Quebecers urged to continue to be screened for colon cancer despite recent events concerning incomplete examinations

MONTREAL, Sept. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - Recent events at the Lakeshore General Hospital in Quebec, concerning incomplete colonoscopies for colorectal cancer screening by an unidentified physician should not discourage individuals from getting what is one of the most important examinations concerning cancer prevention.

Without excusing in any way the fault of the physician concerned, the fact that the hospital  immediately revealed that there were incomplete examinations underscores the importance of transparency in all of our health institutions and provides patients with important information to protect their health.

Patients who received incomplete examinations will now have the opportunity to be re-examined. As it generally takes 8-10 years for most polyps to turn into colon cancer, it is likely that almost all of these patients will be free of disease. Hopefully, those who are found to have the disease will be in the early stages and have the greatest opportunity for a cure as colon cancer is 90 % curable when found in its early stages.

For any patient that is found to have more advanced disease the prognosis is better than ever, however the challenges are indeed much greater. It is therefore extremely important for all of these patients to be re-screened as soon as possible.

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) has worked hard in Quebec and across Canada to help bring awareness and promote colorectal cancer screening programs. This fall, the demonstration program of Quebec Colorectal Cancer Screening Program (Programme québécois de dépistage du cancer colorectal (PQDCCR)) is scheduled to commence in certain designated centers throughout the province. This screening program is based on a simple non-invasive stool based test called a fecal immunochemical test (FIT).

The Quebec Colorectal Cancer Screening Program will ultimately be expanded throughout the province, however in the interim the CCAC recommends that men and women between the ages of 50- 74 request the test from their primary care physicians. It is a simple and inexpensive way of testing for colon cancer.

Another screening option is a blood test. With multiple options available, individuals are encouraged to discuss their options as well as the risks and benefits of all screening options with their physicians. In the end result individuals who have positive results from any of these screening tests will be referred for a colonoscopy.

In Quebec, this year it is expected that there will be approximately 6,200 new cases of colon cancer (3,200 men and 2,800 women) and about 2,450 (1,300 men and 1,150) individuals will die from the disease, so it is imperative that individuals be screened in a timely and effective manner.

About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second-leading cause of cancer death in Canada.  Though highly preventable and curable when detected early, an estimated 23,300 Canadians (13,000 men and 10,300 women) will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and approximately 9,200 (5,000 men and 4,200 women) sadly will die from it.

An almost equal number of men and women are affected by colorectal cancer.  One in 14 men and one in 16 women are expected to develop the disease during their lifetime. One in 28 men and one in 31 women will die from it.

About the CCAC

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is the country's leading non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of colorectal cancer, supporting patients and advocating for national screening and timely and equal access to effective treatment options to improve patient outcomes.

Visit the CCAC website, www.colorectal-cancer.ca, for up-to-date information on colorectal cancer or call the toll-free number, 1.877.50.COLON (26566) or (514) 875 -7745

SOURCE: Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada

For further information:

Krista Halton
Kristah@colorectal-cancer.ca
514 952 2619

Barry D. Stein president CCAC
barrys@colorectal-cancer.ca
514 875 7899

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Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada

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