Let's end taboos and talk about the early detection of colorectal cancer because together, we can dethrone it!
Montreal, QC —
From March 1 to 31, as part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) will present the Together, Let's Dethrone Colon Cancer campaign. The aim of this prevention campaign is to reach Quebecers between the ages of 50 and 74 in order to educate them about this silent killer as well as the FIT  early detection screening test and to encourage them to discuss this test with their family doctor or that of a walk-in clinic.
LUMINOUS, COMPASSIONATE AND ENGAGING
The Together, Let's Dethrone Colon Cancer campaign is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and has had a makeover to mark the occasion, offering a revamped image inspired by these three words:luminous, compassionate and engaging. Not only are we fortunate to have had singer-songwriter Ludovick Bourgeois as our spokesperson from the very beginning, but we are also thrilled to welcome sports columnist Alain Crête and actress and singer Dominique Michel as our new campaign ambassadors. Health professionals and colon cancer survivors will also join us for this new edition because together, we can dethrone colorectal cancer.
“It’s so natural and innate for me to get involved with the Together, Let's Dethrone Colon Cancer campaign, a cause that has been close to my heart for five years. I want to keep sharing the story of my father, who left us too soon due to this cancer, and the stories of others so that together, we can dethrone it,” said Campaign Spokesperson, Ludovick Bourgeois.
A UBIQUITOUS CANCER
It has never been more important to raise public awareness of colon cancer because it still reigns as the second leading cause of cancer death in Quebec. But there is a solution: taking the FIT screening test. When colon cancer is detected and treated at an early stage, the odds of being successfully treated increase and the five-year survival rate is at least 90%, while at an advanced stage, the survival rate is 13% at best. Since too many Quebecers still do not take the FIT screening test every two years, the CCS is calling on the population to help it dethrone colon cancer by taking the test and talking about it with their loved ones.
A FEW STATISTICS
● Nearly 92% of colon cancer cases occur after the age of 50.
● Every year, around 7,000 Quebecers are diagnosed with colon cancer.
● Of this figure, around 2,700 Quebecers die of colorectal cancer every year. But it only takes two minutes to take the FIT screening test at home. It’s painless, stress-free and non-invasive.
But it only takes two minutes to take the FIT screening test at home. It’s painless, stress-free and non-invasive.
THE FIT TEST
The FIT test allows the early detection of colon cancer by detecting traces of blood in the stool that are invisible to the naked eye. It only takes two minutes to take the test in the comfort of your own home. It’s simple, quick, painless, non-invasive, non-restrictive, and only requires minimal stool handling.
“The colon cancer screening test can detect precancerous lesions which can be easily and safely removed before they ever turn into cancer. If necessary, you will be monitored by a qualified medical specialist,” explains Dr Mélanie Bélanger, President and Spokesperson of the Association des gastro-entérologues du Québec.
How to take the FIT test?
“This at-home test saved my life. I was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 50 even though I had no symptoms. Ever since, I talk to my loved ones about it all the time. I strongly encourage people over 50 to learn about the FIT test from a doctor so they can keep enjoying their lives!” urges colon cancer survivor, Yves Dubé.
THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC
In 2020-2021, although no testing postponement instructions were given to Quebec’s health and social services network (Réseau de la santé et des services sociaux-RSSS), FIT testing numbers declined: 160,000 fewer tests were taken compared to 2019-2020. This decline may be due to “a decrease in prescriptions of the test issued by front-line professionals whose services were reduced and/or a decrease in screening kits recovered by users…” . As deeply troubling as this reality is, the pandemic will have other long-term consequences related to cancer, equally concerning impacts which we are aware of but have yet to see.
 Immunochemical fecal occult blood test (invisible to the naked eye). While this test isn’t infallible, there is scientific evidence that regularly taking such tests lowers one’s colon cancer death risk. For every 1,000 people who take the screening test, only 36 will have an abnormal result and have to undergo a colonoscopy. Of those 36 people, four will have colorectal cancer; 17 will have one or more polyps (small masses of flesh that grow in the large intestine which can turn into cancer); and 15 will have no polyps or cancer.
 MSSS. Analyse des répercussions de la pandémie de la COVID-19 sur les soins et les services en cancérologie, Québec, Programme québécois de cancérologie (Analysis of the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care and services, Quebec oncology program), 2021, 30 p. [https://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/2021/21-210-132W.pdf].
ABOUT THE CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY
The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, from coast to coast and for all types of cancer. As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we work with governments to establish health policies to prevent cancer and better support those living with the disease. No other organization does all that we do to improve lives today and to change the future of cancer forever. Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.For more information, please contact: