Archive for May, 2012

CAET Conference – May 24 – May 27, 2012

The Colorectal Cancer Association Of Canada (CCAC) was once again honoured to be invited to exhibit at the 31st Annual CAET (Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy) Conference held in Vancouver from May 24 – May 27, 2012. The theme, “Transforming Wound, Ostomy and Continence Care” enabled participants to advance their knowledge through innovative educational sessions and networking opportunities, leading to improved patient outcomes.

Since a percentage of the colorectal cancer population may require an ostomy, the ET nurses play a vital role in helping these patients understand the different types of ostomies and the care required to properly manage them.

Vancouver area volunteers Tara Ciecko (left) and Deb Imada (right) joined CCAC staff member Frank Pitman, who is responsible for volunteer and patient support, at our exhibit booth. They provided information on our patient support programs, distributed CCAC literature and introduced the new ostomy section on the CCAC website, .

2012 Colorectal Cancer Statistics Summary

Trends in Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer incidence rates between 1983 and 2000 were relatively stable in men and declined slightly in females. In both sexes, the incidence rate has declined significantly (0.8% per year) since 2000.

Between 2001 and 2007 for males and between 1998 and 2007 for females, overall mortality rates declined significantly. The rates declined, on average, by at least 2% per year since 2003 in males. In men and women combined, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer at 13%.

Mortality rates continue to decline in both sexes—by 2.6% per year in males since 2003 and 1.8% per year in females since 1998. Colorectal cancer has a significant impact on mortality for men and women combined, with 12% of all cancer deaths expected.

Screening for colorectal cancer can reduce both incidence (by identifying and removing precancerous polyps) and mortality. Screening has already been occurring in several provinces, which may partly account for the decline in mortality, though screening rates are low. All provinces have announced or have started implementing organized screening programs.

Canada Wide Statistics 2012

This year, an estimated 23,300 Canadians (13,000 men and 10,300 women) will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 9,200 (5,000 men and 4,200 women) will die from it.

On average, 448 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer every week and 176 will die from the disease every week.

The highest colorectal cancer incidence rates among men and women occur in Newfoundland and Labrador. For women, high rates also occur in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. The lowest rates for both sexes are in British Columbia.

Provincial Colorectal Cancer Statistics 2012


1930 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (1100 men and 830 women)
720 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (390 men and 330 women)

British Columbia

2850 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (1600 men and 1250 women)
1150 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (630 men and 520 women)


870 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (490 men and 380 women)
330 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (180 men and 150 women)

New Brunswick

590 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (340 men and 250 women)
210 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (110 men and 100 women)

New Foundland

530 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (310 men and 220 women)
230 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (130 men and 100 women)

Nova Scotia

860 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (470 men and 390 women)
360 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (200 men and 160 women)


8700 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (4800 men and 3900 women)
3450 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (1900 men and 1550 women)


115 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (60 men and 55 women)
45 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (25 men and 30 women)


6200 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (3400 men and 2800 women)
2450 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (1300 men and 1150 women)


730 estimated new colorectal cancer cases (420 men and 310 women)
280 estimated colorectal cancer deaths (150 men and 130 women)

(Source: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012- Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada, Provincial/Territorial Cancer Registries, Public Health Agency of Canada)

Fighting Colorectal Cancer One Finish Line At A Time

Paul's beautiful wife Laurel

On Sunday, May 6, Paul Ceyssens completed the Vancouver Marathon in memory of his wife Laurel, in honour of his sister-in-law Bronwyn and in support of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada.

This marathon was Paul’s first, and now he wants to run another one. “The event was very well organized, it was a gorgeous day, and running along the Stanley Park seawall (30km to 40km) was just a thrill”, he said. Being part of this event was exciting – the full marathon had 5,000 participants, the half-marathon 10,000 runners, and large crowds were out cheering the runners at many points along the route.

One of the benefits of the run was supporting the CCAC. “Many people made donations, and it was also an opportunity to raise people’s awareness of the CCAC’s work”, Paul said.

Paul also endorses CCAC supporter Werner Muehlemann’s dream, (March 13, below) that colorectal cancer screening ‘should become as routine as a dental examination’, since the treatment for colorectal cancer is very successful when the disease is detected early.

Paul crossing the finish line - congrats!

Survivor Series: “I never dreamed that I’d spend so much time talking about bowel movements!”

Photo Credit - Winnipeg Free Press

My name is Sid Chapnick; I am a stage 2 rectal cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in 2007 and undergoing chemotherapy (xeloda) and radiation treatment.

I’d like to invite you to attend the 5th Annual Kick Butt Walk or Run for Colorectal Cancer and also say how thrilled I am to be invited to tell you a bit about my back-story.

The story began nearly 5 years ago at my first CancerCare Manitoba support group meeting. Kick Butt was born when I happened to mention that I had been a runner since before the first Manitoba Marathon was run in 1979 and I ran 3 half-marathons in 2006. I casually commented that I had never heard of a walk or run for colorectal cancer and I wanted to organize a run to help raise awareness about the disease.

