Thornhill Endoscopy Centre - Putting your mind at ease

Colorectal cancer is preventable, not inevitable!

Colorectal Cancer

How To Find Us

Phone: 905.882.6566
Fax: 905.882.6567

390 Steeles Avenue West
Unit 11 & 12, Thornhill, ON
L4J 6X2

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Colorectal cancer facts:

  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in Canada!
  • Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in Canada!
  • Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer!
  • Caught early, colorectal cancer is 90% curable and 95% preventable!
  • Colorectal cancer afflicts just as many women as men!
  • One in 14 Canadians is expected to develop colorectal cancer!
  • This year, more than 23,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and over 9,000 Canadians will die from it!

The Colon and Rectum

Diagram of the Colon/RectumThe colon and rectum perform vital functions in the last phases of digestion. Digestion first begins in the mouth where food is chewed into smaller pieces and swallowed. The food travels down the esophagus to the stomach where it is further broken down by gastric juices and sent to the small intestine. The small intestine continues to break down the contents in addition to absorbing most of the nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. Once the contents have passed through the small intestine, the material has become mostly liquid and is moved into the colon, which measures about 5 feet long. The main function of the colon is to absorb water and dehydrate the left-over material forming semi-solid matter, or stool. The colon moves the stool into the approximately 6-inch long rectum, which acts as a holding chamber, until it is ready to be expelled through the anus.

What Is Colorectal Cancer?

Because colon and rectal cancers arise from the same type of cells and have many similarities, they are often referred to collectively as “Colorectal Cancer”. The cells lining the colon and rectum can sometimes become abnormal and divide rapidly. These cells can form benign (non-cancerous) tumors or growths called polyps. Although not all polyps will develop into Colorectal Cancer, Colorectal Cancer almost always develops from a polyp. Over a period of many years, a polyp’s cells may undergo a series of DNA changes that cause them to become malignant (cancerous). At first, these cancer cells are contained on the surface of a polyp, but can grow into the wall of the colon or rectum where they can gain access to blood and lymph vessels. Once this happens, the cancer can spread to lymph nodes and other organs, such as liver or lungs – this process is called metastasis, and tumours found in distant organs are called metastasis.

Screening Colonoscopy and Colorectal Cancer

  • Best screening modality for Colorectal Cancer!
  • Best method to prevent Colorectal Cancer!
  • Examines the entire colon, making it the most thorough method for evaluating the colon and rectum!
  • The test provides a direct view of the bowels!
  • High detection rate for polyps (including small polyps), and ability to remove them immediately during the procedure, and by doing so preventing Colorectal Cancer!
  • Another main advantage over other types of tests is its ability to sample (biopsy) abnormal areas of the colon and rectum for further evaluation!
  • If all is well, most people can wait ten years before getting another one (if no risk factors such as family history of Colorectal Polyps or Cancer are present)!
  • Given the “GOLD STANDARD” rating above all other screening options by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), and the American Cancer Society (ACS)!
  • ANYONE AGE 50 and up should be screened for Colorectal Cancer regardless of family history!

Reference: Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada (CCAC)