“This is a problem with a solution. The solution is awareness of the colorectal cancer problem and getting screened.”
– Dr. Thomas K. Weber, Founder, Colon Cancer Foundation

My late father Dr. Thomas Weber founded the Colon Cancer Foundation (CCF) because he recognized the power of preventing colorectal cancer and diagnosing it early through screenings. The screenings identify precancerous polyps and early stage growths that doctors can remove.

The CCF has now led the mission of raising awareness and increasing screenings for 19 years.

As we enter Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, you can take direct action today to solve the colorectal cancer problem and save lives:

Talk to your doctor about getting a colonoscopy if you are 45 years or older. If you are younger than 45 but have one or more family members that were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, ask your doctor if you should start screening earlier.

Participate and help increase visibility for CCF’s awareness campaigns and fund colorectal cancer screenings.

Donate Now: The funds collected through your fundraising efforts enable us to reach more people with life saving public awareness, prevention, and research programs.

Two Reasons to Show Your Support

Reason #1: Screenings were down due to COVID-19 but are beginning to pick up again. That’s great news, but it is critical that colonoscopy rates grow past pre-pandemic levels to save lives.

Reason #2:  Deaths from colorectal cancer in people ages 0-49 are increasing. Educating our friends and family with high risk factors can help identify and treat the disease in young people.

CCF’s March Awareness events, tools, and resources are designed to maximize the impact of your donations.

Thank you for taking action!

Sincerely,

Nick Weber

P.S. Your support, plus our ongoing work to mobilize the medical community to address colorectal cancer in young people with the Early-Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit, will make a difference!

In 2013, The Bourbon Mafia was formed when a group of bourbon enthusiasts and industry professionals came together in their search for rare bourbon. About a year in, they realized that they could utilize their platform to raise money for causes that are near and dear to their hearts. With 42 members spanning 11 U.S. states, and two members in Australia, the organization has raised approximately $150,000 since 2014  for various charities, including the Colon Cancer Foundation (CCF). The Bourbon Mafia raises money through events, including bourbon raffles, dinners, and bottle auctions.

Brian Gelfo, one of the founding members and the  treasurer and secretary of the Bourbon Mafia, spoke with the Colon Cancer Foundation about their organization’s motivation for donating to CCF. Omar Marshall was one of the first classes brought into The Bourbon Mafia. Following his diagnosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) in 2020, he and his wife, Pam Marshall, decided they wanted to raise awareness around this disease. The initial goal of The Bourbon Mafia was to donate in his honor while Omar was still with them. Unfortunately, Omar lost his battle with CRC on January 18, 2021.

Robert Diaz (second from left) receiving a donation from The Bourbon Mafia on behalf of the Colon Cancer Foundation.

Nevertheless, a $30,000 donation was made to CCF in April 2021. Before Omar passed, he participated in a selection of a Four Roses Bourbon barrel that would be used for the donation. Mr. Gelfo highlighted an impactful statement by Robert Diaz who represented CCF at the engagement event: “This $30,000 donation can fund 1,000 colon cancer screenings.” Members of The Bourbon Mafia were gratified that their efforts could impact the lives of a thousand people. “Even if one finds out early and gets treated, it’s well worth it,” Mr. Gelfo said. 

According to Mr. Gelfo, many members in the bourbon industry, including fans and supporters, are predominantly older men. Through these events, The Bourbon Mafia hopes to raise awareness in the community for them to get screened.

This year, their event was held on 25th February, 2022, in Louisville, Kentucky, where they expected to raise a minimum of $10,000. Barrels will be hand selected from Starlight Distillery and guests will receive a sample of bourbon, a beer, and a bottle of bourbon to take home. Silent auction items will be donated by Mrs. Marshall and the family as well as other distilleries.

Mr. Marshall was buried on the farm under an oak tree from where he can watch over the farm, as he always wanted to. Mrs. Marshall emphasized the importance of early detection and being proactive for any type of cancer. “The Bourbon Mafia and bourbon itself has brought me into contact with so many wonderful people who share the same passion for bourbon and helping others,” she said.

 

Kenadi Kaewmanaprasert is an intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.

Will Holman is a writer-producer and is the founder of the post-production company Super Star Power Productions. Having lost his dad Willie Holman, and his friend, actor Chadwick Boseman, to colorectal cancer (CRC), Will was inspired to create a non-fungible token (NFT) series in their honor that will be auctioned online starting January 10th, and proceeds from the auction will be donated to charitable causes, including the Colon Cancer Foundation  (CCF). “I wanted to honor Chadwick’s legacy and also give back to the community,” Will told the CCF in an interview.

