Backgrounder: The Canadian Cancer Society fights colorectal cancer

18 May 2011

Toronto -

The Canadian Cancer Society has led the way in advocating for colorectal cancer screening programs to be implemented across the country. As of fall 2010, several organized colorectal cancer screening programs were established across Canada. Eight provinces currently have full or pilot programs and two provinces have announced their intentions to set up a program.

The Society has also worked hard to raise awareness among Canadians about the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer.

The Society also funds research about colorectal cancer and provides information, support and services.


The Canadian Cancer Society is currently funding over $2.1 million in colorectal cancer research. In the last 10 years, the Society has committed more than $20 million to fund excellent research on colorectal cancer.

Some current research projects include:

Dr Nancy Baxter,St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto.

  • a study to identify barriers to participation in colorectal cancer screening in Ontario

Dr Will King, Queen’s University, Kingston.

  • one study looking for early markers in an individual’s blood and colon tissue that will predict whether a person will develop colorectal cancer
  • another study investigating a suspected link between high consumption of red meat and colorectal cancer

Dr Jill Tinmouth, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto.

  • a study that will help to improve the quality of colonoscopies by evaluating quality assessment measures for this colorectal cancer prevention and detection tool
  • another study to improve the quality of colonoscopy by developing and pilot testing an audit and feedback tool for healthcare professionals conducting colonoscopies

Dr Steven Gallinger,Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto.

  • a study using a new, cost‑effective DNA sequencing technology to search for the genetic cause of an elusive cancer syndrome called Familial Colorectal Cancer Type X (FCCTX)

Dr Michael Pollak, Lady Davis Institute, Montreal.

  • a study of dietary modifications that increase calcium, zinc and magnesium intake and may help prevent colorectal (and prostate) cancer by lowering the amount of insulin and an insulin‑like hormone in the body
  • another study testing whether metformin, a drug prescribed for diabetics, influences colorectal cell division and could be used to help prevent colorectal cancers


Information about all aspects of cancer, including colorectal cancer, is available by:

  • visiting the Canadian Cancer Society’s website –
  • calling the Society’s Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333


You don’t have to go through it alone: the Society encourages people with colorectal cancer to call the Society’s CancerConnection program.

Specially trained volunteers provide a listening ear and valuable suggestions for people with cancer and for people who care about them. Callers will be matched with someone who has been through a similar experience and who the caller feels comfortable talking with. This telephone-based program is free and confidential. Call 1 888 939-3333 to get connected to this service. this new online community, launched this year by the Society, gives people with cancer and caregivers another option when choosing what type of information and support will best help them through their journey. It provides a safe and welcome place for cancer patients and caregivers to share their experiences and build relationships to support them in their cancer journey.

Stories of Hope: we invite people with colorectal cancer to visit the Society’s Stories of Hope website ( Read about other people’s experiences with cancer and share yours. These stories are a source of hope and inspiration for anyone facing cancer. Tell us your story.


Caregiver support: The Society is advocating for increased financial support for caregivers – people who care for loved ones who have cancer or other serious illnesses. The Society is recommending that caregivers receive financial support for 26 weeks instead of the current six weeks.

National catastrophic drug insurance: The Society supports establishing national standards for the provision of drugs that are required in the medical management of cancer. We believe all Canadians must have the same access to appropriate, high-quality and timely services, regardless of where they live or whether the drugs are delivered in hospital or in the community.

Find out more

To find out more about the Society’s services, including those for people with colorectal cancer, call the Society’s Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333 or visit

Canadian Cancer Statistics 2011 is prepared, printed and distributed through a collaboration of the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada and provincial and territorial cancer registries.


Media release: Not enough Canadians being screened for colorectal cancer, leading to many unnecessary deaths

Backgrounder: Colorectal Cancer Statistics

Backgrounder: Canadian Cancer Statistics at a Glance

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.

For more information, please contact:

Christine Harminc

Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: 416 934-5340