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

Comox Valley RCMP impound six vehicles in six days in May

All drivers were found to be going at least 47 km/h over the speed limit

Cumberland water plant costs come in higher than planned

Extra costs result of delays, Hydro requirements and right of way access

Boil water notice lifted in Union Bay

The notice has been lifted as of May 27.

Tsolum River Restoration Society members keeping busy during COVID-19 times

Young fish can get stranded in the most unlikely of places

Police looking for witnesses to Courtenay bear spray assault

The incident took place Tuesday, May 26 at around 8:30 p.m.

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Most Read