At 46 years, Will is very aware of his personal risk for CRC. His father, Willie Holman, a football player—defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears—was diagnosed with and died from colon cancer in 2002 at age 57. His family, however, was unaware of his diagnosis. Consequently, Will has started screening himself early. He first got tested at 41 years—the recommendation is to start screening at age 40 or 10 years before your first-degree relative was diagnosed with CRC. The USPSTF recommends that all average-risk adults should initiate screening at 45 years. He is also very conscious of his dietary habits and the important connection between eating healthy and preventive wellness.

Willie Holman was from South Carolina. “A country boy who used to work out a lot but did not know much about health and wellness and what it was to take care of himself,” Will said describing his father’s lifestyle. Being aware of the lineage he carries, Will does not want himself or his children going down that same path. “My father’s experience has a big influence on my healthy lifestyle.”

The risk of colon cancer “is not talked about and dealt with, especially in the black community,” he said.  Will is also aware of the lack of access to healthy food for those living in low-income neighborhoods. Many of these neighborhoods are identified as “food deserts”: the residents in these areas lack access to supermarkets or food vendors that sell affordable yet nutritious food such as fresh fruits and vegetables. If the residents do not have easy access to transportation, they may not be able to reach supermarkets that sell fresh food and may have to depend on their corner grocery store that sells processed foods that may not be healthy. Research has shown that survival is worse among colorectal cancer patients living in food deserts.

By paying homage to both his father and to Boseman through his digital art pieces, Will hopes to give back to the community via his charitable contribution to CCF.

The NFT collection is available on Opensea and the individual links are below:

OpenSea_1

OpenSea_2

OpenSea_3

OpenSea_4

OpenSea_5

OpenSea_6

OpenSea_7

OpenSea_8

OpenSea_9

A study conducted by researchers in Japan found that cigarette smoking may increase the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence in a Japanese population While smoking has been associated with an increased risk of CRC among Western populations, it has not been investigated as a risk factor in Asian populations prior to this study, according to the authors.

 

Statistics show that 60% of CRC cases occur in developed countries and CRC incidence continues to increase rapidly in Asia. Specifically, Japan experienced an increase in cases from 1978 to 1993 and has remained stable since then but is still among the top 10 countries with the highest incidence of CRC. A separate Japanese study found a gender-based difference in CRC incidence, with men being more susceptible to rectal cancer and women being more susceptible to colon cancer:

 

Colon cancer:

  • Men: 65.7%
  • Women: 75.4%

Rectal cancer:

  • Men: 34.3%
  • Women: 27.0%

 

It is hypothesized that environmental and lifestyle factors, such as smoking, can increase the risk of CRC. In Japan, for instance, 80% of men and 20% of women were smokers in the 1950s. However, a significant reduction was observed in smoking rates by 2017: only 32% of men and 9% of women were smokers. The age-standardized CRC incidence rate was 22.2 in 1978 and 38.9 in 2018.

 

Tobacco use can cause many different cancers, including mouth, larynx, lung, kidney, liver, and many more . In 2014, the U.S. Surgeon General’s report added CRC to the list of tobacco-related cancers. However, there are some issues with this:

  • Evidence supporting the claim that the use of tobacco is associated with the development of colon cancer has been derived mainly from Western populations while data from Asian populations are conflicting. More research is needed on this association in Asian populations.
  • Meta-analysis by geographic region did not find a significant association between smoking and CRC in Asian studies

The Japanese study aimed to investigate the correlation of smoking and CRC incidence in Asian populations.

 

Researchers used original data from major cohort studies performed by the Research Group for the Development and Evaluation of Cancer Prevention Strategies in Japan. The following criteria  were used when examining these studies for this analysis:

 

  • Population-based cohort studies conducted in Japan
  • Studies initiated between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s
  • Studies with more than 30,000 participants
  • Studies that acquired information on health-related lifestyles
  • Studies that followed the incidence of CRC

 

A self-administered questionnaire at the baseline survey determined if each participant was a smoker and classified them into one of three groups: never smoker, former smoker, or current smoker. Participants were followed-up for CRC incidence from the baseline study until the date of CRC diagnosis, migration out of the study area, death or the end of follow-up, whichever was first. The end of the follow-up period was between December 31, 1992 and December 31, 2014.

 

The study found that men who were ever, current or former smokers had a statistically significant higher risk of CRC than never smokers. Ever and current smoking increased the risk of both colon and rectal cancer, while former smokers had an increased risk of colon cancer.

Women who were ever, current or former smokers did not have an increased risk of CRC, but a significantly greater risk of distal colon cancer. Women who were heavily exposed to smoking had an increased risk of CRC.

 

Colon cancer is one of the most preventable diseases through screening methods and avoiding risk factors such as smoking , obesity, and poor diet. The American Cancer Society recommends getting screened at age 45 or younger if you have a family history of CRC.

Last updated March 16, 2020

Dear Friends,

As we continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19, we hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

This situation is evolving daily and will continue to impact our communities in evolving ways. Yet, we take comfort in knowing that we have incredible people like you who are compassionate, resilient, and who consistently give back and pay it forward.

Due to this morning’s announcements by the Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut prohibiting gatherings of more than 50 people we have no choice but to cancel the Colon Cancer Challenge at Randall’s Island scheduled for March 29th, 2020.

We can’t thank you enough for your hard work on our behalf and the contributions you have already made. As you know Colorectal Cancer doesn’t stop for anyone – not even COVID-19and your support will enable us to continue to fight the nation’s second leading form of cancer as we weather this storm.

For those of you who are interested in maintaining the fitness level required for a 2M walk or a 5K we recommend you turn this into an opportunity to join us for a “virtual” walk/run/bike ride” in your neighborhood or community park. (Observing social distancing recommendations of course). More details to follow!

We are also looking into the possibility of rescheduling the Colon Cancer Challenge for the fall. We will keep you posted as opportunities arise to be involved in In-person, live events to support our mission – A World Without Colorectal Cancer™.

In the meantime, we encourage you to visit these websites for the most current information and guidance, the New York City Department of Health (NYCDOH), the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

We also strongly encourage those in our community who are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 to take actions to reduce their risk of getting sick with the disease. For more information please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

If you have any questions you can contact the Colon Cancer Foundation by email at info@legacy.coloncancerfoundation.org or by phone at 914-305-6674.

Our sincerest wishes for a safe and healthy spring,

Cindy R. Borassi

Interim President

Colon Cancer Foundation

If you have someone in your life that you would like to honor while supporting the mission of the Colon Cancer Foundation, consider creating a tribute page. A tribute page either celebrates the life of a colorectal cancer survivor or honors their memory. Tribute pages offer an opportunity to help others fight one of the United States’ deadliest cancers.

You can create a Tribute Page by visiting our Donate and Support section on our website. A Tribute Page is a perfect opportunity to share your loved one’s story and encourage others to get involved in the fight against colorectal cancer. Visitors to the page can pledge support to the Colon Cancer Foundation, which will support colorectal cancer patients and survivors across the nation — unlike flowers of gifts! Our CCF Donation Center will then help you tackle donations by sending you a convenient notification every time someone takes an action on your Tribute Page.

There are various ways that you can create a Tribute Page. First, you can make a Lasting Tribute Page to honor a loved one that was successful in fighting colorectal cancer. You may also create an In Memory or In Honor Tribute Page if your loved one’s life was taken too shortly by colon cancer. For either version, please contact us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or call at 914.305.6674 for more information on how to get started.

Finally, you may also choose to make your donation through the mail. If you send a donation in the mail, make sure to include a note with the name of the person you are honoring and an address where you would like the acknowledgment of donation to go. Please address your contribution as:

 

ATTN: Honor/Memorial Gifts

Colon Cancer Foundation

10 Midland Ave, Suite M-06

Port Chester, NY 10573

 

For more information, please contact us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or call us at 914.305.6674.

 

Did you catch our recap on the Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit? We are excited to share video footage from our groundbreaking conference on preventing colorectal cancer. If you were unable to attend, please watch these short recaps on various sessions throughout the summit.

 

Palliative Care

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pURzAM80gMo

In session six, Sarah DeBord, a patient, discusses building her own cancer support system and her familiarity with palliative care, including lobbying for more support. She uses a specific analogy of an onion to describe the layers of care that a patient requires.

 

Cancer Susceptibility Gene Mutations in Individuals 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyO1_lMk2K4

Dr. Matthew B. Yurgelun shared the shift in mentality in how physicians look at hereditary colorectal cancer. Dr. Yurgelun shares how next-generation sequencing technologies allow for rapid assessment of genes in a way that is deeper than researchers could understand in the past. 

 

Framing the Conversation

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsHZP8_bMCE

One of our favorite, but most heartbreaking, moments of the conference included various attendees sharing their personal stories with colorectal cancer. These stories show the importance of getting tested and staying educated on the dangers of colon cancer.

 

Discover the rest of our videos from the summit on our YouTube page and learn more about the summit on our website.

 

Palliative Care is a trending topic in many cancer circles right now and is making headway as general medical care for those with colorectal or colon cancer. Palliative care is a specific treatment for those suffering from severe illness with the hopes of providing relief from symptoms. While palliative care is still becoming mainstream for those who are suffering from colorectal cancer, many patients who are struggling with the disease are finding relief that is aiding their fight against cancer.

 

How was Palliative Care Created?

According to the Center for Palliative Care at the Harvard Medical School, palliative care started in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Medical professionals aimed to ease the pain and suffering of terminal cancer patients who had run out of options. The field developed, however, to treat those with non-terminal illnesses to relieve the suffering of any patient, regardless of disease.

 

How Does Palliative Care Help Colorectal Cancer Patients?

Many colorectal cancer patients face day-to-day issues that stem from not only their cancer but necessary treatment to eradicate the disease as well. Palliative care can treat symptoms from colorectal cancer, such as discomfort in bowel impactions or issues in the large intestine. Blockages can irritate the body and require surgery, but palliative care can change a patient’s quality of life to prevent discomfort.

 

Where Can I Get More Information About Palliative Care?

If you want to learn more about palliative care, contact your family physician doctor to discuss treatment options. Improving the quality of life for colorectal cancer patients is essential to aide their fight against the deadly disease. Our Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit discussed the latest trends and innovations regarding palliative care last May. The Colon Cancer Foundation is proud to support physicians and researchers who are actively tackling palliative care and other vital topics that affect those with colorectal cancer.

For more information on palliative care, please reach out to us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or (914) 305-6674.

 

We are proud to announce our Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit was a success in bringing together the nation’s experts on early age onset colorectal cancer last month. The event, held at The Times Center in New York City, focused on performing a knowledge GAP analysis and building a strategic “action plan” to reduce early age onset colorectal cancer incidence & mortality.

 

At the summit, leading clinicians, scientists and early age onset colorectal cancer survivors shared their experience with colorectal cancer treatment. Lectures, workshops and panel discussions provided innovative approaches to palliative care and featured world-renowned speakers from leading academic medical centers. Popular sessions ranged from “Identifying the Key Elements of a Center for Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer – Panel Discussion” to “Cancer Susceptibility Gene Mutations in Individuals with Colorectal Cancer.”

 

One of this year’s highlights included a “Research in Progress” segment, where participants learned about NCI funded and planned early age onset colorectal research projects from across the world. Participants learned more about recent research and evidence-based framework for reducing risk in those susceptible to early age onset colorectal cancer.

Our poster presentation at the fifth annual summit showcased research or programs that have the potential to impact how we treat early age onset colorectal cancer. “Does the Impact of Tumor Sideedness Differ for Young-Onset Vs. Later-Onset Colorectal Cancer” by Lucas D. Lee, MD, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas received first place for the abstract awards. For a complete list of abstracts, please read more in the Fifth Annual Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Summit agenda.

ABSTRACT AWARDS

FIRST PLACE

DOES THE IMPACT OF TUMOR SIDEDNESS DIFFER FOR YOUNG-ONSET VS. LATER-ONSET COLORECTAL CANCER?

Lucas D. Lee, MD

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas

SECOND PLACE

THE PSYCHOSOCIAL AND FINANCIAL BURDEN ON CAREGIVERS OF YOUNG-ONSET COLORECTAL CANCER PATIENTS

Kimberley Newcomer, BS, CPPN Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Washington, DC

THIRD PLACE

CLINICOPATHOLOGICAL, FAMILIAL, AND MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF RECTAL CANCER WITHIN EARLY- ONSET COLORECTAL CANCER

José Perea, MD, PhD
Fundación Jiménez Díaz University Hospital and Health Research Institute, Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer-UAM Observatory, Madrid, Spain

Thank you to all of our sponsors who made the event possible. If you are interested in sponsoring any Colorectal Cancer Foundation events in the future, please contact us at 914.305.6675 to learn more.

 

What are you getting your dad this year for Father’s Day? One way to show him you care is by bringing up the statistics about colorectal cancer and making sure he knows about regular screenings. While a discussion about colorectal cancer may not be at the top of his list, show dad you love and care about him this Father’s Day by reminding him about getting screened.

 

The lifetime risk for colorectal cancer in men is 1 in 22, according to the American Cancer Society. Why are men more likely to get colorectal cancer than women? One theory, according to the American Cancer Society, is that men are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than women mostly due to lifestyle choices, such as cigarette smoking.

 

While men can’t change that they are more likely to develop colorectal cancer, there are numerous lifestyle choices they can make to decrease their risk of developing the deadly disease. Your dad can work to control his weight, physical activity and diet to decrease his odds of getting colorectal cancer.

 

The best thing, however, is to abide by the American Cancer Society’s recommended screening guidelines. If your dad has an average risk of developing colorectal cancer, he should get screened starting at 45-years-old. If your family has a family history of colon cancer or higher risk, the screening guidelines will vary. Talk to your primary care physician for more information.

 

While colon cancer can be a scary topic to talk about, it’s important to have conversations with your family about the disease. Make sure to have a discussion with dad this Father’s Day about what everyone can do to protect your butt against colorectal cancer. Encourage him to talk to his family care physician about colorectal cancer and the steps he can take to decrease his risk.