- Bowel habits matter – talk to your doctor about it -
MONTREAL, March 4, 2019 /CNW/ - March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and what better time to support those touched by colorectal cancer and to spread the message that it is preventable, treatable, and beatable!
Colorectal cancer may touch you, your family members, or a friend and it remains the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Canada. No matter if you are male or female, young or old, you could be at risk for colorectal cancer. One in 13 men and one in 16 women are expected to develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime. Last year alone, 28,600 Canadians were diagnosed with the disease.
Despite these staggering statistics, colorectal cancer is preventable in most cases and is highly treatable and curable when caught early. Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC) wants you to know that colorectal cancer screening for average-risk Canadians starts at age 50 and is a simple, quick, and non-invasive stool test that is done at home. Don't delay speaking to your doctor about your risk of developing colorectal cancer and about screening options. It could save your life or that of a loved one!
Colorectal cancer incidence and death rates are slowly falling among adults aged 50 and over due to improved screening and better treatments, however, they continue to climb among younger Canadians for reasons yet to be determined. Research comparing age groups of different generations have revealed that people born around 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer of those born in 1950. In addition to this increased risk, younger patients are often diagnosed at a later stage because they ignore the signs and symptoms and their physicians don't necessarily suspect cancer at a young age.
To engage young Canadians, CCC provides colorectal cancer information and support services tailored to their specific needs through its Never Too Young (N2Y) Program. While the disease remains more common among adults aged 50 and older, CCC is urging all Canadians to learn about the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer, be aware of their family history, understand personal risk factors for the disease and be informed of available screening options.
Do not hesitate to speak to your health care provider if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Changes in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, that last longer than four weeks
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
- A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
It is also important to know your family's health history since your risk of developing colorectal cancer increases if a first-degree family member (a parent, sibling, or child) or several family members have had colon or rectal cancer before the age of 50.
"We can save many more lives if we enhance our efforts in primary prevention and colorectal cancer screening to ensure that all Canadians are aware of how to prevent colorectal cancer and more people are screened in a timely manner," said Barry D. Stein, President of CCC.
"For those already touched by the disease, there has never been more hope than at present. While chemotherapy and surgery remain the backbone of cancer treatment, everyday new treatments are being tested in clinical trials. Exciting new areas include immunotherapy, Car-T and gene fusion. As personalized treatments are increasingly used in clinical practice, the importance of gene sequencing and molecular profiling of patients is gaining importance to ensure that the right patient receives the right medicine at the right time," he added.
CCC recommends avoiding the following lifestyle factors that may increase your risk of colorectal cancer:
- A diet high in fat and red or processed meat and low in fiber
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Alcohol use
About colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer - cancer of the colon or rectum - is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in Canada. Though highly preventable and curable when detected early, an estimated 26,800 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year and about 9,400 Canadians sadly died from it. One in 13 men and one in 16 women are expected to develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
Colorectal Cancer Canada is the country's dedicated non-profit organization committed to increasing awareness and educating Canadians about colorectal cancer, supporting patients and their families and advocating on their behalf.
By supporting CCC, not only are you joining the fight against cancer, you are helping CCC develop life-saving programs and support for patients across the country who struggle to meet the many challenges of this disease. Get behind their behind.
For more information about additional CCC programs, please refer to the following resources:
Colorectal Cancer Canada Website: www.colorectalcancercanada.com
Colorectal Cancer Canada Facebook: Colorectal Cancer Canada
Colorectal Cancer Canada Twitter: @coloncanada
Colorectal Cancer Canada Instagram: @coloncanada
Foods That Fight Cancer Instagram: @foodsthatfightcancer
For up-to-date information on colorectal cancer, call us toll-free at 1.877.50.COLON (26566) to order free copies of helpful educational materials.
SOURCE Colorectal Cancer Canada
For further information: For more information or interviews contact: Name: Anne Marie Myers, Email: [email protected], Tel: 514-875-7745 ext. 2537