Canadian nuclear industry marks World Cancer Day

February 4, 2019

OTTAWA (January 4, 2019) – The Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) is marking World Cancer Day by highlighting the important role nuclear technology plays in diagnosing and treating cancer.

On World Cancer Day, millions are urged to get active to help combat one of the world’s most deadly diseases. But every day, nuclear is on the frontlines in the battle against cancer.

“Canada has been a pioneer in the development of radioisotopes, saving millions of lives around the globe for over six decades in more than 80 countries,” said CNA President and CEO John Barrett. “Since the 1940s, our nuclear industry has demonstrated world-class nuclear expertise and achievements, leading to significant advancements in medical imaging, cancer therapy, and diagnostic development.

Some notable facts include:

  • Nuclear medicine uses radioisotopes to provide diagnostic information about the stages of different types of cancer.
  • Radioisotopes are used to treat certain cancers, using radiation to weaken or destroy targeted cells.
  • Cobalt-60, a radioisotope harvested by Bruce Power and Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) nuclear reactors, is currently used in 70% of the world’s cancer cases treated by radiation.
  • Over 40 million nuclear medicine procedures are performed each year, with demand for radioisotopes increasing up to 5% annually.

“Canada has made impressive contributions to world health care, and Canada’s nuclear sector will continue to develop isotopic innovations that help in the fight against cancer,” Dr. Barrett added.

For example, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is on the cutting edge of cancer research with targeted alpha therapy. Last year, CNL announced its collaboration with TRIUMF to produce Actinium-225, a rare medical isotope that could revolutionize the fight against untreatable forms of cancer.

In 2018, CNA and many of its member companies helped to create the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC). The CNIC is an independent organization consisting of representatives from the Canadian health sector, nuclear industry and research bodies advocating for Canada’s role in the production of the world’s radioisotope supply.

CNIC members include Bruce Power, OPG, Cameco, SNC-Lavalin, NB Power, BWXT, OCNI, Kinectrics, and Laker Energy.

For more information:

Erin Polka
Director of Communications
(613) 237-4262 x110

Media Contact

Christopher Gully
Vice President, Communications & Member Engagement
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