While colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, and the third most common form of cancer in Canada, it is also one of the most treatable cancers when found early. As a family physician, I know that early detection of colorectal cancer can increase the chances of survival by up to 90 percent. This is why routine screening is especially important for Canadians between 50 and 74, as men and women in this age group account for 94 percent of diagnosed cases.
Although our individual risks differ depending on our age, lifestyle, genetics or medical conditions, there are steps we can all take to stay healthy. This includes being more physically active, reducing alcohol consumption and adopting a diet high in fiber and low in red and processed meats.
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadians in the fight against cancer. Through a five-year investment of up to $241 million in the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, we are supporting cancer prevention and management initiatives across Canada with the goals of reducing the number of diagnoses and deaths in our country and improving the quality of life for Canadians living with cancer.
As Minister of Health and someone whose family has been affected by colon cancer, I know first-hand that early detection can save lives. I encourage you to speak to a health care professional about your risks and steps you can take to help prevent colorectal cancer. Let’s be proactive with our health.
The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.