Colorectal cancer doesn’t wait, neither should you

The following is a message from Colorectal Cancer Canada

March marks the beginning of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Under the slogan “Cancer doesn’t wait, why should you?”, Colorectal Cancer Canada’s campaign reminds Canadians of the importance of getting screened because colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable if diagnosed early.

“Every March, we need to remind Canadians to get screened, and it is more urgent this year because many people missed their biennial screening due to COVID-19. Colorectal cancer continues to claim far too many lives in Canada. Yet, if caught early enough, polyps can be removed before they become cancerous,” says Barry D. Stein, CEO & President of Colorectal Cancer Canada and a stage 4 metastatic colon cancer survivor.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and it’s the reminder for Canadians to get screened for colorectal cancer.

On average, 68 Canadians, men and women, are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every day. Each year, colorectal cancer kills nearly 10,000 people in Canada, making it the 2nd deadliest cancer in men and 3rd in women.

Colorectal Cancer Affects All Canadians

Colorectal Cancer Canada would also like to remind everyone that colorectal cancer does not only affect people aged 50 and over; it also strikes younger people. The number of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer under 50 is on the rise, a segment of the population that faces increased risks due to late diagnoses often caused by lack of awareness of the signs and symptoms.

“Year after year, studies show that colorectal cancer is affecting younger and younger people. Our message is simple. As soon as a patient presents to his or her doctor some of these symptoms – such as a sudden change in bowel habits, bloody stool, loss of appetite, or anemia –,  it is important to investigate the possibility of colorectal cancer. That’s how we can save more lives,” says Barry D. Stein.

25 years of progress in colorectal cancer screening and treatment

This year’s colorectal cancer awareness campaign has particular significance as Colorectal Cancer Canada is celebrating 25 years of creating awareness for colorectal cancer, educating and advocating on behalf of patients and their loved ones.

“When I was diagnosed in 1995, there was little awareness of the symptoms of colorectal cancer and of the disease. Further, there were no provincial screening programs in place, treatment options were extremely limited and little support existed for patients and their loved ones. Colorectal Cancer Canada was born with the hope that a patient group dedicated to the needs of the community would fill an important gap, a necessity we felt keenly as I was going through my treatments 25 years ago,” says Barry D. Stein, who founded Colorectal Cancer Canada in 1998.

The past 25 years have seen overall declines in incidence of colorectal cancer for those above the age of 50 due to increased use of colorectal cancer screening. Also, death rates have been declining among this older demographic, likely due to earlier diagnosis and treatments. The same is not the case among younger adults where exponential growth is being experienced.

Canadian landmarks to be lit up in blue on March 3

In honour of Dress in Blue Day, several Canadian landmarks including the CN Tower in Toronto, the Olympic Stadium in Montréal and the Canada Place Sails of Light in Vancouver will be lit up in blue on March 3. Dress in Blue Day vows to honour those who were touched by the disease and to highlight the importance of the entire support ecosystem surrounding them, including families and caregivers.

For a complete list of Canadian landmarks lighting up in blue, visit Colorectal Cancer Canada’s March Awareness website:

Key Facts

  • In 2022, an estimated 24,300 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 9,400 will die from it. That’s almost 70 Canadians diagnosed with colorectal cancer every day, and 26 die of it every day, on average (Source: Canadian Cancer Society).
  • Colorectal cancer affects the colon, the rectum or both. It develops from the cells that line the inner lining of these organs. Most often, a benign tumour, called a polyp, grows slowly and then becomes cancerous. If detected early, it can be removed before it becomes cancerous.
  • Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in men and third in women.
  • Canadians born after 1980 are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer before the age of 50 than previous generations at the same age, according to a recent study.
  • Approximately 1 in 14 men and 1 in 18 women will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime, and 1 in 34 men and 1 in 40 women will die from it.
About Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC)

Colorectal Cancer Canada is Canada’s non-for-profit colorectal cancer patient-led organization. Since 1998, they have been dedicated to colorectal cancer awareness and education, supporting patients and caregivers, and advocating on their behalf. Their goal is to reduce the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer in Canada and to improve the quality of life for patients, their families and caregivers.

Colorectal Cancer Canada

SOURCE Colorectal Cancer Canada

For further information: Guillaume Lajoie, publicist, – 514 758-1109