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Results: 1 - 8 of 8
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2015-01-28 14:13 [p.10728]
Mr. Speaker, today I would like to pay tribute to a very dear friend who unfortunately lost his battle with ALS at age 70. Mr. Derek Walton was diagnosed with ALS in 2002 and had been a passionate advocate for neurological research and ALS ever since.
Although the average life expectancy for those who are diagnosed with ALS is two to five years, Derek quickly earned the nickname “Braveheart” for his continuous fight. He used his tremendous strength and courage to fight a terrible battle that too many Canadians are currently facing.
Derek's many efforts to raise money for ALS research included: launching The Walton Cure 4 ALS Fund at Sunnybrook Hospital, his annual skydiving events he called Jumping 4 PALS, organizing annual ALS walks, and helping spearhead the national neurological charity funding for the Canada brain research fund. His hard work helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for ALS research.
My thoughts and prayers are with Derek's family during this difficult time. His dedication to raising awareness and funds for ALS will forever be remembered.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2012-10-03 14:52 [p.10760]
Mr. Speaker, rare diseases affect the lives of thousands of Canadians. They can be life threatening, debilitating, or a serious chronic condition. Unfortunately, they can be very difficult to study and treat. Although thousands of Canadians suffer from these, current Canadian drug regulations do not provide these patients with the best opportunities to access the therapies they need.
Could the Minister of Health give the House an update on what our Conservative government is doing to help Canadians suffering with these diseases?
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2012-05-08 17:31 [p.7758]
moved that Bill C-314, An Act respecting the awareness of screening among women with dense breast tissue, be read the third time and passed.
He said: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to speak to Bill C-314, an act respecting the awareness of screening among women with dense breast tissue, for the final hour of debate in the House.
Bill C-314 calls on the federal government to encourage the use of existing federal initiatives in order to increase awareness among Canadian women about dense breast tissue and the implications for breast cancer screening.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women. It claims many lives, and many deaths can be avoided through screening and early detection.
This year alone about 23,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,000 women will die from this disease. That represents about 450 women diagnosed each week. This situation is difficult to accept. It affects women and their loved ones profoundly.
For women with dense breast tissue, breast cancer is generally harder to detect using mammography, resulting in the need for more frequent screening.
Raising awareness about dense breast tissue is important for Canadian women. Through the bill we can raise awareness of breast cancer screening for women with dense breast tissue. Greater awareness and information about dense breast tissue is a tangible way we can make a difference. It would help women and their doctors make well-informed decisions regarding breast cancer screening. For these reasons I will ask my colleagues to continue to show their support for the passage of the bill.
Bill C-314 would support a number of initiatives that the federal government already has under way to support early detection and screening of breast cancer.
As noted in the bill, the federal government plays a role in facilitating the sharing of best practices and information on screening, as well as supporting research through its programs and networks. Building on existing initiatives, the bill is focused on raising awareness in several ways.
First, the bill requires the government to determine if there are breast density information gaps in relation to breast cancer screening. Through research we can investigate the full spectrum of cancer prevention and control, including breast cancer.
In this regard, the federal government's cancer research investments through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, or CIHR, are serving to fill some research gaps. Through the CIHR, the federal government is supporting research on more effective diagnostic treatment and prevention for all cancers, including breast cancer. In 2010-11, $171 million was spent on cancer research, and $22.7 million was spent for breast cancer research.
These research investments are supporting important scientific work. In particular, CIHR's Institute for Cancer Research is supporting research that will lead to reducing the burden of cancer on individuals and families through improved prevention efforts. It has placed a priority on research concerning early cancer detection, and it is working with partners to advance this research priority.
For instance, the institute is currently exploring partnerships with groups such as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Society of Canada, and it would include efforts in early detection as part of this focus. The institute is looking at targeted funding for research on the early detection of cancer, including breast cancer, to address information gaps. Scientific research such as this is helping to improve screening and is helping to raise awareness about the challenges related to breast cancer screening.
In addition, to raise awareness, the second element of the bill requires that approaches be identified, as needed, to improve information for women in order to, first, address the challenges of detecting cancer in women with dense tissue and, second, raise awareness concerning these challenges.
