Archive for June, 2012

FOBT Video

Colorectal cancer screening can save lives, but not enough people are getting screened. The Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) is a simple, first-step test that looks for blood in your poo. This instructional video will walk you through the steps of the FOBT test to help keep you happy and healthy!

If you’d like to take this test, ask your doctor or call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

Don’t take this test until 3 days after you have stopped menstruating, bleeding from hemorrhoids, bleeding from dental work, or having blood in your urine (e.g. from infection).

Please visit the Get Screened website to take our Cancer Screening Survey. (You could win an iPad!)

Please contact: if you have any questions

CCAC Partners With Mt. Sinai

The CCAC is collaborating with Mt. Sinai’s bioethicist Dr. Kerry Bowman who is working on a research project involving the development of synthetic antibodies aimed at treating colorectal cancer and other cancer sites. We continue to deliver presentations on disease trajectory, ethical issues facing colorectal cancer patients and families resulting from drug costs and disease burden. The CCAC will continue to provide assistance and support in the project’s next phase by helping to recruit individuals who have had colorectal cancer to explore their lived experience in relation to contemporary drug costs. Stay tuned as the CCAC continues to partner with Mt. Sinai on this pivotal project.

Jen’s Booty Banter: Ode to the Colonoscopy

Jennifer inside The Giant Colon

Welcome to my monthly blog dedicated to that wonderful part of the human body: the toosh. It is an amazing thing. I am not talking about what’s on the outside (although that is awe-inspiring too. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a nice rear view?). But really, it’s your inner booty beauty that truly counts and when faced with a potential threat like I did a year ago, all of a sudden you discover how much you love your butt and really want it to be healthy. Ok, so this stuff isn’t glamorous. People generally don’t like talking about their caboose. But look at the facts. While colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada, if it is caught early enough, colon cancer is 90% treatable. And there is there is a lot you can do to stack the odds in your favour. So why wouldn’t you?

As a marathon runner, I am acutely aware of the importance of diet, (less red meat, less bad fat and most importantly, eat your veggies) but I want to emphasize one of the most important things you can do for your backside: get your butt checked.

I was told a long time ago that colorectal issues were the stuff of older guys. But that’s not true. After all, I am a healthy, young(ish) chick (in my early 40s) and I have a very good girlfriend who had similar (but more serious) ass problems. Thanks to screening and the discovery of polyps that could have turned ugly, we both discovered that we need to keep an eye on our ass in the years to come. Without screening, in time, those little nuggets could have turned disastrous. (Generally speaking, it takes a few years for a growth to turn into cancer so it is even crazier not to get checked out.) 

Got a family history of colorectal issues? Blood in your stool? (That is scary stuff—I had that and the family history part too.) Or maybe you have persistent abdominal discomfort, like cramps, gas, pain or a feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely when you are, you know, going. Whatever. Get your ass in for a colonoscopy. You will be joining the trendy set. Colonoscopies are becoming the in thing. Even Oprah had one and talked about it in a show.  Need I say more?

If your screening is clear, you’re good to go. If something is found, then all the better for early detection.  You’ll have to go every 5 years after that for a follow-up colonoscopy, but that beats the alternative. Besides, it is not that bad. Sure, the two days before the procedure are not fun as you discover reserves of poop you never thought possible.  But it’s a great excuse to take it easy and eat vats of jello. Speaking of the procedure, here’s something nobody tells you about: the drugs are fabulous. I wanted to nominate my anaesthecist for an Order of Canada. 

Listen, the bottom line (no pun intended) is this: fear is just not worth risking your health. Get your butt checked.

PS: Looking for new ways to be regular? Try my Colonoscopy Cookies.  These babies will kick your ass into gear. And they even taste good.

Jen’s Colonoscopy Cookies (a.k.a. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and diabetic-friendly to boot!)

2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of quick cook oatmeal
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
cookie decorations (chocolate chip, coconut, cocoa)

2 cups of Splenda or other NON aspartame sweeteners 
1 cup of low fat Becel margarine (I use President’s Choice Blue Menu) and if you are feeling decadent, you can also use lower-fat butter
2 eggs
1-2 tablespoons of vanilla
1/2 cup of skim milk

OK so throw the dry stuff in a bowl.  In another bowl, beat the sweetener, margarine, eggs and vanilla together.  Then add that to the dry stuff.  I usually add the milk at this point and you may find you need to add more so the dough isn’t so dry. If I add more milk, I add more Splenda too to keep the sweetness. 

Dollap the dough onto a non-stick cookie sheet and decorate (I get my kids to do that part).  You can put anything on them to gussy them up. I use Lindt dark chocolate chunks (broken-up chocolate bars) but chocolate chips work great as well.  I love these cookies with coconut and cocoa powder mixed in as well (and if I put in cocoa powder, I add more milk and Splenda.)

Bake at 350 for approximately 10 minutes.

Jennifer Hartley is a features writer and copy editor for Ottawa Life Magazine and writer for Ottawa Outdoors Magazine. Previously she was theatre editor for Ottawa Xpress and now defunct Metro newspaper and has written articles for a variety of magazines across the country and abroad in the United Kingdom.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game – Strike Out Colon Cancer

About 60 friends, family and others helped to strike out colon cancer at a softball fundraiser on June 9th, 2012 in memory of Stephen “Diggs” Lisiak. Stephen lost his battle with colon cancer in June 2011 at just 38 years old. His son AJ was just 17 months old at the time. The first annual softball game, organized by Stephen’s wife Lisa Blobstein, was held on a a beautiful, sunny day at Alexander Park in Pierrefonds, Quebec. Food was graciously donated by Dagwoods. Over $2600 was raised to benefit the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and monies are still coming in. Thanks to all those involved for their support and donations!