Canadian Cancer Society welcomes Ontario's new colorectal cancer screening program

    TORONTO, March 14 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society welcomes the launch
of ColonCancerCheck, Ontario's new colorectal cancer screening program.
    Colorectal cancer is one of the highest causes of cancer death in
Ontario. Yet the disease is preventable and treatable if detected early.
    "ColonCancerCheck will save lives in Ontario," says Peter Goodhand, CEO,
Ontario Division, Canadian Cancer Society. "That's why the Society advocated
so strongly and successfully for a colorectal cancer screening program and
that's why we are celebrating today."
    The Ontario government announced funding a year ago for the
implementation of a comprehensive population-based colorectal cancer screening
    "We congratulate the Ontario government for taking the lead and making
this province the first in Canada to implement such a program," adds Goodhand.
"The Society's efforts to promote participation in this screening program
support our overall work to reduce cancer incidence and deaths through
prevention and early detection."
    In Ontario, an estimated 1,750 men and 1,500 women died of colorectal
cancer in 2007. An estimated 4,200 men and 3,600 women were diagnosed in 2007.
After lung cancer, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer
death for men and women combined.
    The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that men and women age 50 and over
have a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) at least every two years. A colonoscopy
or other appropriate follow-up is recommended for individuals who test
positive using the FOBT.
    This recommendation applies only to people who are at average risk of
developing colorectal cancer. People who have a first degree relative with
colorectal cancer, personal history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel
disease, some inherited syndromes, or benign polyps should develop an
individualized plan of surveillance with their doctors.
    Most colorectal cancers develop from small growths, called polyps, in
those at average risk of the disease. Fecal occult blood testing will help to
identify polyps early so they may be removed during a colonoscopy or surgery
before they become cancerous. With these procedures, lives will be saved.

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of
the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more
about cancer, visit our website or call our toll-free, bilingual
Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For further information:

For further information: Camille Beaubien, Public Relations, Ontario
Division, Canadian Cancer Society, (416) 488-5402, ext. 2321

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Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

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