TORONTO, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - Following the results of the Angus Reid Strategies and the Applied Health Research Centre at Toronto's St. Michael's Hospital survey conducted on behalf of the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer finding that the majority of Canadians have a good understanding of the benefits of colorectal cancer screening, but are not taking action to get screened, the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada ("CCAC") is doubling its efforts in 2010 to convince Canadians that they must be more proactive concerning their health and the onset of colorectal cancer.
Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of Cancer death in Canada overall for men and women. By being proactive, adopting healthy lifestyles (proper nutrition and exercise) and getting screened for colorectal cancer, the mortality rate from the disease will drop substantially over the next ten years and those diagnosed early with the disease will have a better chance at a cure. "However, in order for this to happen, a great many more Canadians need to be proactive and get screened in a timely manner. That is why it is so important for every province to integrate a population-based colorectal cancer screening program," said Barry D. Stein, president of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.
"Those provinces that have not as yet committed to bringing in a screening program, or who have committed but have not as yet commenced the pilot phase of bringing in a program, must address this problem with urgency if we are to save lives," said Stein. "Newfoundland for example has not as yet committed to a screening program and Quebec has been talking about bringing in the program, but has not commenced the pilot phase as yet. The time to act is now and there is no good reason to delay any further," Stein added.
The CCAC is also calling upon the Canadian Medical Association and all family practitioners to make screening through Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) or Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) a standard practice at least every two years as part of a bi-annual health check up for all men and women fifty years of age and older.
In accordance with the survey, inadequate knowledge of the screening process for colon cancer is often the result of the limited information provided by individual physicians. "We know that if people are advised by their physician to get screened, there is a greater likelihood of them actually doing so. The CCAC provides first class information on colorectal cancer on its website and terrific publicity and awareness for screening across the country, but there is nothing like being told to get screened directly by your doctor to get you to act on it," said Stein.
"If you are wondering what you can do to prevent colorectal cancer in the New Year, here are a few things you can do," Stein added:
1. Start a conversation with a family member or friend about colon
cancer screening. The more you talk about it the more likely you are
to act on it; You'd be surprised how many people have symptoms but
are embarrassed to talk about it;
2. You can reduce your risk of getting colon cancer by being physically
active and exercising regularly;
3. Maintain a healthy weight;
4. Eat a high-fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetable, beans, nuts and
5. Consume calcium rich foods;
6. Limit red meat consumption and avoid processed meats;
7. Do not smoke;
8. Limit alcohol consumption.
It is important to recognize that early stages of colorectal cancer do not usually present symptoms. Screening is for the average risk person without any sign or symptom of the disease. "Most people think that they only need to get screened when they have a sign or symptom, but in fact, by then, it is often too late. Without proper screening many people discover that they have cancer only in the later stages and that is when it is most difficult to treat," said Stein.
Symptoms of the disease may include:
- Rectal Bleeding or blood in the stool
- Change in bowel habits or stools that are narrower than usual
- Stomach discomfort such as bloating, fullness or cramps
- Diarrhea, constipation or a feeling that the bowel does not fully
- Weight loss for no apparent reason
- Constant fatigue or anemia
Barry Stein pointed out that this year, in an effort to increase colorectal cancer awareness, the CCAC has created The Giant Colon Tour traveling across the country with its two 40 foot Giant Colon Exhibits. The Giant Colon is helping to create awareness about colorectal cancer and the importance of primary prevention and screening. In an effort to promote and implement provincial screening programs across the nation, the CCAC has been partnering with Ministries of Health, Cancer Agencies and Cancer Centers and Hospitals across the country.
In addition, the CCAC has created a Public Service Announcement contest to help find the most effective form of media to convince Canadians of the importance of primary prevention and screening.
For information on Colorectal Cancer see: www.colorectal-cancer.ca
For Information on the Giant Colon Tour see: www.colorectal-cancer.ca/en/the-giant-colon-tour/introduction/
For information on the CCAC PSA contest see: www.colorectal-cancer.ca/psa/
To order copies of the CCAC educational materials on colorectal cancer, please call toll-free: 1.877.50.COLON (26566) or in Toronto 416.920.4333 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editors
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 22,000 Canadians were diagnosed with the disease last year, and approximately 9,100 died 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 27 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 their families, and advocating for provincial screening programs as well as equal and timely access to effective treatments.
SOURCE Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada
For further information: For further information: or to schedule an interview with the CCAC, a patient or physician, please contact: Lydia Moreyne, CCAC, Tel.: 1-877-50 COLON (26566) or (514) 875-7745, Cell: (514) 629-2098, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Barry D. Stein, CCAC, Tel.: 1-877-50 COLON (26566) or (514) 875-7745, Cell: (514) 944-0200, E-mail: email@example.com