In response to the bill, the government will continue to raise awareness about breast density and its screening implications through the Canadian breast cancer screening initiative. This initiative respects the role of provincial and territorial programs and the role they play in early detection of breast cancer among Canadian women. Through it, we are working with the provincial and territorial governments to measure screening program performance nationwide and to develop better screening approaches.
The Canadian breast cancer screening initiative supports the good work already under way with our provinces and territories. By facilitating information-sharing about breast cancer screening across Canada, the initiative can achieve its goal of evaluating and improving the quality of organized breast cancer screening programs.
The Canadian breast cancer screening initiative is helping raise awareness about cancer screening, including screening for women with dense breast tissue. By building upon best practices and lessons learned, breast cancer screening programs can be improved and strengthened across the country.
The third element of the bill even more directly relates to the Canadian breast cancer screening initiative. The bill would require the existing Canadian breast cancer screening initiative to share information on dense breast tissue and its relationship to breast cancer screening and any follow-up procedures that may be necessary. The follow-up procedures are a pretty important part of this.
Sharing information about ways to improve cancer screening programs ensures women receive the full benefits of early detection, including information about all aspects of breast cancer screening.
We must sustain this collaboration and collective assessment of breast cancer screening programs. In this regard, the government has established a federal, provincial and territorial national committee for the Canadian breast cancer screening initiative, which also includes medical professionals and key stakeholders.
This is a platform for engagement. It provides opportunity for governments to work together on screening recommendations and approaches. For example, the national committee is currently looking at breast cancer mortality and improving screening for underserved populations. This committee encourages the sharing and pooling of information. This is a basis for a balanced set of protocols across Canada, based on best practices. There is no monopoly on a good idea, and an effective screening mechanism in one part of the country can easily be adopted in another part of Canada.
In addition to the Canadian breast cancer screening initiative, the government has also established a national repository on breast cancer screening. This national database is housed and administered by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Information is provided by provinces and territories and rolled up into a biannual report to Canadians on new cases of breast cancer and cancer deaths. The report also contains data on participation in organized screening programs, mammography use and follow-up.
In line with the bill, the database would include breast density information in the future. This is an important addition to the repository. In turn, information would be provided to Canadians on this important issue.
The Canadian breast cancer screening initiative would continue to provide a decision-making tool for women. It, too, would include information on breast density.
All this good work is helping build awareness and understanding of the effects of breast cancer screening on breast cancer survival rates and other important issues.
In sum, the Canadian breast cancer screening initiative is an invaluable collaborative effort. It accesses new information about screening on a regular basis; it ensures that programs and policies are informed by the most up-to-date information; and it provides good information to help Canadians and to help professionals make the best possible decisions about breast cancer screening.
The bill also recognizes the important work done by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer on cancer prevention and control, more generally. Our government established the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer in 2006 to implement the Canadian strategy for cancer control. In March 2010, we renewed its funding, investing $250 million for another five years.
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is an independent, not-for-profit corporation. Its work includes prevention, early detection, treatment and support for Canadians living with cancer, and it involves many players, such as cancer experts, charitable organizations, government cancer agencies, national health organizations, patient survivors and others. Our investments in the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer help provide women with up-to-date information on breast cancer screening.
Recently, the bill was discussed at length in committee and a number of experts and witnesses shared their stories with us. I thought I would share a few.
Ms. Feather Janz detected a lump in her breast at age 20. However, despite going for numerous tests, cancer was not detected. She was finally diagnosed with highly aggressive grade three breast cancer at the age of 23. She underwent a radical surgery and her left breast was removed.
About 12 years later, Feather started to feel that her remaining breast was not quite right. Over the next four years, she continually went for mammograms but, again, nothing was detected.
The reports contained notations like “high dense breast tissue”, “too dense”, “quite dense” and “not able to see any abnormalities”. That is all the reports said. Feather insisted on surgery to have the other breast removed, and after the procedure the pathology report stated that it, indeed, had been a case of advanced aggressive breast cancer that had already spread to her lymph nodes. Feather told the committee she was shocked when she found out that the likely reason for this happening, and her life being threatened due to it, was because of dense breast tissue.
Another example is Mr. Bruce Cole, who testified before the committee about his wife, Sharon, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36 and passed away at 40. Bruce Cole is from the same region of the country that I come from, Simcoe County. Mr. Cole talked about the incredible tragedy of losing his wife, who left behind children aged 17, 15 and 13. Her family had no history of this terrible disease and Mr. Cole testified that, regrettably, his wife did not have access to the screening technology and the knowledge we have today.
Since Sharon's tragic death, Bruce has been very active with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation as a donor and volunteer, and he attended the world forum on breast cancer last June in Hamilton. Bruce urged the committee to pass Bill C-314. He said it would help improve the quality of information to women as part of Canada's organized breast screening programs. Bruce knows this bill would help raise women's awareness about breast density and its implications for their health.
Bruce correctly pointed out to us that digital mammography or MRI are more effective than screen-film mammography at detecting breast cancer in dense breast tissue like his wife had, and he emphasized the need for sharing information between the Public Health Agency of Canada and the provincial and territorial governments. Sadly, Bruce understands that his wife might be here today if these practices had been in place when Sharon needed them most, but he bravely soldiers on, fighting this battle in her memory.
With all of us working together, we can improve screening and early detection and provide important information to women, health care professionals and Canadians. Bill C-314 calls on us to do exactly that. By passing this bill, we can ensure awareness is raised about breast cancer screening for women with dense breast tissue. We can ensure that existing initiatives assist women and health care professionals in making well-informed decisions regarding screening. Raising awareness about breast cancer screening can lead to early detection, and early detection can save lives.
For these reasons, I encourage all members of the House to support my bill, and I sincerely hope that it will go a long way in helping to save more lives in the future.
I know this is something Canadians care passionately about. Every October the breast cancer walk is held in communities across Canada. In my home town, Barrie, there is a sea of pink, people walking on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay to support breast cancer research. This is a way to support the collective will of Canadians who say they want us to act and make a tangible difference in fighting breast cancer.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2011-11-16 14:07 [p.3141]
Mr. Speaker, November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. This past Monday we celebrated World Diabetes Day, marking the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting who, along with Dr. Charles Best, co-discovered insulin 90 years ago.
Nearly every Canadian is touched in some way by diabetes. Diabetes is expected to have a continued widespread impact on Canadians in the coming years.
More than three million Canadians live with some form of diabetes, and this number is increasing by 3% to 5% every year. The greatest rise is in children five to nine years of age.
Diabetes and its complications cost the Canadian economy more than $17.4 billion a year.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF, is the leading charitable funder and advocate of diabetes research in the world. It is working hard to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.
I ask my colleagues in the House to join me in supporting JDRF and all diabetes agencies in having a very successful World Diabetes Month.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2010-06-14 20:29 [p.3814]
Madam Chair, I appreciate the opportunity to speak in this take note debate on MS.
Let me say first how encouraging it is to have a health minister who is so passionate about MS research and the neurosciences. I will use my time today to highlight how our federal government is leading on neurosciences, and how the debate on MS CCSVI treatment is so desperately needed to occur, not in the House of Commons, but in the provincial legislatures across Canada.
I have had the tremendous benefit to know an incredible lady by the name of Jeanette Elliott, who runs the MS Society of Simcoe County. She is probably the most enthusiastic, passionate and steadfast volunteer one will ever meet. She has taught me a fair bit about MS. I am an eager supporter of my local MS branch because Jeanette's enthusiasm is certainly contagious. One cannot meet her and not want to help out. We are actually planning several fundraising events this summer that include a boat cruise, a volleyball tournament and dragon boat races on Kempenfelt Bay.
We have tremendous support for MS in Barrie because we recognize that MS is a devastating condition. It affects young adults in their prime, causing disability and distress. Jeanette tells me Canada is thought to have one of the highest rates of MS in the world. The total cost for health care and lost productivity associated with MS in Canada is estimated to be a staggering $950 million.
The government recognizes the importance of better understanding of neurological conditions such as MS and how they affect Canadians. Reliable information is the basis for effective programs and policies that will meet the needs of people with MS, their families and caregivers.
One year ago Jeanette Elliott began a petition at Barrie City Hall calling for federal investment to support a national study in neurological disorders. A mere six months later, in June 2009, Jeanette joined me at the MaRS centre to watch our health minister announce an investment of $15 million over four years to support a national study on neurological diseases. This study will fill gaps in information on the extent of neurological diseases and their impact on Canadians and is being co-led by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Neurological Health Charities of Canada.
