Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just back from 5 days in Toronto; 3 of which were spent in workshops with people associated with the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC). I am hoping to become a Cancer Coach... Although, I must admit that after spending some time with all of these amazing people, I'm not quite sure if I'm up to the task. Most of the people I met are cancer survivors or their caregivers, as well as the wonderful staff from the CCAC. I know Tony would want me to do this, however, if I'm going to do this, I want to do it right and make him proud. I might need a few weeks to digest all of this information and determine what is the best course of action for me to take that will have most impact and be of most use. For now, I will share with you some facts that I hope you will keep in mind and share with friends and loved ones... At the very least, you will be better informed and, at best, you could save a life!

  • colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in Canada;

  • an estimated 21,500 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer last year;

  • approximately 8,900 Canadians died from colorectal cancer in 2008;

  • if caught early, colorectal cancer has an over 90% cure rate;

  • risk factors include age (50 and over), family history of colorectal cancer, personal history of benign polyps or colorectal cancer, obesity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, and inflammatory bowel disease (i.e. Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis).


The following symptoms MAY indicate colorectal cancer. See your doctor.

  • prolonged diarrhea or constipation

  • narrower-than-normal stools

  • blood in stool

  • loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss

  • feeling that the bowel does not completely empty

  • constant fatigue, anemia

  • nausea, vomiting

  • abdominal pain or discomfort.

One of the problems in dealing with this disease is that people are not comfortable talking about their bowel movements with their doctors. Please don't let that stop you!! Remember, your Doctor has seen and heard it all and is there to help you. If you are 50 years old or over and have not yet had a colonoscopy, in Tony's memory, please call your doctor now, and book an appointment. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure - and then some....

Take good care!


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