|Colon cancer month brings calls for more screening||| Print ||
|Written by Liz Caven|
|Tuesday, 28 February 2012 11:31|
Screening in Canada for colon cancer has more than doubled in less than a decade, but much more needs to be done, a health expert said Tuesday.
Regular and effective screening is a large part of early detection and life-saving treatment for this disease that claimed the lives of nearly 9,000 Canadians in 2011.
Colon cancer is the number two cancer killer in men and women despite being highly treatable when detected early.
Colon Cancer Canada has enlisted the help of celebrated Canadians from various walks of public life to promote the need for screening. Public service announcements from Olympic medalist, Adam van Koeverden, NHL star Darryl Sittler, and colon cancer survivor Pamela Wallin are being shown across the country to urge Canadians to check out what's behind them.
Sittler’s wife died of colon cancer in 2001 and van Koeverden's father is a survivor of the disease.
"Screening is slowly increasing, but it's not nearly where it needs to be," Colon Cancer Canada Executive Director, Amy Elmaleh told thedailyplanet.com.
Through the use of PSAs Colon Cancer Canada is on a mission to keep people talking about the disease which still carries a stigma of embarrassment.
Screen Colons Canada, another organization whose mandate is to raise awareness about the disease and prevention, is getting cheeky about the need for regular screening with their blushing bottom ads as well as fundraising events such as the Smart*Ass Golf Tournament.
“We are all about awareness and what we are trying to do is to get the word out to as many people as possible,” Christie Black, Chair of Screen Colons Canada, told thedailyplanet.com.
Be aware of family history
Up to 95 percent of colon cancer is cureable when detected early and people are urged to be aware of their risk and family history. Still, cancer experts recommend everyone get checked at the age of 50 regardless of genetics.
ColonCancerCheck, Canada's first organized colorectal cancer screening program, is partnering with the Ontario Hockey League during March to get fans off their butts and into their doctor's office.
Ten participating OHL teams will wear a ColonCancerCheck patch on their jerseys, and pamphlets and information from the group will be available at home games.
Experts at ColonCancerCheck recommend people increase the amount of fruits, vegetables and fiber in their diets; limit alcohol consumption; quit smoking; and increase exercise in order to reduce their risk of colon cancer.
A study released this month has shown that women with a diet high in omega-3 fats found in fish have a lower risk for colon polyps.
Fundraising and awareness events are not limited to the month of March.
Colon Cancer Canada will hold the Anne Murray Charity Golf Classic on June 26 with all proceeds going to Colon Cancer Canada. The organization's 16th annual walk/run called "Push your Tush" will be held in seven cities across Canada between May and July.
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