The Neurological Health Charities of Canada is a collective of 18 charities, including the MS Society, coming together to improve the quality of life for all persons with chronic brain disorders and their caregivers. In the planning of this national study, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Neurological Health Charities have worked closely with the neurological community to identify the community's needs and priority areas for study. This included a wide-reaching public consultation with more than 3,000 people affected by neurological disorders.
Through this national population study on neurological conditions, we will learn more about Canadians living with neurological disorders such as MS, and how neurological conditions affect Canadians. The outcomes of this study will be of great value in guiding policy and program planning around neurological disorders.
As has been mentioned by others this evening, this government has been a big supporter of neurological sciences. In 2008-09, $120 million was invested for neurological disorders and $5.3 million was invested for MS. As the minister mentioned, the CIHR is eager to see applications on this CCSVI treatment.
Speaking specifically about MS, I am fascinated by the possibilities with the CCSVI treatment. I come from the beautiful city of Barrie, which is home to one of Canada's leading doctors, and a good friend of mine, Dr. Sandy McDonald, who I suggested speak before the neurological disorders subcommittee. Sandy is a brilliant cardiovascular surgeon and is known locally as the local saint. He was using his own funds, with no legal protection and tremendous exposure to help patients with MS. Let me tell the House about two of his patients, two individuals from my home area of Simcoe country.
Lianne Webb, a 48-year-old woman from Hillsdale, started suffering severe migraine headaches in her mid-twenties. She began to lose control of her right arm and leg. She struggled daily with chronic bouts of fatigue. Ms. Webb was diagnosed with MS in 1992. After 18 long years of living with this disease that had so profoundly affected her and her family, she went to see Dr. McDonald.
Through imaging, Dr. McDonald saw the blockages in Lianne's jugular and diagnosed her as having CCSVI. He treated her with a balloon angioplasty on February 11 of this year. Lianne described the procedure as simple, painless and only lasting a few hours, including recovery time. She said that she no longer has symptoms, her fatigue is gone and she has stopped taking the medication. She is working full time. She golfs and walks the course. She rides horseback at least twice a week. She finds it hard to sit down and relax because she cannot wait to try so many new things. Lianne has her life back.
Steven Garvie, a 53-year-old man, was diagnosed with secondary progressive MS about 10 years ago. Steve was unable to walk without the use of an aid, a rollator or an electric wheelchair. He was living in supportive housing for the physically disabled and was attended to by caregivers every day. They helped him shower, cooked his supper and fed him. They did his dishes and washed him up after he was done.
The agony of Steve's daily life was almost too much to bear. He was constantly haunted by the thoughts of what this disease was putting his three daughters through. He took antidepressants, and admitted to our committee that he tried to commit suicide. Steve had almost given up. That is until he saw Dr. McDonald. Steve has CCVI, and on January 29 of this year he was treated with a balloon angioplasty. Steve testified that the feeling in his left hand came back while he was on the table following a 45-minute procedure. He lifted his leg moments later.
Steve says that he went into the procedure with the hope of just stopping the progression. He was not prepared for the results. Steve was proud to tell us that he has no need for caregivers anymore. He left his housing unit three months ago. He washes for himself, cooks his own dinner and cleans up after. Steve has his life back.
I realize that there is some disagreement in Canada about the safety of the CCSVI treatment between neurological doctors and vascular doctors, but if we have learned one thing from Dr. Sandy McDonald, it is that this treatment provides hope and should be looked at by provincial health ministers across Canada.
Canadians want their provincial health ministers to look into this. Dr. Sandy McDonald says that his office continues to receive 1,000 requests a week for this service. He is at a loss to understand why the provincial governments will not allow this inexpensive and simple procedure.
The provincial ministry of health shut down the ability of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie to provide this treatment. It is not the federal government that has the power to stop treatment. It is not the federal government that authorizes treatment. It is indeed the respective provincial governments.
The member for Oshawa referenced the Ontario government's health technology advisory committee report of May 2010, a month ago, the government of Mr. McGuinty, in which the committee said that this was experimental, that it was not ready.
What I cannot imagine is why some members would try to mislead patients about the source. I apologize if I am restating the obvious but I am a bit perplexed and disappointed to see people send n petitions to the health minister of Canada to allow MS CCSVI treatment when it is the respective provincial governments that provide the technology advisory committee and governs the College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The research arm of health care is funded by the federal government but the administrative decisions and treatment are done by provincial governments. Our health minister is doing her job with passion and vigour. She is supporting research. She has taken a leadership role on neurological disorders, both domestically and internationally, whether it is the investments that have been put into CIHR, the conference she is preparing for this summer of top researchers and academics, or whether it is her leadership on the international scene. Our health minister has been a leader on this front.
