Timmins, ON – On Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. the Timmins and District Hospital’s (TADH) Flexible Sigmoidoscopy department will be at the City of Timmins’ City Hall to recognize the month of March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in Timmins. The department will educate the public with an information booth in the main Promenade at the beginning of March, to answer questions about colorectal cancer and services the department provides.
“Our goal is to promote and educate the community and care givers of our Registered Nurse led flexible sigmoidoscopy program at the Timmins and District Hospital”, said Sue McArthur, Registered Nurse and Program Coordinator, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy program, Timmins and District Hospital. “TADH is one of only six hospitals in Ontario and the only one in Northern Ontario with this program; it became a fully adopted initiative of Cancer Care Ontario within the last six years. We’ve had a good response so far and are hoping to continue on that trend”.
Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest form of Cancer in Canada and the second leading cause of death. 26,800 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer; this represents 13% of all new cancer cases in 2017. According to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada, 11,900 women will be diagnosed and 4,300 will die of it. Accordingly, 14,900 men will be diagnosed and 5,100 will die of it. Also, on average, 73 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer every day and 26 Canadians will die from colorectal cancer every day.
The information booth also serves to educate the public as cancer from the colon or lower bowel is treatable if detected early through screening. That screening is called a flexible sigmoidoscopy which is a flexible scope with a high definition camera with the ability to take pictures and biopsies. It looks for polyps which are a growth on the inside of the large intestine or colon. The polyp may be benign but still needs to be removed as it may become cancer. The screening also looks at cancer at an early stage; when found and treated it can reduce the chance of death by 80-90%.
“With cancer screening (under Cancer Care Ontario’s umbrella) being so readily available, there is a strong push to promote the importance of getting screened regularly” said Carolyn Dean, Registered Nurse, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy program, Timmins and District Hospital. “Our message is that if you are between the ages of 50-74, asymptomatic, you should be screened”, said Sue McArthur. “It takes 10-20 minutes, does not require sedation, and could save your life. The recall for a flexible sigmoidoscopy is every ten years, if criteria are met. We also encourage men and women to discuss a FOTB (Fecal Occult Blood Test) with their family physician as it is an important part of a complete screening regimen”.
Previously, patients had to wait a longer period of time to have the procedure completed by a general surgeon or gastroenterologist. However, access to the procedure has been greatly improved with TADH having the program.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness month is an annual event geared toward increasing the profile of colorectal cancer in Canada and educating the public.
The Timmins and District Hospital (TADH) is a level B, fully accredited community, referral and teaching hospital serving the residents of the City of Timmins and Cochrane District as well as the adjoining areas of the Temiskaming, Sudbury and Algoma districts. The hospital offers a full range of medical, surgical, critical care, maternity, newborn, pediatric, long-term care and mental health services as well extensive health education and district services.