Colorectal cancer is the 2nd deadliest cancer in Canada, let’s work together to avoid making it number one

Press Release

MONTREAL, Feb. 26, 2024– Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC) is gearing up for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March with a powerful call to action: “Save Butts – Save Lives, Take the Pledge”. Colorectal cancer, affecting the colon and rectum, ranks as Canada’s second deadliest cancer, claiming nearly 10,000 lives annually.

“Being number one isn’t something we hope for with colorectal cancer. Despite the fact that  individuals aged 50-74 and at average risk of the disease in every province and territory across Canada have access to screening, only about 40% participate,” says Barry D. Stein, President & CEO of Colorectal Cancer Canada.

Despite being preventable and highly treatable when detected early, the reluctance to participate in colorectal cancer screening has hindered early detection efforts. CCC’s message this March to Canadians is to be proactive, take responsibility and make sure you get screened.

More and more young people affected by colorectal cancer

The incidence of colorectal cancer among young adults under 50 years of age has rapidly climbed in recent years, challenging conventional perceptions of this disease as being a disease of older adults. This alarming reality serves as a stark reminder that vigilance and advocacy are paramount in the fight against colorectal cancer.

“Regardless of how young or old we may be, we all possess the power to make informed choices about our health and be proactive. The troubling trend of rising cases among younger populations underscores the critical importance of both younger and older individuals knowing how to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and learning about the signs and symptoms of the disease. It is important to know your family history of the disease as well as any genetic syndromes such as Lynch syndrome that may place you at a elevated risk for the disease and the need to start screening earlier”, continues Barry D. Stein himself a survivor of early age onset of metastatic colon cancer at the age of 41.

Colorectal Cancer a disease that knows no boundaries in all communities

Colorectal cancer, a disease that knows no boundaries of age, gender, or background, disproportionately affects different communities facing systemic and socioeconomic barriers to healthcare access. Although data on race and ethnicity are not routinely collected in health data sets and disease registries in Canada, some studies have shown that the burden of colorectal cancer is higher in Black communities in Canada and colorectal cancer has emerged as a health disparity in certain Indigenous communities as well.

Colorectal Cancer Canada invites all communities across Canada to join in our mission to overcome barriers, increase awareness, and promote equitable access to colorectal cancer screening, treatment and support wherever they live.

Save Butts, Save Lives : An invitation to take matters into your own hands

Boosting awareness, education and participation in colorectal cancer screening is crucial, with less than 40% of the target population currently screened. To help increase awareness of colorectal cancer screening in Canada, Colorectal Cancer Canada has launched an initiative to encourage communities, organizations, businesses and agencies of all types to spread awareness of the disease and raise colorectal cancer screening rates through its Save Butts, Save Lives: Take the Pledge campaign.

It is easy to Take the Pledge on Taking the pledge provides a communication kit to inform and empower members, employees, and communities. Join Colorectal Cancer Canada in our mission to save lives, break barriers, and promote equitable access to colorectal cancer resources across Canada.

Colorectal Cancer Facts
  • Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Canada.
  • An estimated 24,100 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and sadly about 9,300 men and women will die from it.
  • About 1 in 16 Canadian men will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 38 will die from it. About 1 in 18 women will develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime and about 1 in 43 will die from it.
About Colorectal Cancer Canada

Colorectal Cancer Canada (CCC) is Canada’s national colorectal cancer patient led non-for-profit organization. Since 1998, it has been dedicated to colorectal cancer awareness and education, supporting patients and caregivers, and advocating on their behalf. CCC’s mission is to reduce the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer in Canada and to improve the quality of life for patients, their families and caregivers.

Facebook/Instagram: Colorectal Cancer Canada (@coloncanada)

For further information: Guillaume Lajoie, publicist, – 514 758-1109


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