Colorectal Cancer - Nova Scotia

    MONTREAL, March 26 /CNW/ - The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada
(CCAC) congratulates the Government of Nova Scotia, the Ministry of Health for
making a clear move in the right direction by providing for the development of
a colorectal cancer screening program.
    "There are significant problems in the implementation of a screening
program which the Government must start dealing with even before this program
is put into place," said Barry D. Stein, president of the Colorectal Cancer
association of Canada (CCAC). "A critical problem that remains to be dealt
with is the lack of gastroenterologists that will be required to deal with the
increase in patients being referred for colonoscopy. As part of the ramping up
of the screening program, the province must act quickly to correct this
problem so that the screening program can be implemented smoothly. That being
said, the Government must ensure that adequate resources are allocated to
address the situation," said Stein.
    The move by the Minister has been generally well received by patient
advocates as a step in the right direction, but there is clearly a strong
desire to see the government move quickly to implement the program which is
long overdue, said Stein.
    "I commend Health Minister D'Entremont and encourage him to move swiftly
in implementing the program. With each month that passes, without a screening
program in place, more Nova Scotians run the risk of dying unnecessarily from
this tragic disease," said Jim Connors a well known executive and lawyer who
is a patient in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia."
    "As a Nova Scotian with advanced colorectal cancer, I look forward to the
province's continuing initiatives to move the program forward, together with
the advancement of education and awareness programs for the public and health
professionals. As my disease progresses, I will rest easier knowing that fewer
people will have to undergo my suffering," said Linda McAlpine.
    "The government has realized that colon cancer can affect the healthiest
of us. This certainly underlines the importance of screening," said Lynne
FitzGerald, a Nova Scotia patient.
    To address these issues, the CCAC will be hosting a Round Table
Conference in Montreal March 28-30, 2007 to discuss Screening and Access to
treatment. "We hope Nova Scotia will play an active role at the Round Table to
ensure they are able to benefit from the resources and information already
gathered across Canada, so that the implementation of the program in Nova
Scotia can be put into place as soon as possible," said Stein.
    After years of consideration, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, have
recently announced that they will implement population based colorectal cancer
screening programs later this year. The Round Table will provide a unique
opportunity to discuss these models and Nova Scotia will have an opportunity
to benefit from the information already studied.
    The CCAC also remains adamant that the Government of Nova Scotia not
forget about those patients who are already touched by the disease. "There are
hundreds of patients in Nova Scotia with advanced colorectal cancer who are
being let down and are not receiving the standard of care they should be
entitled to in accordance with the treatment guidelines. These patients
deserve timely and effective treatment and this situation must be rectified
immediately," said Stein.


    About colon cancer

    Colorectal cancer - cancer of the colon or rectum - is the second leading
cause of cancer deaths overall in men and women. The disease surpasses both
breast and prostate cancer in mortality, and is second only to lung cancer in
numbers of cancer deaths.
    Even though it is preventable, an estimated 20,000 (760 in Nova Scotia)
Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and an estimated
8,500 (330 in Nova Scotia) will die from the disease this year. An almost
equal number of men and women are diagnosed each year with colorectal cancer
in Canada. On average, 385 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer
every week and 163 people will die from it every week. One in 14 men and one
in 16 women are expected to develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
One in 28 men will die from it and one in 31 women will die from it.

    About CCAC

    The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is a non-profit organization
whose mission is to increase awareness and educate Canadians about colorectal
cancer, support patients and their families, and advocate for a national
screening policy and timely access to treatment and diagnostics. For more
information, please visit or call the toll-free info
line at 1-877-50COLON.

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule an interview with a patient or
physician, please contact: Barry D. Stein, Colorectal Cancer Association of
Canada, Cell: (514) 944-0200,, (514) 875-7745,
(416)920-4333; Alia Hassan, Cohn & Wolfe, (416) 924-5700 ext. 4055,

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Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada

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