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Response to the New Data on the Rising Incidence of Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Posted on February 28, 2017

Today, the American Cancer Society released a new study confirming the dramatic increase of colon and rectal cancers in those under the age of 50. But what’s more startling is that this isn’t a surprise to anyone within our community – the data around this issue has been here since 2012, when we brought in experts from across the country for the nation’s first young-onset symposium and released the breakthrough white paper highlighting this disturbing trend.

The data supports what we’ve been hearing from our community for years: young people, in the prime of their lives, are being diagnosed more often and at a later stage than any other group.

The question we’ve been working tirelessly to address – and the question every group needs to be asking – is why. Read more

Colon Cancer and Hydration: Keeping Well, Staying Healthy

Posted on February 24, 2017

One of the main issues that colon cancer patients face as a side effect of both their illness and treatment is dehydration. This can be caused by a number of factors such as sickness, diarrhea, secondary infections and/or fevers, bleeding or simply not ingesting enough fluid during the course of the day.

There are various steps you can take to check your hydration levels, and to remedy them if you’re suffering the effects of a lack of fluid. Read more

Ask the Expert: Immunotherapy 101

Posted on February 23, 2017

Dr. Patrick Boland is a medical oncologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, where he works as part of the gastrointestinal oncology team treating patients with lower gastrointestinal cancers. His clinical interests include colorectal cancer and the development of new cancer therapies.

Immunotherapy in Colorectal Cancer

Immunotherapy 2.0 was recently named by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) as the Advance of the Year. The 2.0 moniker is meant to symbolize expansion of these treatments to more patients, while simultaneously improving our ability to identify which patients will benefit from which treatment. Above all, this underscores the excitement we are all are experiencing in relation to immunotherapy. Read more

Running With An Ostomy: One Woman’s Journey

Posted on February 22, 2017

This Saturday, Sacramento will host the Undy Run/Walk for the sixth year. Among the participants is Colleen Lopez, a 55 year-old jogger and six-year colon cancer survivor who wears an ostomy. She shared her journey of hitting the pavement after her surgery in 2010, the importance of staying active, and finding support.

“They actually sent me home from the hospital after my surgery with a walker because I couldn’t stand up straight. That with learning how to handle the ostomy bag – I really didn’t know how I was going to navigate through life and get any kind of normalcy,” she remembers. “I did find Colon Cancer Alliance, which helped. Got a lot of good information there, and they did have an Ostomy section. I went there a lot for questions.”

When and how did you decide to start jogging?

It was probably a year after my surgery before I actually started to exercise because I wanted to do it safely, and I found a program here in Sacramento that catered to adult cancer survivors – getting your strength and stamina back in a safe way. I joined a running club here in Sacramento through Fleet Feet, and I do that twice a week. I have been doing that for almost three years. It was a “Couch to 5k.” You pretty much start right at the bottom. If you can walk around the block, that’s where you start. They welcomed all levels which was great for me, because at that time around the block was pretty far for me, and it was pretty taxing. I just kept signing up for these training programs because it keeps me motivated, I know I’m doing it safely, and I’ve got a lot of support. I’ve met a lot of nice people that keep me coming. If you have people that know that you should be there, then you show up. That’s been a real big catalyst for me.

Read more


Posted on February 22, 2017

One of the most important services provided by the Colon Cancer Alliance is our free Helpline. Last year we helped more than 13,000 families deal with the myriad of issues that stem from a colon cancer diagnosis.

In this time of uncertainty, some of the common questions we receive from patients we simply cannot answer: What is going to happen to my health insurance with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act? These patients are not calling to talk politics –for them, access to health insurance is not a political issue but literally a matter of life and death. Read more