Colon Cancer Awareness Month: B-roll of the fecal occult blood test
TORONTO, March 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Armed with a 'cheeky' slogan, the
Canadian Cancer Society is aiming to grab the attention of those 50 and
over during Colon Cancer Awareness Month this March. Getting checked
for colon cancer is likely not at the top of anyone's to do list, but
the Society is encouraging Canadians to make their bottom their
priority by getting checked. Many people may be surprised to learn that
colon cancer is the number two cancer killer of men and women, yet it
is 90% treatable when caught early.
"An important step in early detection or even preventing colon cancer is
checking before you have any symptoms. Making sure you strike up the
conversation with your doctor could save your life," says John
Atkinson, Director, Tobacco Control and Cancer Prevention, Canadian
Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "We urge all Ontarians aged 50 and
older to make their bottom their top priority. Talk to your doctor
about getting checked for colon cancer. It could be as simple as an
The bottom line about colon cancer
Checking for colon cancer, also known as cancer screening, can be as
simple as taking the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) - an at-home stool
test taken in the privacy of a person's home. This test can detect
invisible amounts of blood in one's stool. Finding blood doesn't
necessarily mean a person has colon cancer but it is a warning sign
that requires further investigation by a healthcare provider.
Men and women ages 50 and older who do not have symptoms, should get
checked for colon cancer every two years using the fecal occult blood
test. For people with symptoms or who are at higher risk of colon
cancer, it is important that they talk to their doctors.
In 2012, estimated 8,700 Ontarians were diagnosed with colon cancer and
approximately 3,450 people died from the disease - only lung cancer
claims more lives.
Get the bottom line about colon cancer at stickittocoloncancer.ca and download a free discussion guide with questions to ask your doctor.
While there, send an e-card to friends and family to help spread this
potentially life-saving message.
Many people may find the idea of talking to their doctor about getting
checked for colon cancer embarrassing, so they avoid the subject
altogether. But for Vicky Pullam, a 64-year-old Ottawa-area retiree,
having that dialogue saved her life.
When Vicky turned 50, her doctor was adamant that she begin getting
checked for colon cancer using a simple at-home stool test - also
referred to as a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) - despite the fact that
she was healthy, active and had no symptoms.
And she didn't let the "ick" factor of a stool test stop her from
getting checked. "A lot of people feel uncomfortable about taking this
test, but it's easy and can be done in the privacy of your home. It's a
small inconvenience knowing it could save your life," says Vicky.
For the next 12 years, Vicky continued to take the stool test every two
years. In 2011, she noticed a change in her colon health and mentioned
it to her doctor. A colonoscopy later revealed that Vicky indeed had a
growth, called a polyp, in her colon. "I was sitting on a time bomb and
envisioned what would have happened to the polyp if I hadn't been
checked." The surgeon removed the polyp and biopsy results confirmed it
had been found before becoming cancerous.
As a volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society, Vicky educates others
about the importance of getting checked for colon cancer. Now she also
speaks from personal experience.
"I've become even more passionate about telling people who are 50 and
over to make sure they do the FOBT and to talk to their doctor about
other options for getting checked," she says. Vicky is cancer-free
because she regularly tested for colon cancer before having any
Reliable information and support
People looking for trustworthy information about colon cancer or other
support services, can call the Canadian Cancer Society's confidential
Cancer Information Service (1 888 939-3333) and speak to a trained
cancer information specialist.
The specialist can also provide information about the Society's
a volunteer-provided transportation program that helps patients get to
and from their cancer-related treatment appointments when they have no
way of getting there on their own
an over-the-phone and in-person support program that connects patients
and caregivers with trained volunteers who've had cancer or cared for
someone with cancer
an online community (CancerConnection.ca) that gives patients, survivors and caregivers a place to share
support, ideas and advice
To access information about colon cancer around the clock, visit cancer.ca
For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the
fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent
cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From
this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever
so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive.
When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at
1-888-939-3333 (TTY: 1-866-786-3934).
Video with caption: "Colon Cancer Awareness Month: B-roll of the fecal occult blood test". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130304_C8902_VIDEO_EN_24097.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130304_C8902_PHOTO_EN_24097.jpg&clientName=Canadian%20Cancer%20Society%20%28Ontario%20Division%29&caption=Colon%20Cancer%20Awareness%20Month%3A%20B%2Droll%20of%20the%20fecal%20occult%20blood%20test&title=CANADIAN%20CANCER%20SOCIETY%20%28ONTARIO%20DIVISION%29%20%2D%20%26quot%3BMake%20your%20bottom%20your%20top%20priority%26quot%3B%2C%20urges%20Canadian%20Cancer%20Society%20during%20Colon%20Cancer%20Awareness%20Month&headline=%26quot%3BMake%20your%20bottom%20your%20top%20priority%26quot%3B%2C%20urges%20Canadian%20Cancer%20Society%20during%20Colon%20Cancer%20Awareness%20Month
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Senior Coordinator, Communications
Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division