Timmins and District Hospital Supports National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Timmins, ON – On Monday, February 29th, 2016 at 11:00 a.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 also show their support and educate the public with an information booth in the main Promenade at the Hospital from February 29 to March 4 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 ten hospitals in Ontario and the only one in Northern Ontario with this program; it was launched as a pilot program three years ago and became a fully adopted initiative of Cancer Care Ontario within the last two 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. According to the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada., 11,100 women will be diagnosed and 4,200 will die of it.  Accordingly 14,000 men will be diagnosed and 5,100 will die of it.

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 five years if criteria is met.  We also encourage men and women to receive an FOTB (Fecal Occult Blood Test) from their family physician for analysis every two years 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.

“Since the launch of the program we have done 1,007 scopes since July 2011. Of those patients scoped 40% were found to have some type of polyp” said Cathy St. Onge, Registered Nurse, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy program, Timmins and District Hospital. “25% of patients had Hyperplastic which are polyps that will not change due to cancer and 15% of patients had Adenomas or worse which are polyps that could turn into cancer”.

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 C, 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.

For more information contact:

Quinn Thomson

Timmins and District Hospital