Archive for April, 2010
Avastin is one of ten new drugs being added to Prince Edward Island’s provincial drug formulary, according to an announcement made this morning by the Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Health and Wellness. Effective July 1st, the formulary budget is increasing by over $1.3 million dollars, ensuring that Islanders of all income levels have access to the very best care.
You may recall the CCAC’s presence in PEI mere weeks ago. Minister Bertram strongly supported the advancement of colorectal cancer care at the CCAC’s legislative information session, which highlighted the importance of screening and access to Avastin and other targeted therapies on April 14th. “We are increasing our drug programs budget to address the rising financial demands of Islanders. As Minister of Health and Wellness, I am committed to continue working to meet the health care needs of Islanders both for today and for the future.”
Says CCAC president Barry Stein, “The CCAC congratulates the Prince Edward Island government for making Avastin publicly accessible to colorectal cancer patients with advanced 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.”
See the official press release here.
See the CCAC’s official press release here.
THURSDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) — Many American doctors don’t make proper use of a colorectal cancer screening method called the fecal occult blood test, a new study claims.
Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed 1,134 primary care physicians and found that 75 percent of them order or perform an in-office fecal occult blood test (FOBT), rather than relying on the more accurate home-based FOBT.
National guidelines recommend that FOBT testing be done with stool samples collected at home. The in-office test — in which a single stool sample is collected by a physician during a digital rectal examination — is not recommended for colorectal cancer screening because it misses 95 percent of cancers or precancerous polyps. Click here to read the full article.
Arm yourself with knowledge. The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada wants to encourage you to be an informed patient before and after a colorectal cancer diagnosis. We’re currently working on expanding our Screening Tests and Up-and-Coming Screening Tests pages in order to reflect the incredible advancements in diagnosing our nation’s second most deadly cancer. As always, the CCAC encourages you to maintain open communication with your primary care physician about all concerns you have- including concerns about the efficacy of screening procedures.
CAMBRIDGE, England—Intake of dietary fiber was inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk in a recent English study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (April 20, 2010)... Intakes of absolute fiber and of fiber intake density were statistically significantly inversely associated with the risks of colorectal and colon cancers. Click here to read the original article.
Fiber consumption is often brought up when discussing dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer. While studies like the one cited above provide some evidence that suggests that it inversely affects one’s risk, other studies tell us that the link is unclear.
Regardless of its cancer prevention properties, fiber is an important part of your diet for your entire body, including the colon. The Harvard School of Public Health suggests that we all Start Roughing It and increase our intake of (soluble and insoluble) fiber to aid in bodily functions like excreting waste, lowering cholesterol and possibly lowering one’s risk of developing Type II diabetes. The Mayo Clinic recommends a regulated fiber intake to aid in weight management, since slow-moving fiber can prevent overeating by making you feel full- and it’s worth noting that much evidence points to healthy weight maintenance as an important factor in overall health and cancer prevention.
After the cut, take small steps to increase your fiber with a healthier snack choice.
What were you doing at 7:30 last Sunday morning? On any other day, we would have been hitting the snooze button- but yesterday was race day, and we were braving the rain at Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau for the Banque Scotia 21k et 5k de Montréal! Our team was comprised of CCAC staff and individuals whose lives had been touched by colorectal cancer. All in all, the CCAC’s Cheeky Butts team raised $5500.
What an inspiring afternoon! Participants ran, jogged and walked. Some were training for marathons, and others just wanted to get out, get fit and have fun. No need to be a star athlete here! Many of our team members competed in the 5k event, and it was the first event of its kind for more than a few of us. Our yellow CCAC shirts really stood out as we each crossed the finish line. If we can do it, so can you!
Many thanks to our inspiring teammates and volunteers, David Abissidan, Vanessa Abissidan, Elinor Bendavid, Michelle Campbell, Oliver Haggiag, Patrick Haggiag, Tamar Kalaidjian, Sylvia Smith, Ekaterina Shulepova, Karine Lamoureux, Madeleine Abissidan and Simon Abissidan. CCAC staff participants included Gail Grief (the CCAC’s National Director of Development), Carl Levesque, and Kait Wallace (yours truly!)
We’ll all have plenty of time to train for the events in the coming months. Did you know that the CCAC is a featured charity for a number of races? While the CCAC staff may not make it to the Scotia runs in Halifax (May 21-23), Calgary (May 30) or Vancouver (June 27), you can be sure you’ll see us at the 5k event at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on September 26! There’s also the Mississauga Marathon (May 16), the Twenty Valley Niagara Wine Country run (June 12) and the Oakville Marathon on labour day weekend. Click here to see a listing of athletic events across Canada.
