Did you catch our recap on the Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit? We are excited to share video footage from our groundbreaking conference on preventing colorectal cancer. If you were unable to attend, please watch these short recaps on various sessions throughout the summit.

 

Palliative Care

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pURzAM80gMo

In session six, Sarah DeBord, a patient, discusses building her own cancer support system and her familiarity with palliative care, including lobbying for more support. She uses a specific analogy of an onion to describe the layers of care that a patient requires.

 

Cancer Susceptibility Gene Mutations in Individuals 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyO1_lMk2K4

Dr. Matthew B. Yurgelun shared the shift in mentality in how physicians look at hereditary colorectal cancer. Dr. Yurgelun shares how next-generation sequencing technologies allow for rapid assessment of genes in a way that is deeper than researchers could understand in the past. 

 

Framing the Conversation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsHZP8_bMCE

One of our favorite, but most heartbreaking, moments of the conference included various attendees sharing their personal stories with colorectal cancer. These stories show the importance of getting tested and staying educated on the dangers of colon cancer.

 

Discover the rest of our videos from the summit on our YouTube page and learn more about the summit on our website.

 

If your birthday is coming up, consider creating a Facebook Fundraiser for the Colon Cancer Foundation for your birthday. It’s a quick and simple way to show your support for survivors and patients of one of cancer’s deadliest diseases. Learn more with these quick steps:

 

Step 1: Visit Facebook Fundraisers

Visit Facebook Fundraisers to start the process of setting up a fundraiser.

 

Step 2: Find the Colon Cancer Foundation

Type in Colon Cancer Foundation when prompted to find a nonprofit. Since we are a US 501(c)(3), your donations will be tax-deductible. However, we encourage reaching out to a tax professional if you have more questions.

 

Step 3: Decide how much you would like to raise for your fundraiser.

No matter what amount you decide, all money will go directly to the Colon Cancer Foundation. Facebook does not charge fees for donations made to nonprofits. Any money that is donated will help support our mission to support colorectal cancer survivors and patients while also supporting innovative research to fight this deadly disease.

 

Step 4: Encourage your friends to donate!

Friends may choose to donate publically or privately. However, they may need encouragement from you. Make sure to share status updates and tell your friends why the fundraiser is important to you.

The CCF is fortunate to have raised over $100,000 this year in Facebook Fundraisers! Small actions together can make great change, so start a fundraiser today to help support the CCF. Every penny helps when it comes to eradicating colorectal cancer and we can’t do it without you.

 

Palliative Care is a trending topic in many cancer circles right now and is making headway as general medical care for those with colorectal or colon cancer. Palliative care is a specific treatment for those suffering from severe illness with the hopes of providing relief from symptoms. While palliative care is still becoming mainstream for those who are suffering from colorectal cancer, many patients who are struggling with the disease are finding relief that is aiding their fight against cancer.

 

How was Palliative Care Created?

According to the Center for Palliative Care at the Harvard Medical School, palliative care started in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Medical professionals aimed to ease the pain and suffering of terminal cancer patients who had run out of options. The field developed, however, to treat those with non-terminal illnesses to relieve the suffering of any patient, regardless of disease.

 

How Does Palliative Care Help Colorectal Cancer Patients?

Many colorectal cancer patients face day-to-day issues that stem from not only their cancer but necessary treatment to eradicate the disease as well. Palliative care can treat symptoms from colorectal cancer, such as discomfort in bowel impactions or issues in the large intestine. Blockages can irritate the body and require surgery, but palliative care can change a patient’s quality of life to prevent discomfort.

 

Where Can I Get More Information About Palliative Care?

If you want to learn more about palliative care, contact your family physician doctor to discuss treatment options. Improving the quality of life for colorectal cancer patients is essential to aide their fight against the deadly disease. Our Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit discussed the latest trends and innovations regarding palliative care last May. The Colon Cancer Foundation is proud to support physicians and researchers who are actively tackling palliative care and other vital topics that affect those with colorectal cancer.

For more information on palliative care, please reach out to us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or (914) 305-6674.

 

We are proud to announce our Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit was a success in bringing together the nation’s experts on early age onset colorectal cancer last month. The event, held at The Times Center in New York City, focused on performing a knowledge GAP analysis and building a strategic “action plan” to reduce early age onset colorectal cancer incidence & mortality.

 

At the summit, leading clinicians, scientists and early age onset colorectal cancer survivors shared their experience with colorectal cancer treatment. Lectures, workshops and panel discussions provided innovative approaches to palliative care and featured world-renowned speakers from leading academic medical centers. Popular sessions ranged from “Identifying the Key Elements of a Center for Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer – Panel Discussion” to “Cancer Susceptibility Gene Mutations in Individuals with Colorectal Cancer.”

