Dr. Mary De Vera wears blue at her UBC office to mark the beginning of Colorectal Cancer Month in March. Her research funding runs out at the end of the month and she needs more Canadian patients and survors to take the survey. (Twitter)

Dr. Mary De Vera wears blue at her UBC office to mark the beginning of Colorectal Cancer Month in March. Her research funding runs out at the end of the month and she needs more Canadian patients and survors to take the survey. (Twitter)

Colorectal cancer researcher needs more B.C. survivors

UBC’s Mary De Vera seeks answers after her own recovery

Dr. Mary De Vera has a research grant to study one of the most common types of cancer in Canada, and personal experience of its effects to motivate her search for answers. Now all she needs is the experience of a few more colorectal cancer survivors, via an online survey.

An assistant professor of pharmaceutical science at the University of B.C., De Vera is part of a team working to fill the information gap on colorectal cancer, which hasn’t had the attention of more familiar types of the disease.

After undergoing treatment herself after being diagnosed in 2016 at the age of 36, and finding a shortage of information on treatment, De Vera launched the survey of patients, which has had more than 1,000 responses since late last year.

The survey is open to anyone who has ever been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer and is above the age of 18. Grant funding runs out at the end of March.

“There is ample information to support patients who are diagnosed with breast, prostate, lung and other forms of cancer, but there is very little readily available information for those who have colorectal cancer,” De Vera said. “We have had a good response internationally to the survey, however with less than 200 Canadian respondents, we need more Canadians to help identify what type of information patients need and the best way to get that information.”

READ MORE: Cancer Society stops collecting hair donations

READ MORE: B.C. Cancer Agency studies new blood test

The Canadian Cancer Society says colorectal cancer is the second most common type in Canada. The nearly 27,000 people diagnosed in 2017 represented 13 per cent of all new cancer cases. The B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority estimate for 2018 is that 3,720 B.C. residents would be diagnosed, and 1,290 would die from colorectal cancer.

De Vera was diagnosed shortly after the birth of her second daughter, with a promising career in medical research ahead of her. She spent the next year undergoing five weeks of chemoradiation, two major surgeries and four months of chemotherapy.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 160 Comox, B.C. Poppy Chairman, Kent Guilford presenting cheques to the following organizations in support of their venues: (top left) The Sea Cadet Corps who assisted in last year’s Poppy campaign. (Top right) CFB Comox, Military Family Resource Center, Kim Hetherington, executive director MFRC. Bottom, The Views at St Joseph’s, Jessica Aldred, Health Care Foundation, Michael Aikins, senior operations leader. We wish to Thank All those who supported last year’s Poppy Campaign and we hope we will have your continued support this year. Thank you all.
Comox Valley gives back

Spotlight on some of the groups, businesses and individuals who make the Comox Valley great

Union Bay voters chose a new direction Saturday. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Union Bay voters opt for governance change

More than seventy per cent support dissolving UBID to roll services into regional district

A small plane crashed in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

Drift includes the work of poets from around the Comox Valley. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Drift features works by poets from the Comox Valley

Rather than have a set theme, the editors let 38 poets put their best work forward

Rogan is a three-year-old border collie who has an 'incredible bond' between him and a family member. Photo by Erin Haluschak
‘Incredible bond’ credited for dog who assisted in emergency

Three-year-old dog Rogan came to the rescue of a family member who fell

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read