After the cut, view some pictures of this chilly early-morning run!
Stress may trigger of bowel disease symptoms, plus tips for reducing stress from the BC Cancer Agency
“Canadian researchers found that among 552 bowel-disease patients they followed for a year, the risk of a symptom flare-up increased when patients were feeling particularly stressed.
The findings, reported in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, lend support to what many people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have believed to be true.
IBD refers to a group of conditions marked by chronic inflammation in the intestines, leading to symptoms like abdominal pain and diarrhea. The major forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.” (Amy Norton, Reuters)
Read the full Canada.com article here.
Some evidence suggests that those predisposed to conditions like those listed above have an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer. Managing stress is important for your overall health, including that of your digestive system. Stressed out about an upcoming procedure? Are you experiencing the stress that may come when caring for a loved one? The BC Cancer Agency has published a Managing Stress section of their website where you can learn to reduce stress levels for a more happy, healthy you.
How do you manage your stress?
New evidence suggests that Hormone Replacement Therapy may decrease a woman’s risk of developing colorectal cancer, even though evidence suggests that the hormones may actually increase a woman’s risk of stroke, heart disease and breast cancer. The results of the study were published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.
HRT is a system of medical treatment most often used for surgically menopausal, perimenopausal and to a lesser extent postmenopausal women. While long-term hormone therapy is no longer recommended for postmenopausal women, it is still sometimes prescribed on a short-term basis to help women with menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
Dr. Millie D. Long of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her colleagues matched 443 women diagnosed between 2001 and 2006 with distal large bowel cancer (meaning tumors at the far end of the colon and the rectum) to 405 healthy control women. The average age of the study participants was around 63.
Long’s team found that women who had ever used HRT were at half the risk of this type of colon cancer compared to women who’d never used hormone replacement, and the longer a woman was on HRT, the lower the risk.
Of course, colorectal cancer can strike anyone, regardless of whether there may be some level of protection due to a treatment like HTR. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a timely screening schedule are still the best ways to lower your risks and ensure that cancer is caught early enough to be Preventable, Treatable and Beatable.
Read the original article on AsiaOne Health.
Learn more about Hormone Replacement Therapy and read the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada’s guidelines here. As always, share your questions or concerns with your physician or oncologist.
How did trekking to the South Pole and surviving change his life or outlook on life? That’s a very similar situation to the cancer. I approach challenges now slightly differently – or without as much angst or worry. Because I feel I can put it in perspective. It’s focused me more on enjoying life in the shorter term and not thinking about ‘I can do this or that a few years from now.’ I’ll probably be around – but it increases the present value of things.”Why risk your life for an adventure? “I don’t think so much about the risk as the challenge. I never feel like I’m risking my life. Even when I was in the throes of the cancer treatment, I never thought of the probability numbers. It was more, ‘I’ve got to get the best team, the best treatment.’ ”
You’d better be well rested, because this marathon of a post is going to cover some of the incredible upcoming athletic events benefiting the CCAC.
I hope you’re ready to get training, Canada! We will be featuring more in-depth information about each of these activities in the coming weeks. In the meantime, visit the event websites to learn more about how you can get involved.
The CCAC’s International PSA Contest is being judged today! Plus, tips for creating your own entry to our next contest
It was the first, but it sure won’t be the last!
The CCAC is proud to announce that our first-ever International Public Service Announcement Contest is being judged right now by a distinguished panel from our friends at Ogilvy Montreal. They will be selecting one print submission and one video submission to receive the top honours. It won’t be easy! We received dozens and dozens of submissions overall. With so many Canadians being touched somehow by colorectal cancer, it’s only fitting that a chance to speak out about the disease is not to be missed.
After the cut, read up on some tips for creating your very own colorectal cancer PSA.
As a team player, I know the importance of working hard together to succeed. We as Canadians collectively need to pull together in an effort to beat this disease and save thousands of lives. -Pat Burns
Former NHL coach Patrick “Pat” Burns turned 58 last week- and a nation of hockey fans is hoping to have him live to see an induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame before he passes away. He beat colon cancer in 2004 and liver cancer in 2005. Now, he is battling lung cancer.
In just a few short weeks, the Facebook group dedicated to rallying for his Hockey Hall of Fame induction has reached nearly 56,000 members- an incredible outpouring of support for a incredibly strong man.
He kicked cancer’s butt twice after kicking enough butt to win the Stanley Cup with his team in 2003- let’s celebrate his achievements in and out of the rink!
Click here to read Pat Burns’ address on behalf of the CCAC- and make sure that hockey fans everywhere get the message about colorectal cancer screening.