Angus Pratt

We profiled Angus in our 2019 Faces of Lung Cancer Report. To recap briefly, his lung cancer was diagnosed in May, 2018 as an incidental finding to male breast cancer. Treatment started with an aggressive curative-intent regime of chemo-radiation followed by durvalumab (Imfinzi). He began the three month cycle of follow-up CT scans. After nine months, his health care team discovered progression.

It's at this point that the story gets interesting. Angus had been found to be EGFR+, a common mutation found in non-smokers. His oncologist started him on afatinib but recommended osimertinib (Tagrisso). Health Canada had approved the new drug at the time. But it was not funded by the provincial health authority. And so began his journey into advocacy. 

Speaking to Lung Cancer Canada, Angus discovered that he wasn't alone. Unlike the breast cancer world with which he had connections, he found there was not a strong advocate community - yet. He spoke to politicians, and the drug company itself. After about eight months, the province approved funding. The cancer agency switched any patients to the new therapy. 

But there was a six month cutoff line. If you had been on afatinib for more than six months you were not eligible. Angus had been on it for eight months. After another round of visits and talking, he recognized the futility of his advocacy.  He accepted he would continue on the old drug.

Now four years later, with continued quality of life, other matters occupy his attention. Through the pandemic Angus realized that there was a need for accurate information for lung cancer patients.  He wrote on the online CCS forum,, helping grow a burgeoning lung cancer group online. With Lung Cancer Canada and patients, he documented the impact of Covid-19 on lung cancer patients and caregivers.

Recently, Angus has been part of a small provincial group of patients meeting regularly for support and advocacy. As lung cancer patients live longer and better quality lives, talking about the need for change is important. Better research for lung cancer; broader based genomic testing; implementation of lung cancer screening; and support for lung cancer patients have all been part of his work. Using his training in the IASLC STARS patient research advocate program, Angus has been able to use social media, public speaking and writing opportunities to further awareness of lung cancer.