MONTREAL, April 30 /CNW/ - The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) applauds Prince Edward Island's (PEI) recent decision to provide patients with metastatic colorectal cancer access to Avastin(bevacizumab).
"The CCAC congratulates the Prince Edward Island government for making Avastin publicly accessible to colorectal cancer patients with advanced disease," said Barry D. Stein, president of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada(CCAC). "Patients in PEI will now have the opportunity to prolong their lives by having access to the standard of care in the treatment of the disease. In some cases, coupled with surgery, these patients may even find a cure. We are optimistic that the criteria to access the medication will be at least in line with the other provinces," said Stein.
The CCAC has been calling for equal and timely access to effective treatments across the country and earlier this month held a legislative information session in Charlottetown to highlight the importance of screening and access to Avastin as well as other targeted therapies. PEI's Minister of Health and Wellness, Carolyn Bertram strongly supported the quality of care for colorectal cancer patients and the advancement of colorectal cancer screening at the meeting.
The CCAC strongly advocates that the treatments be approved for use with all reasonable combinations of chemotherapies for colorectal cancer affording physicians and patients the best choice of treatment in the circumstances. "It is imperative that all Canadian patients have equal and timely access to the most effective medications available, in a manner that prioritizes the needs of patients, " said Stein.
The CCAC also recently called on the provinces to approve two other new targeted therapies: Vectibix (panitumumab)and Erbitux (cetuximab)that are already reimbursed in several provinces across the country.
"The CCAC is also extremely supportive of PEI's launch of the pilot colorectal cancer screening program and we will do everything we can to help bring awareness in this province about this important initiative. Primary prevention, screening and effective treatments are the hallmarks of what we know will reduce the mortality rate from the second biggest cancer killer in the country," Stein added.
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, 110 of which were in PEI (50 Men and 50 Women), and approximately 9,100, of which 50 were in PEI (25 Men and 25 women), died from it. An almost equal number of men and women are affected by colorectal cancer.
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 primary prevention, provincial screening programs as well as equal and timely access to effective treatments to improve patient outcomes.
SOURCE Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada
For further information: For further information: on colorectal cancer or to schedule an interview please contact: Lydia Moreyne, Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, Tel.: 1-877-50-COLON (26566) or (514) 875-7745 extn 223, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org