It is high time we had a debate like this in provincial legislatures across Canada.
I would like to read a letter into the record from Pat Farrell, one of my constituents from Barrie. It was written to Premier McGuinty. Is that not a surprise, he has addressed it to the province?
I am writing you out of desperation from my family to help my ailing wife Barbara.
She requires an emergency vascular angioplasty that has been denied for unknown reasons.
My wife, Barbara is currently in RVH suffering from MS. She has been denied this procedure...that has the potential to alleviate some or possibly all of her symptoms.
This was a treatment that she was scheduled to have performed. Several people have had this procedure performed and have improved, all at RVH. We got excited and had hope.
Unexpectedly, days before the treatment, it was cancelled....
Some in the media falsely portrayed this as a complete cure.
He realizes that this is not a complete cure but he says that it would help relieve his wife's symptoms. They are both aware there are some risks but they accept the risks. They just cannot understand why the provincial government would tell the hospital in Barrie that it is not permitted. They cannot understand why the provincial health technology advisory committee would say that it is too experimental. It is not the Canadian health technology advisory committee. It is a provincial committee.
It breaks my heart to know that this treatment is not available for Mr. Farrell's wife but he recognizes that we need provincial leadership on this file to match the federal leadership we are seeing in research.
I hope tonight's debate on MS has been informative for those on the roles of each level of government and the urgent need we have for provincial governments to actively engage this health challenge with the same zeal that we are doing so federally.
I know some members across the aisle actually have a relationship with the Premier of Ontario and the health minister who comes from, if I recall, the same region as some members. Maybe they can have a conversation and encourage them to have the technology advisory committee review this.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2010-05-06 14:04 [p.2457]
Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to acknowledge May as being MS Awareness Month in Canada. The MS Society has worked tirelessly in the past fifty years to raise awareness about the devastating effects that MS has on its victims.
The MS Society has established itself as a leader in this cause with tens of thousands of volunteers dedicating their lives to not only helping with service programs, fundraising events and advocacy, but also to finding a cure for this disease, raising $10 million annually.
One local volunteer in my riding who has championed the cause of MS incredibly is Jeanette Elliott, who needs to be particularly commended. She has done everything from leading fundraising efforts to advancing policy change. She has also led the charge for income security and supportive housing for people affected by MS.
I would also like to pay tribute to renowned vascular surgeon, Dr. Sandy Macdonald, a Barrie resident who has invested his own time and funds toward new and emerging treatments of MS.
The dedication of the MS Society and its local chapter is an example of Canadian generosity, and I want to pay tribute to my constituents.
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2009-11-24 15:03 [p.7152]
Mr. Speaker, parliamentarians from all parties have been touched by Canadians who suffer and live with all forms of diabetes, like Sydney Grace in Barrie, Ontario who lives with juvenile diabetes. We are also proud of the rich history this nation has in scientific breakthroughs, beginning with Sir Frederick Banting and the discovery of insulin.
Could the Minister of State for Science and Technology and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario tell the House what our government is doing to build on this tradition and ensure southern Ontario plays a global role in combatting this disease?
View Patrick Brown Profile
View Patrick Brown Profile
2009-10-07 14:19 [p.5678]
Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pride to rise in the House today to speak about ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease. This is a devastating neurological disease. Currently, there are approximately 2,500 to 3,000 people in Canada living with ALS and 80% of the people diagnosed with ALS tragically die within two to five years of diagnosis.
One of the national advocates for ALS lives in Barrie. My good friend Derek “Braveheart” Walton has worked tirelessly raising funds for ALS research. Most recently, despite being in a wheelchair and seven years into this devastating disease, he conducted a skydive. Derek's jump raised $100,000, all going toward ALS research. His courage has made him a symbol of bravery in Simcoe County. The ALS Society of Canada, under the leadership of David Cameron, does incredible work because of volunteers like Derek.
I would like to ask the House to join with me today at the ALS reception in room 602 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to learn more about ALS and how to support this very worthy cause.
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