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Rosy Up Your Cheeks This Winter!

Don’t let your New Year’s resolutions fall through the cracks

If you are like most people, one of your 2012 resolutions may be to lose weight or get more active. Although dipping temperatures and mountains of snow may beckon you back to your warm couch and old habits, don’t let old man winter or Jack Frost nipping at your nose keep you indoors this winter season.

According to the Canadian Fitness and lifestyle research Institute, 61% of adults aged 18 and older are considered insufficiently active, putting them at a higher risk for chronic disease such as colorectal cancer.

This winter, help reduce this statistic by sticking to your new or existing fitness program, coupling it with the added benefits of fresh air. To inspire you to bundle up, get outside and get active, here are a few cold weather exercise activities that are fun for the whole family.

Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is one of the hottest things in winter sports today. It offers a great cardiovascular work-out for all ages and fitness levels. It’s a low-impact sport, much simpler and safer than skiing and can burn up to 500 calories per hour.

Walking & Hiking
Trade in your hiking shoes or runners for thermal winter boots and experience your favourite trail in a new light – the gleaming white snow.

Skating
Find a frozen surface, either at a local park or arena and lace up. Skating can not only get you to break a sweat but it helps build muscles and endurance.

Hockey
Canada’s national sport can be played both on or off the ice and offers the benefits of skating combined with teamwork. Pile on the layers, top it off with your favourite jersey, grab a few friends and get out there!

Curling
More than one million Canadians curl at least once a year at one of the country’s 1,200 clubs. The low lunges you have to get into to throw a rock help increase hip flexibility, and the vigorous sweeping exercises your arms, legs, lungs and heart. Try it out, you may sweep your way into a new pastime.

Skiing
Choose between cross-country or downhill and get your heart rate going as you plough your way through trails or bomb down the hill. Pace yourself and select trails that match your experience and fitness levels.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding is an increasingly popular winter sport that offers a number of health benefits. Even if you’re not the most proficient snowboarder, you can still enjoy cardiovascular benefits and burn calories. Like skiing, it is an aerobic exercise that incorporates muscle strength, endurance, balance and flexibility.

Tobogganning/Tubing
If you have ever slid down a snow-covered hill, you know what a rush it can be. Let us not forget the cardiovascular upside to the uphill trip – it is a great workout that will definitely get your heart pumping!

Build a Snowman
Be a kid again! Although building your very own Frosty is a time honoured fun family bonding experience, packing, rolling and lifting heavy wet snow will also work your back, arms and leg muscles.

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Treat Fear With Laughter!

Before any medical procedure or test, it is only natural to be plagued by varying degrees of the jitters.

While colorectal cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Canada, it can be prevented and, if caught early has an over 90% cure rate. Most adults are aware that a colonoscopy is a proven screening tool to catch pre-cancer or cancer cells in the colon and rectum. However, many shy away from testing due to anxiety or embarrassment.

The uncertainty of pain or side effects can unnerve even the most fearless among us. Not to mention the humility one faces during the close encounter with their gastroenterologist and their medical team.

If you’re worried about feeling pain in such a sensitive part of the body, you’re not alone. However, it may help you to know that prior to your colonoscopy, you will be given a mild sedative that will diminish your discomfort.

As for issues of privacy, doctors and nurses who perform colonoscopies on a regular basis understand that people may be feeling self-conscious during the procedure, so they behave professionally and respectfully toward patients and the procedure is done in a closed off room.

Being well informed about the details of this important prevention and detection procedure is the first step in calming your nerves and removing any reservations you may have. Try to sit down with your doctor before your colonoscopy appointment to review any questions or concerns that you may have.

In the meantime, why not try laughter as the prescription to melt your fears away. Gastroenterologist Patricia Raymond, a.k.a. ‘The Divine Ms. Butt Meddler,’ founder of Your Health Choice and Rx For Sanity, has created a website, Laugh your fears away, which discusses the very serious and taboo subject of colonoscopies in a light hearted way. Her efforts to reduce the colonoscopy ‘ick’ factor humorously helps folks make the small choices that lead to big health.

Take a look at Ms. Meddler’s charming bowel ballad:

Fashionable Fundraising – Models Strut for Cause

Fashionable Fundraising – Models Strut for Cause


The CCAC’s fashion gala, “An Evening of Luxury,” will feature the Canadian LUNDSTRÖM COLLECTION in its Quebec premiere on November 15, 2011.

Held at Le Windsor, the event, composed of a cocktail-dînatoire and European-style couture show, aims to transform fashion into a pure sensory experience to benefit the CCAC’s many awareness, education, support and advocacy initiatives in Quebec and across the country.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Quebec and Canada, affecting both men and women almost equally. The gala celebrates CCAC triumphs in prevention and provincial colorectal cancer screening programs and emphasizes that there is still much more to be done in the fight against this Preventable, Treatable and Beatable disease.

