Colorectal cancer special focus of the 2011 Canadian Cancer Society Statistics

Earlier today the Canadian Cancer Society released their report, Canadian Cancer Statistics 2011. Published annually, the report provides updates on cancer incidence, mortality, survival, prevalence and risk of developing or dying from cancer. This year’s edition includes a special focus on colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer, also referred to as colon cancer, is highly treatable if caught early, but it is still the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canada. In 2011, an estimated 8,900 Canadians will die from the disease. Recent research shows however that 56% of Canadians aged 50 to 74 are still not up-to-date with screening and 60% do not realize they actually need to be checked for colon cancer before signs or symptoms are present.

“Canadians over aged 50 should be checking regularly for colorectal cancer – also known as screening. It is our best line of defense against this highly treatable cancer as early detection generally leads to better outcomes for people with colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Heather Bryant, Vice-President of Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

Tools to encourage colorectal screening

To help encourage Canadians aged 50 and older to be screened for colorectal cancer, the Partnership created the Five Feet of Fabulous video. The video is a new tool supporting the Colonversation campaign – the first of its kind national online campaign to raise awareness about colon cancer screening and to encourage people to have a conversation about the disease.

The Colonversation campaign was developed by the Partnership’s National Colorectal Cancer Screening Network to further support public education and awareness about the importance of screening. The Partnership established the Network three years ago to help increase the number of Canadians being screened for colorectal cancer and supports implementation of organized screening programs for colorectal cancer across Canada.

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About the Canadian Cancer Statistics publication

The 2011 Canadian Cancer Statistics was prepared by a steering committee that includes individuals from the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Statistics Canada, the Canadian Council of Cancer Registries, as well as researchers based in universities and provincial or territorial cancer agencies.