March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month


Colon or colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of both male and female cancer-related deaths in Canada. In 2013, an estimated 23,900 Canadians were diagnosed with colon cancer. And almost half of those diagnosed died. Surprisingly, colon cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. If caught early, over 90% of these cases could and should result in a full recovery.

Colorectal cancer by the numbers:

  • 423 Canadians, on average, are diagnosed with CRC every week.
  • 175 Canadians, on average, die of this disease every week.
  • One in 14 men is expected to develop CRC during his lifetime and one in 27 will die of it.
  • One in 15 women is expected to develop CRC during her lifetime and one in 31 will die of it.

McGill experts:

Dr. Christian Zalai, Lecturer, Department of Surgery, McGill University

Expertise: Colonoscopy, laparoscopic colon surgery, colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease

Contact: christian.zalai [at]

Available for interviews in French and English

Dr. Alan Barkun, Professor of Medicine, Director of Digestive Endoscopy Division of Gastroenterology, McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre

Expertise: colorectal cancer screening.

Contact: alan.barkun [at], copy nour.sharara [at] muhc.mcgill.cajulie.robert [at]

Available for interviews in French and English


Dr. Philip Gordon, Director and Senior Surgeon, Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Jewish General Hospital, Professor, Departments of Surgery and Oncology;  Director, Colorectal Surgery, McGill University

Expertise:  Genetics of colon and rectal cancer

Contact: philip.gordon [at]


Contact Information

Cynthia Lee
McGill University
cynthia.lee [at]
Office Phone: