study Knowledge Translation team
Canadian Cancer Society