(NC) Colorectal cancer is a serious disease affecting many Canadians. Barry D. Stein, president of the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada and long-term survivor of metastatic colon cancer, discusses the disease and advances in current treatment options and care.
- It’s fairly common. Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country. It’s also the second leading cause of death from cancer in men and the third leading cause of death from cancer in women. About one in 14 Canadian men and one in 16 Canadian women is expected to develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime. This year over 25,100 people will be diagnosed in Canada.
New advances mean more treatment options. Innovation in treatment of colorectal cancer has rapidly evolved over the past few years. This is good news as it means that there are more options for patients. With the development of biomarkers, patients can be treated in accordance with the genetic makeup of their tumour and their individual needs.
Treatment can now be personalized. Personalized or precision medicine means that patients can now be tested and assessed according to the unique genetic makeup of their tumour. For patients with advanced colorectal cancer, these genetic tests can help physicians better tailor the treatments for the patient from the time of their diagnosis.
Genetic testing may play a role in treatment. Genetic testing of a tumour can help predict if a patient diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer is unlikely to respond to a particular treatment. This helps physicians determine at an early stage whether a particular treatment plan is right for the patient or if other treatment options should be considered.
Doing your research helps. If you’ve been diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about genetic testing and how it can play a role in deciding the best treatment options for you.
Find more information at www.colorectal-cancer.ca.