Canada’s first cancer data strategy aims to transform cancer care by closing critical data gaps

The Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer release strategy to drive collective action to improve cancer data in Canada

Cancer data strategy logo of blue and yellow linked circles.


July 18, 2023 (Toronto, ON)

A new strategy released today by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) is aiming to address the urgent need to close gaps in cancer data in Canada. The pan-Canadian Cancer Data Strategy is the country’s first strategy to focus on cancer-specific data challenges.

The strategy comes after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted critical issues with health data in Canada, and just months after the Government of Canada called on provinces and territories to adopt common standards and policies related to health data.

With the goal of improving cancer outcomes and making cancer care in Canada better and more equitable, the pan-Canadian Cancer Data Strategy outlines a framework to guide efforts to enhance the collection, integration and use of cancer data. It also identifies 3 priorities for action and investment:

  • Improve the efficiency, timeliness and quality of data capture and access
  • Enhance linkages to current data
  • Fill gaps in current data collection and availability

Data provides critical information that helps focus cancer research, shape the delivery of cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and services, and inform policies that affect the health of people in Canada. Given the tremendous impact data has on cancer care experiences and outcomes for people facing the disease, we embedded patient and caregiver perspectives throughout the strategy.”

Dr. Stuart Edmonds, Executive Vice President of Mission, Research and Advocacy at CCS

To develop a targeted cancer data strategy to address these challenges, CCS and the Partnership worked with various partners, including provincial and territorial cancer agencies and programs, healthcare organizations, First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, researchers, policymakers and people with lived cancer experience. The result is an actionable strategy that is reflective of the needs of the entire cancer community.

The cancer data strategy complements the Pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy, an initiative coordinated by the Public Health Agency of Canada. It also takes into consideration the circumstances, barriers and needs that are unique to the cancer care ecosystem and supports efforts to achieve First Nations, Inuit and Métis data sovereignty.

Fulfilling the goals identified in the cancer data strategy will be a team effort. We call on health administrators, researchers and academic institutions, as well as federal, provincial and territorial policymakers to engage with the strategy and its priorities to help build a more cohesive cancer data ecosystem that benefits all people in Canada and is positioned to respond to future challenges.”

Dr. Craig Earle, CEO of the Partnership

To learn more about the pan-Canadian Cancer Data Strategy, visit


About the Canadian Cancer Society

The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, across Canada and for all types of cancer. As the voice for people who care about cancer, we work with governments to shape a healthier society. No other organization does all that we do to make lives better today and transform the future of cancer forever.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.

About the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

As steward of the Canadian Strategy for Cancer Control (the Strategy), the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (the Partnership) works with provincial and territorial ministries of health and their cancer programs, health system leaders and experts, and people affected by cancer across Canada to implement the Strategy to improve cancer outcomes for all people in Canada. Learn more at

For more information, please contact:

Rogelio Velez
Research Communications Specialist
Canadian Cancer Society

Jocelyn Healey
Digital Projects Lead
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer