UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Breaking Down Barriers to Detection and Care in Early-Age-Onset Colorectal Cancer in Canada Raphael, Michael J.; Wildgoose, Petra; Servidio-Italiano, Filomena; De Vera, Mary; Brenner, Darren; D’Angelo, Monika Slovinec; McGee, Robin; Berry, Scott; Wong, Clarence; Gill, Sharlene


The second Early-Age-Onset Colorectal Cancer Symposium, convened in October 2022, sought solutions to the barriers to early detection and care for colorectal cancer in Canada. This meeting built on a previous symposium, held in 2021 and reported in this journal. Early-age-onset colorectal cancer (EAOCRC) affects increasing numbers of people under the age of 50 in Canada and throughout the developed world. Two main themes emerged from the meeting: the importance of timely detection, and the need for a tailored approach to the care of EAOCRC. Early detection is crucial, especially in light of the later stage at diagnosis and unique tumour characteristics. Symposium participants were strongly in favour of reducing the age of eligibility for screening from 50 to 45, and promoting the development of non-invasive screening techniques such as testing for circulating tumour DNA and biomarkers. Leading approaches to care were described and discussed, which meet the unique treatment needs of younger CRC patients. Multidisciplinary practices within and outside Canada address such factors as fertility, family roles, education, careers and financial responsibilities. These models can be applied in treatment centres across the country.

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