Dr. Mary De Vera wears blue at her UBC office to mark the beginning of Colorectal Cancer Month in March. Her research funding runs out at the end of the month and she needs more Canadian patients and survors to take the survey. (Twitter)

Colorectal cancer researcher needs more B.C. survivors

UBC’s Mary De Vera seeks answers after her own recovery

Dr. Mary De Vera has a research grant to study one of the most common types of cancer in Canada, and personal experience of its effects to motivate her search for answers. Now all she needs is the experience of a few more colorectal cancer survivors, via an online survey.

An assistant professor of pharmaceutical science at the University of B.C., De Vera is part of a team working to fill the information gap on colorectal cancer, which hasn’t had the attention of more familiar types of the disease.

After undergoing treatment herself after being diagnosed in 2016 at the age of 36, and finding a shortage of information on treatment, De Vera launched the survey of patients, which has had more than 1,000 responses since late last year.

The survey is open to anyone who has ever been diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer and is above the age of 18. Grant funding runs out at the end of March.

“There is ample information to support patients who are diagnosed with breast, prostate, lung and other forms of cancer, but there is very little readily available information for those who have colorectal cancer,” De Vera said. “We have had a good response internationally to the survey, however with less than 200 Canadian respondents, we need more Canadians to help identify what type of information patients need and the best way to get that information.”

READ MORE: Cancer Society stops collecting hair donations

READ MORE: B.C. Cancer Agency studies new blood test

The Canadian Cancer Society says colorectal cancer is the second most common type in Canada. The nearly 27,000 people diagnosed in 2017 represented 13 per cent of all new cancer cases. The B.C. Provincial Health Services Authority estimate for 2018 is that 3,720 B.C. residents would be diagnosed, and 1,290 would die from colorectal cancer.

De Vera was diagnosed shortly after the birth of her second daughter, with a promising career in medical research ahead of her. She spent the next year undergoing five weeks of chemoradiation, two major surgeries and four months of chemotherapy.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Map of the location of the Telus cell tower that it plans to build in Qualicum Beach. (Town of Qualicum Beach Map)
Qualicum Beach council approves location of Telus communications tower

Plan is to improve cellphone service in the area

The City of Quesnel has painted its functional fire hydrants with different characters. (Quesnel Downtown Association Photo)
Qualicum Beach committee wants fire hydrants painted with sea life designs

Local artists would be invited to help with the work

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read