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The Canadian Cancer Society welcomes the announcement of additional investments in colorectal cancer screening

30 November 2016

Montreal -

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) – Quebec Division welcomes the announcement made today by Dr Gaétan Barrette to allocate an additional $14.7 million to the deployment of an organized colorectal cancer screening program, the PQDCCR . Announced in 2010, the PQDCCR deployment has been stalling for a while in Quebec, the only province which doesn’t yet have such a program in place.

For three years, the CCS has been publicly demanding a clear timetable for this highly anticipated program. “Colorectal cancer kills more than breast and prostate cancers combined. It’s in fact the deadliest cancer among non-smokers. In 2016, some 6,700 Quebecers will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. By injecting the additional sums necessary in the deployment of the PQDCCR, the Health Ministry will facilitate access to colonoscopy for those with symptoms and those who’ve tested positive for fecal blood,” says Suzanne Dubois, Executive Director, CCS – Quebec Division.

The Programme québécois de dépistage du cancer colorectal now has for the first time a more specific timetable because Dr Barrette has stated that the official launch of the program will take place at the beginning of 2018. “In 2010, the Quebec Liberal government announced the approaching rollout of the PQDCCR. Nearly seven years later, it’s high time for the healthcare network to be equipped to perform 25,000 colonoscopies per year as announced today by the Minister. Especially because early screening helps detect and remove precancerous masses (polyps) before they become cancerous, thereby preventing hundreds of cancers and various difficult and costly treatments. The important thing is to be able to make an early intervention before the cancer develops or advances because when detected early, colorectal cancer has a five-year survival rate that’s higher than 90%,” says Mélanie Champagne, Director of Public Issues, CCS.

In the absence of an organized program to screen segments of the population at risk, a doctor’s prescription is required for a fecal blood test. But according to a survey commissioned by the CCS, only one in five Quebecers aged between 50 and 74 has heard about colorectal screening by a healthcare professional and only one in two from the same age group says that it is likely they will take a screening test over the next two years. The CCS believes that for as long as there is no organized program, it will be impossible to ensure that the two million people eligible for the PQDCCR are screened in a timely manner.

About the Canadian Cancer Society

With the support of 300,000 annual donors and 30,000 volunteers, the CCS is the cancer charity in Quebec that has the greatest potential to save more lives. Each year, more than two million Quebecers turn to us. The money raised by the CCS helps:

  • prevent more cancers and demand laws that protect public health
  • fund more research projects
  • support more people living with cancer

Let’s save more lives. Visit cancer.ca or call us at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Mélanie Champagne

Manager, Public Issues

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: (514) 651-1470