“Our annual gala helps spread the knowledge of a disease that has taken far too many lives, simply because too few people are willing to talk about it. Support of this event will help us continue to make a difference so that one day, we can say, we beat this disease with style,” said Barry Stein, President, CCAC.

The “Evening of Luxury” event follows the success of the CCAC’s award-winning online 2010 campaign www.getyourbuttseen.ca. Sophistication, luxury and glamour can be used to describe the runway’s portfolio that will highlight LUNDSTRÖM’s 2012 collection.

“Eleventh Floor Apparel Ltd. (EFA) is extremely pleased and deeply honored to have our LUNDSTRÖM COLLECTION showcased at the CCAC’s fashion show, and to be partnering with such an esteemed association for a great cause,” said Tamar Matossian of EFA.

Tickets to the exclusive event are available at the price of $350 per person, or $3,000 for a group of ten. For more information, sponsorship opportunities, programs advertising or to buy tickets, visit www.colorectal-cancer.ca/gala/ or contact our offices at 514.875.7745

Don’t Lose Sleep Over It!

Don’t Lose Sleep Over It!

Labelled as a society riddled by overindulgence time and time again, Westerners have succumb to being referred to as gluttons. We eat too much, drink too much and when we are not working ourselves to the bone, we entertain too much. Yet with all these guilty pleasures under our belt, it’s funny how so many of us seem to cast aside the most simple of them all – sleep!

Today, priorities have become conditioned by one’s lifestyle. For the business and social nomads, governed by busy daily schedules, the act of sleeping is considered a waste of time and only needed when extremely tired. However, as the number of health afflictions and disease risks linked to inadequate sleep are on the rise, perhaps this modern notion of sleep as a form of ‘surrender’ requires a re-examination.

Recent study links sleep sacrifice to increased risk of colorectal cancer

In a recent study published in the Feb. 15, 2011 issue of the journal Cancer, researchers from University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, found that people who slept an average of six hours or less per night had an almost 50% increase in the risk of colorectal adenomas compared with individuals sleeping at least seven hours a night. Adenomas are precancerous polyps that, left untreated, can turn malignant.

“To our knowledge, this is the first study to report a significant association of sleep duration and colorectal adenomas,” Li Li, MD, PhD, the study’s principal investigator and Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, said in a statement to the media. ‘A short amount of sleep can now be viewed as a new risk factor for the development of colon cancer.’
Conducted by phone, the study surveyed patients prior to their scheduled colonoscopies at the UH Case Medical Center. The questions were drawn from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and concerned sleep frequency, troubles falling asleep and most importantly, their average hours of sleep per night.

Of the 1,240 patients interviewed, 338 were diagnosed with colorectal adenomas at their colonoscopy. The majority of those diagnosed with precancerous polyps had reported sleeping less than six hours a night, compared to those patients without adenomas.  The association between less sleep and adenomas remained consistent despite adjustments made for family history, obesity and smoking.

Dr. Li’s report notes that the dramatic risk increase of insufficient sleep is comparable to genetic risk, having a first-degree relative who has had colon cancer, as well as the risk associated with eating a lot of red meat: “Short sleep duration is a public health hazard leading not only to obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease, but also, as we now have shown in this study, colon adenomas…Effective intervention to increase duration of sleep and improve quality of sleep could be an under-appreciated avenue for prevention of colorectal cancer,” Dr. Li concluded.

Sleep deprivation alters immune function, particularly the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep has been proven to strengthen one’s immune system and consequently help the body battle against cancer. So, while those increasing the hours in their day by decreasing their nightly hours of sleep believe that they are maximizing the time available in their business and social agendas, they are really just aiding and abetting the risk of their lives’ maxing out!

For more information about Dr. Li’s study please consult the Journal Reference:

Cheryl L. Thompson, Emma K. Larkin, Sanjay Patel, Nathan A. Berger, Susan Redline, Li Li. Short duration of sleep increases risk of colorectal adenoma. Cancer, 2011; 117 (4): 841 DOI: 10.1002/cncr.25507

Smells like Team Spirit

Smells like Team Spirit

On September 17, 2011, it won’t matter if you are part of a house league or the big leagues, as all Canadians will be drafted to a national team in celebration of the country’s second annual Sports Day.

Participants are invited to wear their hearts on their numbers to demonstrate their love and support for sport by wearing a jersey, team or club uniform to work, school or play on what has been dubbed as national Jersey Day.

University of Alberta - Jersey Day 2010

Presented by CBC Sports, ParticipACTION and True Sport, Sports Day is guided by a committee of national sporting organizations and their networks of coaches, athletes and enthusiasts. The day, closes a week of thousands of sporting events and activities across the country intended to encourage and increase national physical activity and love of the game.

Trail and Error – Take the chance to discover “your sport!”

Whether your current level of physical activity is high, low or non-existent or whether you are part of a team or simply a professional spectator, everyone is invited to be a part of the celebration. Take advantage of the numerous open houses, try-it days, competitions and tournaments in your area from September 10-17. Get involved, get active and hopefully get hooked on a sport!

Did you know that physical inactivity is a risk factor in colorectal cancer development?

An inactive lifestyle has been linked to increase the risk of colorectal cancer development. It is estimated that 22,200 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in Canada in 2011.[1] The good news, is that minor adjustments can play a major role in the modification of these statics. By getting your butt in gear and increasing your activity level, you will ultimately decrease your chance of contracting the disease.

Other identified risk factors include:

  1. Poor diet – low in fruits, vegetables and fibre
  2. Obesity
  3. High red or processed meat consumption
  4. Smoking
  5. Excessive alcohol intake

Reducing your risk from the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada can be made simple with a few line changes in your daily routine.  First play change – take advantage of the national Sports Day festivities. Leave your laziness, excuses or old routines behind and take a shot at the different sports or activities being offered in your hometown, you may surprise yourself and find a new love!

For more information on Sports Day in Canada or to get involved in the week’s events, please visit CBC’s official link: http://sportsday.cbc.ca/

Sources :

Canadian Cancer Society : http://info.cancer.ca/cce-ecc/default.aspx?Lang=F&toc=13

Participaction :  http://www.participaction.com/fr-ca/Home.aspx

Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada : http://www.colorectal-cancer.ca/en/


[1] Canadian Cancer Society, http://info.cancer.ca/cce-ecc/default.aspx?Lang=E&toc=13&cceid=4004

The Legacy of a Fighter

“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.”
Jack Layton

Canada has lost both a great man and profound leader. Jack Layton, not only triumphantly led his political party to become Canada’s Official Opposition but was an inspiration to fellow Canadian cancer patients through his unfaltering courage and drive to live.

After battling and victoriously overcoming his first bout of prostate cancer in 2009, he was viewed as a symbol of hope and optimism within our country. When diagnosed with a new form of cancer in July, the NDP leader decided to step down briefly ‘to fight this new cancer, so that he could be back in September to continue to fight for families when Parliament resumed.’

He left with the intent and conviction to win yet again.

Sadly, this time his battle was lost. He passed away early Monday morning in his home, surrounded by those closest to him.

In his hiatus speech on July 25, he expressed his gratitude for the numerous letters and e-mails he received from across the nation, “Your stories and support have touched me deeply and I have drawn strength and inspiration from them.”

In his final letter, Layton continued to lead, even in death, by instilling a positive outlook in the hearts of others who struggle with cancer on a daily basis.

“To other Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined, and focused on the future. My only other advice is to cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey, as I have done this summer.”

To read the complete farewell letter the honourable Jack Layton left behind for his beloved fellow Canadians please see the attached link:

http://www.ndp.ca/letter-to-canadians-from-jack-layton

Are Canadian drinking guidelines strict enough?

A Twitter follower tipped us off to a Canadian Medical Association Journal article that analyzes “sensible” drinking and cancer prevention- and concludes that new guidelines may be needed.

From the article’s description on the CMAJ site:

Guidelines for sensible drinking do not take the dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer risk into consideration. According to Latino-Martel and colleagues, the amount of evidence for the link between alcohol consumption and cancer has recently increased. On the whole, alcohol is considered an avoidable risk factor for cancer. Current guidelines for sensible drinking are not adequate for the prevention of cancer, and new guidelines based on scientific evidence are needed. Full article

You will need a paid account to access the full CMAJ article, but Carly Weeks’ Globe and Mail article explains our current state of affairs nicely:

In Canada, there are no federally established drinking standards. But low-risk drinking guidelines created by researchers from the University of Toronto and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which have been endorsed by many health organizations, say men should consume no more than 14 alcoholic drinks in a week, and women no more than nine.

The Globe and Mail reports that a brand new set of Canadian drinks-per-week guidelines is in the works.

Here’s to hoping that Canada’s policy makers will pay attention to studies like this, a Centre for Addiction and Mental Health collaboration which found that alcohol use above “daily recommended limits” leads to several types of cancers.

Canada’s first national drinking guidelines are expected to be released later this year. Do you feel this will have an impact on the amount of alcohol you consume? Discuss!

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“Buttboards” beckon bigwigs at the ASCO AGM

We met with prominent oncologists from around the world at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago earlier this month- and we thought it was the perfect opportunity to get cheeky.

Our GetYourButtSeen-themed booth and educational butt-boards were a rare treat in a sea of oh-so-serious displays, and many doctors took the  time to stop by our booth and create virtual butts of their own. There were some good laughs and extremely positive comments on our edgy virtual awareness campaign.

These specialists, who deal with the seriousness of cancer treatment on a daily basis, are ready to bare their butts. Are you?

Heartfelt thanks to CCAC Board Members Garry Sears and Eva Hoare for joining Frank (our Patient & Volunteer Support guru), Michelle (our Business Operations Director) and Barry (CCAC president) in the Windy City.