Colon Cancer Canada

Colon Cancer Canada

November 07, 2006 09:00 ET

Colon Cancer Canada Announces Strategy to Increase Capacity for Colon Cancer Screening

Colon Cancer Canada, in association with, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Toronto General Hospital launch the Early Screening Initiative

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 7, 2006) -

Attention Health Editors:

Wait times for colon cancer screening at three Toronto hospitals are now shorter, due to Colon Cancer Canada's innovative funding program. Today, Colon Cancer Canada, in association with, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and Toronto General Hospital launch the Early Screening Initiative, a strategy to increase capacity for colonoscopy screening.

The Early Screening Initiative is a challenge grant program, created by Colon Cancer Canada with a goal to increase capacity for colonoscopy screening. Through a partnership of private funding, corporate funding, foundation funding and hospital facilities, Colon Cancer Canada will establish colonoscopy suites in all major cancer centres with the hopes of eventually expanding the program nationally.

"Colon Cancer Canada believes that through the promotion of early screening and detection, colon cancer can be cured," says Amy Lerman-Elmaleh, Co-Founder, Colon Cancer Canada. "We are certainly eager for the government in Ontario to support a screening strategy. In the meantime we are assisting hospitals to increase the capacity for colonoscopy screening through our initiative."

The Early Screening Initiative is enabling the Toronto General Hospital to increase the capacity of their colonoscopy suites which has resulted in an additional 130 colonoscopies to date. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is using the funding towards opening new colonoscopy suites. Mount Sinai Hospital is using the funding towards enhancing patient service in the colonoscopy suites.

"My colleagues at UHN and I are thrilled to be participating in this project, enabled by the wonderful generosity of Colon Cancer Canada," says Dr. Richard Reznick, Vice President, Education, University Health Network, R.S. McLaughlin Professor and Chair, Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto. "We all know that a publicly funded system of health care has many assets, but also many challenges. Finding creative ways such as this to augment capacity is important, and speaks strongly about the drive that Colon Cancer Canada has to fighting colon cancer."

Early screening is the only effective way to detect cancer or pre-cancerous polyps early enough to provide effective treatment with the goal of full recovery. Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Canada.

"A colonoscopy saved my life. I lost my mother, father and sister to colon cancer. When my GP discovered an abnormality during my annual physical, I feared the worst given my family history. Within one week of my referral to Toronto General Hospital, a colonoscopy was scheduled. A polyp was discovered and removed," says Yvette Sutherland, patient Toronto General Hospital. "Had the procedure not been done, and if it wasn't done immediately, my chance of developing colon cancer would have been almost certain. I am grateful to organizations like Colon Cancer Canada whose mission is to raise awareness about a disease that, if caught early enough, can be prevented."

About Colon Cancer Canada

Established in 1996, Colon Cancer Canada (formerly The National Colorectal Cancer Campaign), is a volunteer-based charitable organization dedicated to making a measurable difference in the field of colorectal cancer detection and treatment through research, fundraising, education and the promotion of early and aggressive screening. Colon Cancer Canada (CCC) believes that when it comes to colorectal cancer, prevention is the key and screening is the tool.

The CCC believes that through the promotion of early screening and detection, colon cancer can be cured. www.coloncancercanada.ca

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