Many CPTP participants have given a blood sample that is being stored for future research.  The BC Generations Project, one of our regional studies, has created a video that explains what happens to that sample on its trip to the freezer.

Tips on how to stay healthy

Healthy living, which involves eating well, being active and staying at a healthy body weight, can help prevent up to 35% of all cancers and reduce the risk of related chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes [1]. Here are some tips for staying healthy:


1.      Eat well.
Keeping a healthy body weight is essential to healthy living. You can do this by eating the right balance of food in healthy portions and by staying active. Make wise food choices by eating less red and processed meat, less saturated fat and salt, and more vegetables and fruit. For more information and tips on eating well, see
Canada’s Food Guide.


2.      Be active.
Even just 30 minutes a day of moderate physical activity helps a lot. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Go for a walk in the neighbourhood or the mall. Work in the yard. The more active you are, the more you reduce your risk of cancer. For more information and tips on staying active, see
Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living.


3.      Don’t smoke.
There’s no doubt about it—smoking is the single biggest cause of lung cancer and is responsible for 30% of all cancer deaths
[2]. Be a non-smoker and avoid second-hand smoke. Non-smokers are 10-20 times less likely to develop lung cancer than those who smoke. If you smoke, quit. Visit Health Canada Quit Now or the Canadian Cancer Society for help to quit.


4.      Cut down on alcohol.
If you choose to drink, have only a moderate amount. Keep it to no more than 1 small drink a day for women and fewer than 2 small drinks a day for men. The more you cut down on alcohol, the more you reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. There is a limited risk if you drink a little. View
Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse for more information.


5.      Talk to your doctor.
Your doctor is your partner for good health and a great source of information. Your doctor can help you understand what a healthy body weight is for you, help you learn how to quit smoking, and give you information on screening tests for cancers and related chronic diseases.   To find a doctor in your area, contact your provincial or territorial College of Physicians and Surgeons:

·         British Columbia

·         Alberta

·         Saskatchewan

·         Manitoba

·         Ontario

·         Quebec

·         Nova Scotia

·         New Brunswick

·         Newfoundland and Labrador

·         Prince Edward Island

·         Nunavut

·         Northwest Territories

·         Yukon Territory


Have healthy living tips?  Visit our Facebook page and share them with the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project community.


Also, make sure to visit our infographic series that looks at how cancer, diabetes and heart disease affect Canadians.


[1] Canadian Cancer Society – Nutrition and Fitness

[2] Canadian Cancer Society – Smoking and Tobacco

Identifying patterns that cause disease/ Reconnaître les caractéristiques des causes de maladies


Dr. John Potter, Chair of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project’s International Scientific Advisory Board, talks about the project’s research aims.

Le Dr John Potter, président du conseil consultatif scientifique international du projet de partenariat canadien Espoir pour demain, parle des objectifs du projet de recherche.


L’article en français ici.


Dr. John Potter serves as Chair of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project’s International Scientific Advisory Board, composed of world-renowned experts in key areas of research who help guide the project over the long term. He talks to us about the importance of the study and its potential to make a difference in understanding the causes of cancer and related chronic diseases.  

What is the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project?

This is the largest study of its kind to date in Canada. Scientists call it a prospective cohort study, which means researchers follow a large group of healthy people from a variety of backgrounds and regions over many years. During that time the research teams regularly analyze health and lifestyle information from the people who participate in the study.

Why is this type of study important? 

A study like this allows scientists to identify patterns that cause disease by looking at what happens to people over time and asking questions about the effects of different lifestyle factors on their health. For example, do people who exercise regularly have different health outcomes than those who don’t? Do certain dietary patterns affect health outcomes?  

More than 200,000 Canadians have signed up for the study, with more joining every week. Why are so many participants needed?

To understand patterns in a population, researchers need to look at more than just a few instances of disease. For example: relatively speaking, only a small number of people will develop a certain type of cancer in a year. So by having a large number of people participating in the study, we are able to see patterns in the development of different diseases much more quickly.

Does Canada offer any unique or special advantages for this type of research?

Canada is a very cosmopolitan country, so there are all kinds of opportunities to investigate the implications of genetic diversity, cultural diversity and linguistic diversity on health. It’s also a very good place to study the effects of different environmental exposures on disease. For example, researchers could map people’s exposures, based on where they live and work, to radiation, air pollution or groundwater and ask how these relate to different health outcomes.

What are some questions this study could help to answer?

