Archive for October, 2011

TORONTO, ON – October 24-25

Held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the first of an annual meeting focusing on meeting the needs of health care management, saw us with a double presence as our booth, manned by our Frank Pitman-Patient Volunteer & Support, was available for public information and awareness.  This event by Diversified Business Solutions in conjuncton with Princess Margaret Hospital and Sunnybrook Hospital, saw over 400 attendees pass through our Giant Colon.  Our president, Barry Stein was the keynote speaker and we were graced with the presence of Dr. Sandy Buckman – Regional Primary Care Lead for Cancer Care Ontario, who was recently named President of the College of Family Physicians of Canada.  It was Dr. Buckman who recently wrote and produced a colon cancer related song entitled “Crapkit.

OSHAWA, ON – October 18

Our Giant Colon visit, held at the Oshawa Centre, was hosted by Durham Regional Health who partnered with The Canadian Cancer Society, Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and Metroland Media in an effort to promote screening and raise awareness about colorectal cancer.   We were graced with a visit from the forensic setup team for the TV series CSI-New York as well as over 2300 other visitors.  Of course, our appreciation is extended to Jim Horner, one of our volunteers who took the time to come out and assist Ron with the display.  A shout out goes out to Eileen McLean, Marysue O’Connor and Adele Thompson who assisted with this well planned event by Durham Regional Health.

TORONTO, ON – October 4

TORONTO, ON – October 4

Laura Segal, the Education and Outreach Coordinator, and various Toronto General staff hosted our visit to the Toronto General.  While this visit was open to the public, it was primarily for TGH staff and patients.  Event was held in the conservatory on the 4th floor which gave everyone a great view of Toronto while visiting our Giant Colon.  Most noticeable were the wide eyes as individual passed through the colon and saw for themselves the pathology associated with colorectal cancer.

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 from 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

OTTAWA, ON – September 30

The second edition of the CSGNA National Conference in Canada played host to our Giant Colon and hoards of GI’s and GI nurses at the Ottawa Convention centre and it appears to have been as successful as the previous year in Edmonton.  Gracing us with his presence was our Board of Directors Past President, Alain Gourd and his wife along, with Garry Sears, our board’s current chairman.  Also in attendance was Sandra Thomson of the Ottawa Support group who took the time to come and support our visit.  A special thanks goes to Maria       of Warnex who  partnered with us for this event.