 

One of this year’s highlights included a “Research in Progress” segment, where participants learned about NCI funded and planned early age onset colorectal research projects from across the world. Participants learned more about recent research and evidence-based framework for reducing risk in those susceptible to early age onset colorectal cancer.

Our poster presentation at the fifth annual summit showcased research or programs that have the potential to impact how we treat early age onset colorectal cancer. “Does the Impact of Tumor Sideedness Differ for Young-Onset Vs. Later-Onset Colorectal Cancer” by Lucas D. Lee, MD, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas received first place for the abstract awards. For a complete list of abstracts, please read more in the Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit agenda.

ABSTRACT AWARDS

FIRST PLACE

DOES THE IMPACT OF TUMOR SIDEDNESS DIFFER FOR YOUNG-ONSET VS. LATER-ONSET COLORECTAL CANCER?

Lucas D. Lee, MD

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

SECOND PLACE

THE PSYCHOSOCIAL AND FINANCIAL BURDEN ON CAREGIVERS OF YOUNG-ONSET COLORECTAL CANCER PATIENTS

Kimberley Newcomer, BS, CPPN Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Washington, DC

THIRD PLACE

CLINICOPATHOLOGICAL, FAMILIAL, AND MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF RECTAL CANCER WITHIN EARLY- ONSET COLORECTAL CANCER

José Perea, MD, PhD
Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital and Health Research Institute, Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer-UAM Observatory, Madrid, Spain

Thank you to all of our sponsors who made the event possible. If you are interested in sponsoring any Colorectal Cancer Foundation events in the future, please contact us at 914.305.6675 to learn more.

 

What are you getting your dad this year for Father’s Day? One way to show him you care is by bringing up the statistics about colorectal cancer and making sure he knows about regular screenings. While a discussion about colorectal cancer may not be at the top of his list, show dad you love and care about him this Father’s Day by reminding him about getting screened.

 

The lifetime risk for colorectal cancer in men is 1 in 22, according to the American Cancer Society. Why are men more likely to get colorectal cancer than women? One theory, according to the American Cancer Society, is that men are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than women mostly due to lifestyle choices, such as cigarette smoking.

 

While men can’t change that they are more likely to develop colorectal cancer, there are numerous lifestyle choices they can make to decrease their risk of developing the deadly disease. Your dad can work to control his weight, physical activity and diet to decrease his odds of getting colorectal cancer.

 

The best thing, however, is to abide by the American Cancer Society’s recommended screening guidelines. If your dad has an average risk of developing colorectal cancer, he should get screened starting at 45-years-old. If your family has a family history of colon cancer or higher risk, the screening guidelines will vary. Talk to your primary care physician for more information.

 

While colon cancer can be a scary topic to talk about, it’s important to have conversations with your family about the disease. Make sure to have a discussion with dad this Father’s Day about what everyone can do to protect your butt against colorectal cancer. Encourage him to talk to his family care physician about colorectal cancer and the steps he can take to decrease his risk.

 

On the first Sunday in June, we celebrate National Cancer Survivors Day to honor those that have fought cancer and won. Colorectal cancer, which is one of the United States’ deadliest diseases, is expected to kill 51,020 people during 2019, according to the American Cancer Society. Colorectal cancer continues to claim the lives of many Americans and affect families worldwide. However, we can work together to honor past survivors and fight to decrease fatalities rates for those that will get colon cancer in the future.

 

What is National Cancer Survivors Day?

National Cancer Survivors Day was created to honor those that had fought cancer and won. We all know the havoc that cancer can wreak on one’s family and loved ones. Anyone who has a history of cancer is considered a cancer survivor, so chances are there is someone in your life that has survived cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates there are more than 1 million colorectal cancer survivors in the United States right now. The 1 million survivors and their families were affected by the second deadliest cancer, and many continue to cope with lasting effects from colorectal cancer. By honoring these survivors, we can show support and continue to fight to find a cure.

 

How Can I Participate in National Cancer Survivors Day?

You can get involved with National Cancer Survivors Day by attending a local event near your home. Check with your local cancer treatment facility, hospital, or American Cancer Society office to discover an even in your area. If there is not a local event already planned, consider hosting your own. The National Cancer Survivors website has resources ranging from theme ideas to sponsorship help to assist your event planning. You can also volunteer with the Colon Cancer Foundation to help us fight this deadly disease. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or (914) 305-6674.

 

Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the second deadliest cancer in the United States. While the cancer often affected those over 50-years-old in the past, colon cancer is increasing in young adults at an alarming rate. Learn more about why early-onset colon cancer is on the rise for those under the age of 50 and what you can do to combat the deadly cancer.

 

How Many People Will Develop Colon Cancer in 2019?

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be 145,600 new cases of colon cancer this year. Fifty-one thousand and twenty deaths are predicted to happen due to this disease. Young adults will contribute to these numbers, despite decreasing rates of colon cancer in those over 50-years-old.

 

What Factors Have Lead to an Increase in Colon Cancer in Adults?

One of the most significant factors in colon cancer increasing in young adults is the lack of screening. Until recently, the American Cancer Society recommended that standard screening starts at 50-years-old if you do not have a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors. However, they changed their screening recommendations to start at 45-years-old to accommodate for the higher risk of colon cancer in young adults.

One of the significant concerns with early-onset colon cancer is the amount of time between the diagnoses and treatment; this can often lead to a higher fatality rate for those that do not discover they have the deadly disease. If you have any questions or concerns about colorectal cancer screenings, reach out to your primary doctor.

 

What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk?

If you are worried about colon cancer, learn more about early-onset colon cancer. Convince your loved ones to get screened at 45-years-old if they are at average risk and earlier if they have a family history of colon cancer.

The Colon Cancer Foundation is pleased to announce Dr. Jenny Lazarus as a recipient of the 2019 Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award. Dr. Lazarus currently focuses on immune therapy, combined with looking at colon cancer at a microscopic level to understand how the cancer cells interact with other cells. She will join the Colon Cancer Foundation at the Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award Presentation this year. Read our interview to learn more about Dr. Lazarus and her role in colorectal cancer research.

Tell us about your background.

I am from a small town in the mountains of Northern California. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Davis in Classical Civilizations with an emphasis on Latin poetry and Roman art. I completed my Medical Degree from Ross University in Dominica, West Indies. I have traveled to many places in my life and my ultimate goals are a cure for cancer and relief to pain and suffering in the world.

What made you interested in colon cancer research?

Colon cancer has afflicted many people and although we have made improvements, a large group of people are still suffering.

Tell us about your past work and research efforts in the past and its significance to colon cancer.

My past work as a surgeon in training at Texas Tech Health Science Center in Lubbock Texas, where I will return to finish my training this July, has and will prepare me to treat individuals who have colon cancer surgically. My research efforts at the University of Michigan have focused on patients who have colon cancer that has spread to other organs where surgery is no longer a cure.

When did you first know that you wanted to work in surgery, and why were you so passionate about that?

During my third year of surgical training, I was involved in the care of a child that was diagnosed with cancer that was not able to be cured by surgery alone. We employed the help of other physicians who were research scientists for the care of the child. That experience helped refine my focus into pursuing a career where I could not only alleviate suffering with surgery but also investigate the cancer itself to further enhance the life of the patients where surgery alone was not a cure.

Describe the current colorectal cancer research you are conducting.

Immune therapy is currently used to treat a small subset of patients with colon cancer. In this small group of people, the tumor itself is unique and the treatment is effective often giving patients a cure. We are looking at colon cancer at a microscopic level to understand how the cancer cells are interacting with other cells. Understanding the immune cells in the tumor is just as important as understanding the cancer cells in determining how immune therapy works on specific individuals and not others. We are currently investigating the interactions between these cells. In doing so, we see patterns emerging in different patients with colon cancer. Each patient has a different pattern of cell types and some patients have similar patterns to each other. We found that patients who share a particular pattern of cells in the tumor are likely to benefit from immune therapy thus increasing the number of people who can receive and benefit from its treatment.

What is your mission and goals in the current work that you are doing?

My primary overall mission is to cure colon cancer. Although a daunting task, I believe it is possible. The cohesive and dynamic team in the Department of Surgery at the University of Michigan has brought together many individual’s research strengths into one collaborative unit where thoughts, ideas, and expertise can meld together for the improvement of the lives of patients. Our goals are to develop new ways of analyzing tumor cells and their interactions with other cells as well as increasing the collaborative environment with other physicians and surgeons to better the quality of patient’s lives.

What are your goals for your future?

I will finish surgical training at Texas Tech Health Science Center in Lubbock Texas and pursue a career in academic research as a surgeon-scientist. I have learned the importance of a team approach, a model I will take with me and employ when I establish a laboratory in the future. I plan to focus on innovative surgical and research techniques as well as foster a rich collaborative environment with not only other physicians and researchers but also foundations and the community to bring information and new treatments to patients as quickly as possible.

What would a colorectal cancer breakthrough mean for millions of people?

I do think we are close to a breakthrough! We were ecstatic to discover the possibility of another group of individuals with colon cancer that may very well benefit from immune therapy which is already being used in a smaller group of people. A breakthrough for a cure would not only impact people who have cancer, but also their friends, family members and co-workers. We are all connected in one way or another and any impact on the health and prosperity of even one person can influence the world.

Why is it so important that we all support research conducted in the field of colon cancer treatment and prevention?

As surgeons, we are able to help people immediately by removing colon cancer itself, this can alleviate pain, stop the cancer from spreading, and for many people this is a cure. Sometimes however when someone has surgery, colon cancer can come back. In addition, some people learn they have cancer after the colon cancer has already spread. In these cases research is the future hope for a cure. Individuals and foundations like the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation are vital for a cure. Funding for research is scarce not only for researchers themselves but for the equipment and resources needed for study. Support from the community is vital to a future cure.

How has the 2019 Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award changed your life?

This award really has confirmed the focus of my career. I feel supported in the research I am conducting but also feel supported as a researcher, this has propelled my energy and focus toward my future goals in knowing that the community supports not only my research but myself as a surgeon-scientist.

 

The Colon Cancer Foundation would like to thank all of our volunteers for their hard work and donations to make the 2019 Colorectal Cancer Research Scholar Award possible. Learn how you support Dr. Lazarus and work toward a cure for colorectal cancer at our website.

 

 

 

Do you know anyone in your family that has had colorectal cancer before? If so, you and other loved ones may be at risk to develop this deadly cancer in the future. You may benefit from genetic testing to see if there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Learn more about colorectal cancer and family history.

Lynch Syndrome Testing

Lynch syndrome often increases your chance of developing colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer with Lynch syndrome ranges from 10 to 80 percent.

One way to discover whether you should get tested for Lynch syndrome is through the Amsterdam criteria:

You have three or more relatives that have developed cancer linked with Lynch syndrome.
One of those relatives is a parent, sibling or child of the other two relatives.
At least two consecutive generations are affected by cancer.
At least one relative got cancer under 50-years-old.

If you or someone you know has Lynch syndrome, the screening guidelines recommend testing during the early 20s or two to five years younger than the youngest person in the family with a cancer diagnosis. Testing should also continue every one to two years to identify polyps at the earliest time.

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Testing

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) can cause polyps in the colorectal system, which may lead to colorectal cancer. If you have FAP, you may get polyps before the recommended screening time and lead to later detection. Genetic testing is available for those with FAP based on family history.

If you are diagnosed with FAP, screening guidelines recommend testing to start in the teenage years. The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is almost guaranteed; many doctors recommend removing the colon in a person’s 20s to avoid colorectal cancer.

If you have a record of colorectal cancer and family history, reach out to your family practice physician to talk about screening today. Learn more about screening guidelines on our blog.

Let’s face it: we’ve all been there before with gastrointestinal issues. Chances are that you’ve encountered some of the symptoms of early onset colorectal cancer. However, do you know when to chalk your symptoms up to a temporary situation or whether it’s time to go to the doctor? Learn more about the early symptoms of colorectal cancer and discover whether you should get tested.

 

A change your bowel habits

If your bowel movement schedule changes drastically over a few days, you should see your family practice physician to know if you are at risk of colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, if you usually have a bowel movement three times a day but now are only going once you should be concerned about the change in your bowel movements.

 

Blood in your stool that is bright red or black

Any sign of blood in your stool is usually not a good sign when it comes to your intestinal health. Bright red or black blood is an early sign of colorectal cancer and should be discussed with your doctor.

 

Diarrhea and constipation

Two of the more common symptoms of colorectal cancer, diarrhea and constipation often come in pairs. If you have a tumor in your bowel, you are likely to face constipation and then diarrhea when the contents are finally passes.

 

Frequent gas, bloating or cramps

While it is normal to have some of these symptoms, excessive gas, bloating or cramping may mean you are at risk for colorectal cancer. One way you to try to decrease gas is to watch your diet. Foods high in fiber, carbonated beverages and dairy may increase gas, so consider cutting those foods out to see if they decrease how often you pass gas.

 

If you have any of these early symptoms of colorectal cancer, learn about how to screen for colon cancer. The earlier you screen, the better your chances are of fighting this deadly disease. Make an appointment with your family practice doctor today to discuss colorectal cancer.