Dr. Mary De Vera has a research scholarship to study one of Canada's most common types of cancer and a personal experience of her effects to encourage her to seek answers. Now she only needs to experience a few colon cancer survivors, via an internet survey.
As a docent of pharmaceutical science at the University of B.C., De Vera is part of a team working to fill the information gap on colon cancer, who had no more attention than the known types of illness.
After treating herself after being diagnosed in 2016 at the age of 36 and discovering a lack of information on treatment, De Vera launched a patient survey that had more than 1,000 responses since the end of last year.
The research is open to anyone who has ever been diagnosed with colon or rectum cancer, and is older than 18 years of age.
"There is enough information for patients diagnosed with breast cancer, prostate, lungs and other forms of cancer, but there is very little information available for those with colon cancer," De Vera said. "We had a good reputation at an international level for research, however, with less than 200 Canadian respondents, we need more Canadians to help identify the type of information patients need and the best way to get this information."
Canadian Cancer Society says colon cancer is the second most common type in Canada. Nearly 27,000 people with diagnosis in 2017 represented 13 percent of all new cancer cases. V. The Provincial Institute for Health Services Assessment for 2018 is that 3,720 c. residents will be diagnosed and 1,290 will die of colon cancer.
De Vera was diagnosed shortly after the birth of her other daughter, with a promising career in medical research in front of her. Next year she spent five weeks of chemotherapy, two major surgery and four months of chemotherapy.