Get checked from behind
TORONTO, March 1, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) teams across the province have joined with Cancer Care Ontario and local cancer programs to take a slap shot at colorectal cancer.
During March - Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - OHL teams are urging fans to get their butts into the game by being screened for colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death and the third most diagnosed cancer in Ontario.
Ten participating teams - the Barrie Colts, Belleville Bulls, Guelph Storm, Kingston Frontenacs, Kitchener Rangers, London Knights, Owen Sound Attack, Sarnia Sting, Sudbury Wolves, and Windsor Spitfires - will host events at all home games in March. Select team jerseys will feature the ColonCancerCheck (CCC) patch, there will be CCC materials available, and some arena boards will carry cancer screening messaging.
"We are very pleased to be working with a number of OHL teams to raise awareness of colorectal cancer and get more people checked," says Michael Sherar, President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario. "Ontario has one of the highest colorectal cancer rates in the world with an estimated 8,300 persons diagnosed with the disease in 2010 and an estimated 3,400 dying from it."
ColonCancerCheck is Canada's first organized, provincial colorectal cancer screening program. For those aged 50 and older at average risk, effective screening - through a simple Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), combined with a colonoscopy for those with a positive FOBT - can reduce colorectal cancer deaths in Ontario by 16 per cent.
"Early screening is an effective way to prevent or even beat colorectal cancer," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "Since the introduction of ColonCancerCheck, Ontario has funded nearly 1.3 million FOBTs and 115,000 colonoscopies for patients with positive FOBT results, or who are at higher risk. By teaming up with the country's favourite sport I'm confident that we can encourage even more Ontarians to get checked."
"Screening rates are at a low of 30 per cent, despite the fact that 90 per cent of persons with colorectal cancer can be cured if the disease is caught early through screening. Our goal is to raise screening rates to 40 per cent by 2012 as a step towards significantly reducing cancer mortality," said Dr. Linda Rabeneck, Vice President of Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario.
FOBT kits can be obtained through family physicians or nurse practitioners. Those without a family physician or nurse practitioner can pick up a FOBT kit from a local pharmacy or by calling Telehealth at 1-866-828-9213.
Cancer Care Ontario is the provincial agency responsible for continually improving cancer services. As the government's cancer advisor, Cancer Care Ontario works to reduce the number of people diagnosed with cancer, and make sure patients receive better care every step of the way.
For more information on cancer screening, go to: