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CANADA AND NEW ZEALAND JOIN INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE

TORONTO, June 22 /CNW/ - UK charity Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer Australia today welcomed the addition of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and Beat Bowel Cancer New Zealand to the bowel cancer international alliance, Bowel Cancer International.

Together, the four charities will lead in the global fight against the disease which claims 320 lives in the UK every week; 73 lives in Australia; 175 lives in Canada; and 24 lives in New Zealand.

The alliance will see collaborative working between the four charities, allowing them to share information and resources to provide support for patients battling bowel cancer.

Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in all four countries with 1 in 18 Britons; 1 in 12 Australians; 1 in 27 men and 1 in 31 women in Canada; and 1 in 18 New Zealanders being diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime.

Hilary Whittaker, Chief Executive of UK charity Beating Bowel Cancer said, "We are delighted to announce this important alliance between our four charities, which will enable us to work together, share ideas and information to improve support for patients, raise awareness, promote better practice and campaign for the availability of drugs through our respective health services."

Julien Wiggins, CEO of Bowel Cancer Australia added, "We are very excited about the additions to the alliance and the opportunity to develop joint awareness campaigns, patient support resources and materials. Bowel cancer is an international disease. It knows no borders. Over time, we look forward to inviting bowel cancer charities from other countries to join."

Barry Stein, President of Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada said, "International cooperation bringing together the best information available on colorectal cancer will help to bring about increased awareness in the prevention of the disease and support for patients undergoing treatment. This alliance will help further the role played by patient organizations in obtaining timely access to effective treatments with the goal of improving patient outcomes."

Sarah Derrett, Chairperson of Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa (New Zealand) said, "We are very pleased to join this international alliance. Our charity is extremely disappointed about the ongoing delays to the introduction of a national screening programme for bowel cancer in New Zealand. Addressing this deficit and raising awareness about bowel cancer among New Zealanders are key activities for our patient-led group over the coming year."

Through the alliance, British, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand bowel cancer patients, their carers and families will have access to a comprehensive range of resources and support throughout their patient journey, including a nurse advisory service.

"All four charities are committed to supporting patients and their families through all stages of their journey and we are working hard to ensure ongoing awareness and provision of the practical, emotional and medical/nursing support needed following a bowel cancer diagnosis," said Hilary Whittaker.

About Beating Bowel Cancer - www.beatingbowelcancer.org

Beating Bowel Cancer is a leading UK charity for bowel cancer patients, working to raise awareness of symptoms, promote early diagnosis and encourage open access to treatment choice for those affected by bowel cancer. Through our work we aim to save lives from this common cancer.

We are committed to improving bowel cancer awareness amongst both the medical profession and the general public. The charity provides authoritative information about the disease, its symptoms, what to do if diagnosed, and what treatment choices are available to you. We encourage people to communicate frankly about all aspects of this disease, and not to be embarrassed to talk about bottoms and bowels!

We have a committed team of both staff and volunteers dedicated to helping fight against bowel cancer. We are grateful to the many people who do a fantastic job of raising money for the charity and indebted to our corporate sponsors who provide invaluable support for our work.

About Bowel Cancer Australia - www.bowelcanceraustralia.org

Bowel Cancer Australia works to reduce the impact of bowel cancer in our society through awareness, education, support and research. Charity initiatives such as Bowel Cancer Awareness Week, BowelScreen Australia, the It’s Crunch Time and ’Love My Family’ Campaigns, and the Health in the Workplace Program raise awareness among health professionals and the community about the critical importance of early detection and intervention in the successful treatment of bowel cancer.

Through our ’Love My Family’ Community, we provide support, resources and advocacy for bowel cancer patients, their carers, close relatives and friends. To do all this, we rely on public support.

About Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa (New Zealand) - www.beatbowelcancer.org.nz

Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa is a national patient-led charity aiming to decrease the impact of bowel cancer on the New Zealand community through awareness, education, support and promotion of access to appropriate screening and treatments.

Through our work we aim to help save lives from this common form of cancer, the second biggest cancer killer in New Zealand.

About The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC) - www.colorectal-cancer.ca

The Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada is the country’s leading non-profit association dedicated to increasing awareness and education of colorectal cancer, supporting patients and their families, and advocating for primary prevention, provincial screening programs as well as equal and timely access to effective treatments to improve patient outcomes. The CCAC’s services are provided free of charge in both English and French.