Canadian Lung Association Blog

Blog Archives

5 minutes with Dr. Pat Camp


What is pulmonary rehabilitation? Pulmonary rehabilitation is a program of exercise, education, and support to help patients with chronic lung conditions learn to breathe—and function—at the highest level possible. A typical program lasts six to eight weeks. We spend about half the time on physical exercise, and the rest providing information and tips about living with a lung condition and getting the best out of life. Topics include breathing techniques, how to manage stress, healthy eating, proper use of inhalers and medicines, and what to do when you’re experiencing a symptom flare-up. It’s a proven treatment that works, but is

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Posted in Lung Health, Research

5 minutes with Dr. Stephen Lam


Why is research into early detection of lung cancer so important? One in 12 Canadians will receive a lung cancer diagnosis in his or her lifetime. Lung cancer accounts for more than a quarter of cancer deaths in Canada. Unlike routine screening tests for colon, cervical or breast cancer, there is no widely accepted screening tool to detect lung cancer at an early stage. The high survival rates seen in other cancers is largely due to easily accessible national screening programs. By contrast, the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer remains at 17 percent, the lowest of all the major

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Lung Health, Research

Dr. Nasreen Khalil’s Story: A life dedicated to unravelling the mystery of a little known, lethal lung disease

Dr. Khalil's Story - IPF

Currently based at the University of British Columbia Dr. Khalil has dedicated much of her life’s work to understanding and treating IPF, raising the profile of the disease, and obtaining much-needed research funding. It was during her respirology fellowship some 20 years ago that Dr. Khalil first became captivated by IPF.  Previously viewed as an inflammatory disease similar to asthma or COPD, Dr. Khalil andher team discovered that IPF is actually a disease of the lung tissue. “This disease is insidious,” explains Dr. Khalil. “Many people cannot pinpoint exactly when they noticed becoming short of breath – usually when doing regular

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Posted in Pulmonary fibrosis, Research, Stories

Update on Flavoured Tobacco Products in Saskatchewan


There is growing concern over the consistency of youth tobacco use rates over the past few years across Canada. In Saskatchewan, this trend is particularly troubling, as tobacco use rates in the province are consistently greater than the national average. A popular hypothesis is that the availability of flavoured products is to blame. Multiple studies have investigated the effects of adding flavoured additives to conventional tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigarillos, and cigars, as well as smokeless tobacco products. It has been consistently demonstrated that flavours can make tobacco products more palatable, by providing a more pleasant sensory experience for

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Posted in Research, Smoking & Tobacco

Moving research discoveries from the lab to patients, looking for cures for preemie babies with breathing difficulties

Dr. Bernard Thébaud

Dr. Bernard Thébaud still remembers the time when he told a mother that her premature baby was dying from a lung disease and she asked: “Isn’t there anything you can do for my baby now?” “That’s when I realized that I needed to move research findings quicker from the labs into treatments for patients,” recalls Dr. Thébaud, a neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and a senior scientist with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. That baby had a genetic condition known as surfactant protein B deficiency. In the lungs, the

Posted in Research

Improving care for people living with COPD

The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement supports healthcare partnerships to find innovative ways of improving patient care. This collaborative approach is a great example of how health system leaders can work together in ways that will lead to better care for Canadians struggling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Nineteen teams from healthcare organizations in all 10 provinces are participating in projects to improve care for people living with COPD and support their caregivers. The Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, in partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., pledged $1 million to support the teams. One of the teams that is

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Posted in COPD, Research

SHRF Partnership

The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) is offering a pilot funding program developed to encourage collaborative groups of health researchers to launch new ideas, develop new research questions, and explore unique solutions to health issues relevant to Saskatchewan. Funding is available for short-term research development projects of up to one year. This funding is intended to provide support for collaborative health research in its initial stages that will strengthen an application for funding to an entity other than SHRF within one year following the grant term. Researchers are encouraged to work with knowledge user co-applicants and collaborators where appropriate. SHRF

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Posted in Asthma, Research

New Saskatchewan Research


The Saskatchewan Rural Health Study is a large five year study looking at factors affecting lung health in the rural areas of our province. A total of 39 rural municipalities and 16 towns are participating. The results of a questionnaire about day time sleepiness were published in the August 2014 edition of the Canadian Respiratory Journal. Using the Epworth Sleepiness scale, the researchers found high levels of excessive daytime sleepiness in rural people. It was most common among men over 55 years of age. This is a concern since excessive daytime sleepiness is a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructive

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Posted in Research, Sleep Apnea

My Experience With Lung Cancer – Part 2

[In Part 1, Terry described her diagnosis and initial treatment.] First, thank you so much to my colleagues and friends who have written in response to this blog. Your support and good wishes help me enormously, especially during the moments when I feel discouraged. I met an elderly patient who recently had major surgery for lung cancer. I was struggling to do my 30 minutes on the treadmill, and she just leaned over and said “Just have to keep going – don’t let yourself give up”.  I think that is the key – we can’t always have a positive attitude,

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Posted in Lung Cancer, Research, Stories

Guest post from Dr. Mark Fenton: Research on lung volume in First Nations people

The measurement of how much air you can breathe in and out is a very helpful tool to diagnose lung disorders. The size of your lungs is influenced by age, sex, height and ethnicity. When deciding if a person’s lung volume is normal or not, the measurements are compared to what would be expected based on the person’s age, sex, height and ethnicity. There is information available on what lung volumes are expected for white people, black people and Asian people but none is available for First Nations people. As a result, lung function in First Nations people is compared

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Posted in Research