We know that about 10% of people who develop lung cancer don’t smoke. Why do non-smokers develop cancer? A study like this is big enough for researchers to be able to explore whether there is a difference between non-smokers who develop lung cancer and those who don’t. Here’s another example: we don’t know the difference between the type of prostate cancer that kills and the type that doesn’t. We could ask questions about the differences in the genetic patterns in prostate cancer cells that kill and don’t kill, and then possibly use that information to decide whether to treat a particular cancer aggressively or not.

Why should people participate in the study?

This is a gift for the future. Although there may be no direct benefit to you as a participant, you are giving something of value to the community. An individual’s participation increases the total number of people in the study and the diversity of what’s known about Canadians at that time. Every one of us brings something different – our genes, environmental history, birth history, family history, diet and activities. Each person makes a unique contribution to the project.



Dr. John Potter is a Member and Senior Advisor of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health & Community Medicine, in Seattle, Washington. He is also a Professorial Fellow at Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand and the author or co-author of over 500 scientific papers, chapters and books.

Dr. Potter’s research is aimed at understanding environmental and genetic risk and biology in colorectal, breast, and pancreatic cancer, and at developing biomarkers that can be used for screening and early detection of cancer. He chaired the international panel that produced “Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective,” an influential report on the feasibility of preventing cancer through diet and other environmental factors. Dr. Potter also has extensive experience with population-based studies like the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project and co-leads the Asia Cohort Consortium, a group of cohort studies involving more than 1 million people across Asia.

Take part in the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project by contacting the regional study team closest to you.


Reconnaître les caractéristiques des causes de maladies

Le Dr John Potter est le président du conseil consultatif scientifique international du projet de partenariat canadien Espoir pour demain. Ce conseil est composé d’experts de renommée mondiale dans des domaines de recherche clé qui contribuent à orienter le projet à long terme. Le Dr Potter nous parle de l’importance de l’étude et de sa capacité à jouer un rôle déterminant pour nous aider à mieux comprendre les causes du cancer et des maladies chroniques connexes.

En quoi consiste le projet de partenariat canadien Espoir pour demain?

Il s’agit de la plus vaste étude de ce genre jamais réalisée au Canada. C’est ce que les scientifiques appellent une étude de cohorte prospective : des chercheurs suivent sur de nombreuses années un grand groupe de personnes en bonne santé provenant de divers milieux et de différentes régions. Au cours de cette période, les équipes de recherche analysent régulièrement les renseignements relatifs à la santé et au mode de vie des participants.

Pourquoi ce type d’étude est-il important?

Ce type d’étude permet aux scientifiques de faire ressortir certaines caractéristiques des causes de maladies en examinant ce qui arrive aux personnes au fil du temps et en réfléchissant aux répercussions sur leur santé des différents facteurs liés au mode de vie. Par exemple, l’état de santé des personnes qui font régulièrement de l’exercice est-il différent de celui des personnes qui n’en font pas? Certaines habitudes alimentaires ont-elles une incidence sur l’état de santé?

Plus de 200 000 Canadiens se sont inscrits pour participer à l’étude, et il y a de nouvelles inscriptions chaque semaine. Pourquoi faut-il autant de participants?

Pour comprendre les tendances au sein d’une population, les chercheurs ne peuvent pas s’en tenir à quelques cas de maladie. Par exemple, il y a relativement peu de personnes qui sont touchées par un type de cancer précis chaque année. Par conséquent, si nous pouvons compter sur un grand nombre de participants, nous pourrons plus rapidement cerner les tendances liées à l’apparition de différentes maladies.

Y a-t-il des avantages uniques ou spéciaux à réaliser ce type de recherche au Canada?

Le Canada est un pays très cosmopolite qui, de ce fait, présente beaucoup de possibilités d’étudier les répercussions de la diversité génétique, culturelle et linguistique sur la santé. Le Canada est également un endroit tout désigné où étudier les répercussions de différentes expositions environnementales sur l’apparition des maladies. Par exemple, les chercheurs peuvent déterminer, en fonction du lieu de résidence et de travail des personnes, si elles sont exposées aux radiations, à la pollution atmosphérique ou à la pollution des eaux souterraines, et évaluer comment ces expositions sont liées aux différents résultats cliniques en matière de santé.

À quelles questions l’étude pourrait-elle permettre de répondre?

