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.

 

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.

 

 

 

The Colon Cancer Foundation is excited to announce the 16th Anniversary of the Colon Cancer Challenge. This year, we will return to Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island to work together to educate about colorectal cancer and support those who are affected by its debilitating effects. Join the rest of the colorectal cancer community on March 24, 2019, to support the Colon Cancer Foundation’s initiatives.

 

What Is the 2019 Colon Cancer Challenge and Why Should I Join?

 

In 2004 Dr. Thomas K. Weber founded the Colon Cancer Challenge. This year, we continue Dr. Weber’s work to increase public awareness of colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, 51,020 people will die from colorectal cancer during 2019. The lifetime risk for colorectal cancer is nearly 1 in 22 for men and 1 in 24 for women. However, with early detection, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. Chances are that you will know someone in your life who will be affected by this deadly disease. Join us on March 24 for the 2019 Colon Cancer Challenge to raise awareness about the second deadliest cancer.

 

Where Do the Funds Raised Go?

 

Every year, the Colon Cancer Foundation raises funds in order to raise awareness of colorectal cancer, the importance of early detection and the most effective screening methods available. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in New York State and listed by the Federal IRS as a public charity, we work hard to ensure that all funds align with our mission in the fight against colorectal cancer. The fundraising efforts at the 2019 Colon Cancer Challenge provide free educational materials and participation in outreach events, among other initiatives:

 

  • A national tour of our educational inflatable colon – the Rollin’ Colon.
  • Local, state, national and global programs that promote colorectal cancer prevention and early detection.
  • Awards to young colorectal cancer investigators presenting at the world’s premier societies and conferences.
  • Funding to support the nation’s only Summit focused on early age onset colorectal cancer.

 

How Can I Participate in the 2019 Colon Cancer Challenge?

 

There are numerous ways to show that you stand with colorectal cancer survivors and patients at the 2019 Colon Cancer Challenge. Our Two Mile Walk, 5K Run or Kids’ Fun Run offer a chance for the whole family to get involved. If you would like to volunteer, we have opportunities for all ages and groups. Please contact Marcline St. Germain, our volunteer coordinator, at 914.305.6674 or email at info@coloncancerchallenge.org. Additionally, you may download our Fundraising Toolkit to help raise money to support the Colon Cancer Foundation’s initiatives.