My first co-chair the late Kai Arnot was quite a Pistol; she was the kind of woman you couldn’t say no to! As soon as I walked into that first meeting at CancerCare she handed me a Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada folder as well as a blue colorectal cancer pin. Then, in her take-charge manner, she phoned me up the next day to say she would help me organize the run. That first run surprised us with 200 participants donating $25,000 to CCAC for use in Manitoba.

Don Hutton was another go-getter who worked hard as both my co-chair and Sponsorship chair. Don devoted his battle with cancer to advocating for funding of Avastin and volunteering as a Cancer Coach with CCAC. With him as co-chair we had over 300 participants and raised just under $50,000.

Before I do anything else, I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce you to our spokesperson for the run, and what we are trying to get across as the face of colon cancer, Lara-Lea Avery her husband Dale and son Riley. Lara-Lea was diagnosed when she was 29 years old. As she says – She wants to get the message heard that “This disease can happen to anyone at any age.”

Of course, I read everything about colorectal cancer that I can get my hands on. Research tells me that Vitamin D and a baby aspirin a day can help prevent re-occurrence of colon cancer so I’m popping my daily helping of vitamins. Another study came out (when I was on my soup diet the month before my first surgery) that stated that following an eastern diet could help prevent stage III metastatic colon cancer from reoccurring and I’ve been following an almost no red meat diet since the day it was published.

Volunteering as a Cancer Coach for CCAC and trying to raise awareness in Manitoba about this dreadful disease takes up most of my time these days. I never dreamed that I’d spend so much time talking about bowel movements! I now know a great deal about colostomies, hemorrhoids flatulence and constipation. Added to that – to counterbalance this list are an equal number of conversations about early detection for colorectal cancer, making each day matter and the future.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with you today.


Colon Cancer Survivor Takes Us on A Tour Through The Giant Colon

Meet Jim Horner from Oshawa, Ontario. Jim is a Stage III Colon Cancer Survivor. Watch where he takes us? Bet you didn’t think you were going to tour a larger than life, unique and interactive giant colon today?

In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first…

This Sunday, Paul Ceyssens will be lacing up his runners to participate in the BMO Vancouver Marathon in memory of his wife Laurel, in honour of his sister-in-law Bronwyn and in support of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC).

“I think everyone has heard of the assistance the CCAC provided our family when Laurel was ill, so it’s sufficient to say here that they made an enormous difference,” said Paul.

Training since Christmas, Paul was inspired by one of his local soccer coaches who is preparing for an ultra-marathon. Her words encouraged him to sign up for the run; ‘it’s still a finish even if it’s midnight. It can be pitch dark, they can be taking down all the signs and you can crawl across the line on your hands and knees.’ Despite it being Paul’s first marathon, he is hoping to do better than that.

His dedication reminds us that when there is a will, there is always a way.

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.”
-Fred Lebow, New York City Marathon co-founder

Vancouver Marathon Track

If you would like to sponsor Paul in his race on Sunday please follow the process below.
go to

once you are there, select Donate Now (from the red boxes)
complete “donation amount”
select “donation frequency” (select “one-time donation”)
under “fund/designation”, click on the down arrow next to the red question mark to number 8

Survivor Series – Our Own Frank Pitman Shares His Story

Frank at the start line of the Scotia Charity Challenge 5K Walk on April 29, 2012

In May 1999, my youngest sister Elaine was rushed to the emergency room at our local hospital complaining of abdominal pain. Later that evening she underwent urgent surgery to have her colon resected. She unfortunately had advanced colon cancer. Sadly, just one year later, on May 18, 2000, she died, at the young age of 44 years old.

The tragic loss of my youngest sister could have been avoided if she had been screened for colon cancer.

A few years later, when I was 55, a colonoscopy revealed that I too had colon cancer and I required extensive surgery. Thankfully, to date, the cancer has not reappeared.

I was so much luckier. However, having been present throughout my sister’s painful battle with colon cancer, I still ask myself why I wasn’t more proactive in getting screened long before I was diagnosed with the disease. I guess I felt that it was something that could only happen to someone else. Perhaps I was embarrassed at the thought of having a doctor examine me or perhaps I was unjustifiably afraid of getting screened…I guess, I was afraid of what they would actually find. How ridiculous!

Looking back, none of these reasons were worth delaying getting screened. The gravity of the physical and psychological trauma that I went through following my diagnosis, and the anxiety experienced by those close to me, far surpassed any possible concerns I could have had about getting screened. All the pain and suffering could have been avoided by detecting the disease even before it became a cancer.

Following my recovery, I felt I had to do something to prevent others from making the same mistakes that I made. I contacted the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, and asked how I could help. I entered the CCAC’s Cancer Coach training program, and have been a coach for the past since 2008.