Nous savons qu’environ 10 p. 100 des personnes qui sont atteintes d’un cancer du poumon ne fument pas. Pourquoi les non-fumeurs développent-ils un cancer? L’étude est suffisamment vaste pour que les chercheurs puissent déterminer s’il y a des différences entre les non-fumeurs qui sont touchés par un cancer du poumon et les non-fumeurs qui ne le sont pas. Voici un autre exemple : nous ne connaissons pas la différence entre le cancer de la prostate qui entraîne la mort et celui auquel les hommes survivent. On pourrait se pencher sur la différence entre le profil génétique des cellules cancéreuses de ces deux types de cancer de la prostate. Par la suite, ces renseignements pourraient permettre de déterminer si on doit déployer tout l’arsenal thérapeutique pour traiter un cancer en particulier.

Pourquoi les gens devraient-ils participer à l’étude?

C’est un cadeau pour les générations futures. Même s’il n’y a peut-être aucun avantage direct au fait de participer à l’étude, c’est une façon d’offrir quelque chose d’une grande valeur à la collectivité. Chaque nouveau participant de l’étude vient augmenter le nombre total de participants et contribue à accroître nos connaissances au sujet des Canadiens à ce moment-là. Chacun de nous apporte donc quelque chose de différent – nos gènes, le milieu dans lequel nous avons vécu, notre naissance, nos antécédents familiaux, notre régime alimentaire et nos activités. Chaque personne contribue de façon unique au projet.



Le Dr John Potter est membre et conseiller principal du Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center et professeur d’épidémiologie à la School of Public Health & Community Medicine de l’Université de Washington, à Seattle (Washington). Il est également membre enseignant à la Massey University, à Wellington (Nouvelle-Zélande). Il est l’auteur ou le coauteur d’environ 500 articles, chapitres et ouvrages scientifiques.

Par ses recherches, le Dr Potter souhaite comprendre les risques environnementaux et génétiques et l’aspect biologique du cancer colorectal ainsi que des cancers du sein et du pancréas et parvenir à élaborer des biomarqueurs pouvant être utilisés pour le dépistage et la détection précoce du cancer. Il a été président du comité international qui a produit le rapport intitulé Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, document marquant sur la faisabilité de la prévention du cancer par le régime alimentaire et grâce à d’autres facteurs environnementaux. Le Dr Potter a également une vaste expérience dans le domaine des études axées sur la population comme le projet de partenariat canadien Espoir pour demain. En outre, il codirige le Asia Cohort Consortium, groupe d’études de cohorte auquel plus de un million de personnes participent en Asie.

Joignez-vous au projet de partenariat Espoir pour demain en communiquant avec l’équipe qui s’occupe de l’étude dans votre région.

Just like these famous Canadians, we can change the world for generations to come

The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project video highlights many Canadians who have made a global impact by having the courage to chase their dreams, by challenging the status quo and by making life-changing discoveries. Learn more about who they are and how you can make your own contribution to Canadian history by joining the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project.

·         Emily Carr, Canadian Artist and Writer, 1871-1945: raised awareness of First Nations issues by going against widespread political correctness by portraying the First Nations peoples of Canada’s western coast as she saw them — as a society in decline. The nature themes recurring in her art also stimulated discussion about the importance of environmental protection.

·         J Armand Bombardier, Canadian Inventor and Businessman, 1907-1964: dreamt as a young boy of creating a machine that could make travel across Canada’s snow-covered rural countryside possible. His invention of the Bombardier Ski Doo ™ snowmobile was a technological breakthrough as it helped to transform travel between Canada’s northern communities.

·         Roberta Bondar, Canada’s First Woman Astronaut, 1945:realized her dream of scientific research by becoming Canada’s first woman in space; her research continues to play an important role in diabetes, high blood pressure, and Parkinson’s disease.


·         Sidney Crosby, Canadian Olympic Hockey Player, 1987: determined to become a hockey great, he is one ofCanada’s youngest record-breakers. Most well-known for hisovertime goal in the 2010 Winter Olympics, winning Canada a gold medal.


·         Tommy Douglas, Canadian Politician, 1904 -1986: believing strongly in the importance of working for the common good, he was considered by many to be a thought leader raising awareness of concepts like socialized medicine.  

·         David Suzuki, Canadian Scientist and Environmental Activist, 1936: believing that small steps make a big difference on the path to living more sustainably, he extensively advocates for and educates about environmental issues through research, teaching, and radio and television programs.


