CVR editorial

EDITORIAL: Early detection the key to treating colorectal cancer

According to the Colorectal Cancer Canada website, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country – and it’s not just a men’s issue.

Colorectal cancer is the second most fatal form of cancer in men, and the third most fatal form of cancer for women.

The good news is, if caught in its early stages, it is highly treatable and potentially curable.

The bad news is, because of its minuscule size, colorectal cancer is not easily detected in its early stages.

That’s why regular screening check-ups are recommended, particularly once you hit 50 years old. Screening tests are an effective way to find colorectal cancer before any symptoms develop.

Symptoms, once they start appearing, can include diarrhea, constipation, the feeling that the rectum is not completely empty after a bowel movement, abnormal stool colour (particularly bright red, or very dark red), bleeding from the rectum, bowel obstruction, among others.

For a comprehensive list of symptoms, visit

Risk factors include a family history of colorectal cancer, and increase if the cancer was diagnosed in a family member under the age of 50.

There are also various genetic conditions that increase the risk. The Canadian Cancer Society ( has more information on the many risk factors, as well as various resources and support.

Of course, prevention is the preferred route, and according to the World Cancer Research Fund, there is considerable evidence that lifestyle choices play a major role in prevention. Being physically active, incorporating healthy eating and drinking habits, not smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight are all things that can decrease the risk of developing cancer.

In Canada, the five-year net survival rate for colorectal cancer is 65 per cent, which means 65 per cent of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer will survive for at least another five years, after diagnosis.

Approximately 26,900 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2020. That’s 26,900 too many.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in Canada. Do yourself a favour and get screened.

It could be life-saving.


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

Just Posted

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Volunteers sort through bottles and cans during Saturday's fundraiser for hospice. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley hospice holds drive-through bottle drive

Bike team is fundraising for the annual Cycle of Life tour on Vancouver Island

The Village of Cumberland is applying for a UBCM grant to help streamline development application processes. Black Press file photo
Cumberland looks to streamline development

“This looks like the best thing we’ve ever applied for.”

Security camera image of 7-Eleven robbery suspect. Photo supplied.
Late-night Courtenay robbery results in 500-plus days in jail

Heatley’s sentence also includes probation, DNA order, firearms ban

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake occurred off Ucluelet just after 12:30 a.m. on April 10 and was reportedly felt as far south as Oregon. (Map via United States Geological Survey)
Quake off Ucluelet reportedly felt as far south as Oregon

Magnitude 1.5 earthquake also reported off Vancouver Island’s west coast hours earlier

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

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

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read