For over 25 years, Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC) has been supporting patients and caregivers, through the provision of important information on prevention, disease, treatments and after-care. CCC is also committed to informing policy at the government level and advocating for improved procedural care along the healthcare continuum. We offer a variety of informational programs, as well as a Patient Support Program to address the personal concerns of patients and caregivers.
Our goal is also to spread awareness to the public on risk factors: among them a history of inflammatory bowel disease. Typically, patients with these types of health issues are well monitored to ensure adequate symptom control. However, given the challenge amongst provinces, to ensure timely and consistent follow-up, some patients are left with inadequate follow-up. It is at this point that one’s health can be put at high risk. Although colorectal cancer tends to be slower to progress than those other types of cancer, it tends to be diagnosed at a late stage, due to delay in onset of symptoms. Additionally, common symptoms of colorectal cancer such a loss of weight, appetite, fatigue, gas/bloating, diarrhea/constipation, blood in stool, can all too easily be passed off as less potentially fatal diagnoses (ie: hemorrhoids, IBD, stress).
It is essential that we create awareness around colorectal cancer, particularly in the gastric disease community. Colorectal cancer is quite preventable through home-based FIT tests which can detect tiny traces of occult blood in the stool or routine colonoscopies where polyps AKA benign pre-cancerous growths can be removed. Colorectal cancer is also highly treatable, even at late stages.
Although Canada remains behind in lowering the age of colorectal cancer screenings, as compared to the US who recently lowered it to 45 years, due to the increase of early age onset cases, creating awareness among the population of symptoms and risk factors, is a good way of arming the population with the knowledge to advocate for themselves.