·         Dr. Frederick Banting, Canadian Physician, 1891 - 1941: along with Dr. Charles Best, Dr. Banting isolated insulin and found that injecting it into diabetic dogs lowered their blood sugar levels. In 1922, insulin was tested successfully on a 14-year-old boy dying from diabetes, solidifying insulin as a life-saving discovery.


·         Dr. Norman Bethune, Canadian Physician, 1849 - 1919: helped to revolutionize military surgery by introducing a mobile blood bank to the battlefield.  As a forerunner of socialized medicine, he was also instrumental in establishing a functional health care system in China that eventually influenced Canada’s approach to health care.

 You can make your own impact on Canadian history by joining the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project.  Also, be sure to share your thoughts on other inspirational Canadians on our Facebook page.

Why Join the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project? A Victoria Resident Shares her Inspiration for Participating

When Shirley Wiebe’s father died of cancer, it was a wake-up call to make a significant change her in life – it was time for her to take her health in hand, rid herself of bad habits and start living her best life possible.

From that moment forward, Shirley, a 58 year old resident of Victoria, B.C., dedicated herself to eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.  Not only did she lose 50 pounds, but felt healthier and more alive than she had in years.

Inspired by her new, healthy lifestyle, Shirley decided to sign up for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, a long-term study designed to help researchers better understand why some people develop cancer and other chronic diseases while others do not. She learned about the study through a segment on her local news and Shirley knew right away that she wanted to get involved and do her part to help researchers.

"It was so easy to join as it took hardly any time to fill out the form and staff members were available to help along the way. There was little involved on my part, but such tremendous knowledge will come out of the study," said Shirley. "Why wouldn’t I get involved? I feel privileged to be a part of it."

Shirley signed up for the study through the BC Generations Project, one of five regional studies that make up the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project. She is now one of more than 200,000 Canadians participating.

Ready to help? Connect with the regional study team near you by clicking on this link.


A year of cancer in Canada, via the National Post.

A year of cancer in Canada, via the National Post.

Help discover what causes cancer and other chronic diseases.  Sign up today to help future generations tomorrow.

Heart disease in Canada

Diabetes in Canada: how much do you know?

Did you know that 90% of Canadians over the age of 20 have at least one risk factor for heart disease? This infographic gives an overview of the heart disease landscape in Canada.

Canada: leading the charge in global health

From the discovery of insulin to the world’s first open heart surgery, Canada has a proud history of game-changing health innovations. Here are 6 home-grown contributions to global health that may surprise you.


1. Development of Insulin

In 1921, Dr. Frederick Banting had a radical idea that a fluid in the pancreas might be the key to diabetes. Along with Dr. Charles Best, Dr. Banting isolated the fluid – called insulin – and found that injecting it into diabetic dogs lowered their blood sugar levels. In 1922, insulin was tested successfully on a 14-year-old boy dying from diabetes, and solidified insulin as a life-saving discovery.


2. Pablum

In 1930, Drs. Brown, Tisdall and Drake at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto developed a fortified infant cereal that could be used to prevent rickets, a crippling childhood disease. The cereal, which became known as pablum, has been used ever since.



3. World’s first pacemaker

The first external pacemaker was developed by John Alexander Hopps, an electrical engineer from the University of Manitoba. This video from the CBC outlines the successes that were achieved through the creation of this new medical technology.


4. Identifying causes of colon cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canada. In 1996, Drs. Liliana Attisano and Jeff Wrana from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto discovered a gene linked to a type of colon cancer called MADR2. This gene has helped researchers understand what causes cells to multiply uncontrollably – the root of malignant cancer.



5. Early heart attack prediction

In 2003, a Canadian-led study, INTERHEART, found that just nine factors could predict most heart attacks. The study found that the two greatest risk factors- smoking and abnormal blood fat ratio  - together predict two-thirds of heart attacks.



6. Mobility for the masses – the first artificial knee joint

Approximately 1 million people worldwide have their knees replaced every year. This surgery was made possible when researchers at the University of McGill in Montreal invented the first artificial knee joint in 1965. This breakthrough innovation has given renewed mobility to and reduced pain for millions of people over the decades since its invention.




What will the next big Canadian medical breakthrough be? You could be a part of it by taking part in the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project!  Find out how to join here – and visit us on our Facebook page to share your thoughts on Canada’s most significant medical breakthroughs.

Diabetes in Canada

Diabetes in Canada: how much do you know?

Did you know that 1 in 20 Canadians have diabetes? This infographic gives an overview of the diabetes landscape in Canada.