Malta - Colorectal Cancer Awareness Group

EuropaColon Community

A new organisation Malta Colorectal Cancer Awareness Group MCRCAG was launched in February 2016. The aim of MCRCAG is to promote prevention, to campaign for more research and to offer support and assistance both to the client and to his/her family. The organization is committed to increasing survivorship by boosting awareness of the disease, so that it may be diagnosed earlier.

Education is the key to both prevention and treatment. The organisation committee members include proficient doctors in the field, nurses, surviving patients and helpers. The organisation is a voluntary and a not-for-profit organisation having the following Vision and Mission. 

This NGO MCRCAG already forms part of National Cancer Platform where 15 cancer organisations form this platform together under the patronage of the President of Malta, Marie Louise Coleiro Preca.

The organization will regularly inform the public about this important health matter. Anyone who would like more information or to join our group MCRCAG can visit our web page: http://www.crc.org.mt/  email: info@crc.org.mt, or Facebook: www.facebook.com/mcrcag


ECCAM 2018

This year the health promotion unit joined forces with National Screening centre so together with the Malta Colorectal Cancer Awareness Group MCRCAG various activities were held.

March started with a campaign and a press release in Valletta. There were roll ups with different messages for colorectal cancer awareness. Staff had taken photos with positive messages to encourage change. On various days staff from health promotion, together with myself from screening attended different health centres/markets to pass on the message; on the importance of healthy eating and screening. People attended and asked questions. Pop up Banner and brochures where displayed in these events.

There were various radios and television programmes who invited either staff from the screening centre, the support group and health promotion to talk on different aspects, from prevention: recommending a healthy lifestyle, the screening processes, treatment and survivorship. These programmes had phoning.

The health promotion unit together with the screening centre wrote various articles for different local newspaper both in Maltese and English to be printed in March and even in the following months as the health promotion are focusing on colorectal cancer for the whole year. They are delivering various lectures and talk to the police force and the army force to inform them on ways how to prevent colorectal cancer.

Following my study last year, this year the screening centre has launched a new information booklet which is shorter, simpler and easier to read. This new booklet is bi- lingual and one hopes that will increase knowledge in the invitees. This new booklet had attractive cover so it will be appealing. A new roll up was also produced with the same theme to continue the same campaign. Posters and booklets were sent to all health centres in Malta and Gozo to be displayed.

On Wednesday 14th March Prof Stephen Halloran arrived in Malta. In the evening, the MCRCAG met Prof S. Halloran in a lovely restaurant to talk on various issues regarding the activities which were going to be held in the coming days.  On Thursday 15th March, he visited our screening premises Lascaris Valletta together with the committee. Dr Stephanie Xuereb our director greeted him and was shown round at the premises. During the visit Professor S. Halloran asked questions to most of the staff at the screening centre, and commented. Afterwards a meeting was held at the conference room of the centre. Dr S Xuereb coordinated the meeting, and all present participated in a very positive atmosphere. The Screening process was discussed in details and some issues were raised. Professor S Halloran commented that the Screening Programme is working well and certain issues mentioned need to be improved. Prof Halloran had sent a report to our director following his visit.

In the evening a seminar was organised by MCRCAG and the Malta College of Family Doctors – MCFD organised a Seminar. The title of the Seminar was:  

 “Opportunities and Challenges of Colorectal Cancer Screening” Professor Stephen Halloran was the main Speaker at the Seminar. Dr Philip Sciortino President elect of MCFD welcomed the participant’s mostly Family Doctors members of the college. Dr. Stephanie spoke about Screening in Malta and presented several important statistics of Colorectal Cancer in Malta and the Challenges for the future. 

The Seminar ended with the presentation of Professor Stephen Halloran, who spoke about, what other countries are doing when it comes to screening. The opportunities, that the FIT screening has brought to the society and mentioned several challenges for the future. A poster was offered to each doctor to be displayed at their clinics. There was a good feedback from family doctors following this seminar.

Mr A Rossi,Prof S.Halloran, together with Dr. Stephanie Xuereb Head of Screening Centre attended for meetings with Dr. Chris Barbara- Clinical Chairperson Pathology Department and Dr Gerald Buhagiar Consultant Clinical Pathologist, visiting also the Pathology Laboratory.  Later, Prof Halloran met Mr Gordon Caruana Dingli Chairman of Surgery at Mater Dei Hospital and Ms Josephine Psaila – Head Consultant Surgeon in Colorectal Surgery. 

All the meetings were of interest for them and hopefully the issues tackled will be of immense importance, for the Colorectal Cancer pathway. All involved exchanged emails, and will definitely have further discussions.

The MCRCAG committee members together with Professor Stephen Halloran and his wife,   made a courtesy visit to H.E the President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca at San Anton Palace. She was presented a first poster in a frame, to be placed at the Kitchen Garden at San Anton. H.E. President of Malta thanked Professor Stephen Halloran and his wife, for coming to Malta and shared his professional experience in Colorectal Cancer Screening.

The Professor thanked H.E and expressed his views about the screening process in Malta.

1. National Cancer Platform Association Activity:
On the 3rd of February for the occasion of the World Cancer Day, MCRCAG participated in this event. We had a stand plus pop up Banners brochers.  The event took place at the entrance to the capital city,  were many people pass through.  We had our brochures on the stand, plus EuropaColon Brochures. People stopped by and talked to us on various topics including Screening for Colorectal Cancer.

2. Radio and TV Programes

On the 1st  of March Sylvia Camilleri was on One Radio explaning the screening system and awareness for screening . She also received some direct phone calls from the listeners of the programme.
On The 27th of February  Anthony Rossi together with Dr. S Xuereb the Head of the Screening Programme in Malta and Ms Sandra Marcieca another patient survivor took part on a TVM2 show called "DWARNA" ( In English" About Us") The two patients present,  explained their experience before and after they were diagnosed with  Colorectal Cancer.  Dr S Xuereb explained in details the Screening process in Malta. This programme  was repeated three times during the month of March. It was very  well produced and presented by a professional person Ms Mariella Dimech. 
During the coming days there will be other  media productions,   taking place on various local  Radio and TV stations.

3. Awareness Poster 

MCRCAG produced their first Awareness Poster which is being distributed to Hospitals waiting areas, clinics, all the Pharmacies in Malta and Gozo, Health Centres and other various important places to be pinned to their notice boards,  A mail shot will be sent to big companies in Malta  like Vodfone, Go, Maltco, MIA and others.   
The Awareness Poster  was well greeted and several phone calls already received.

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4. Sponsors

We managed to get sponsors from Servier, Novarties, Vivian Corporation, Nestle Nutrition, Menarini and some other small donations.  It was important for us to get these funds because otherwise very little we could have done. Thanks to all the Sponsors. The Servier Sponsor initialled from one of the meetings of EuropaColon.

5. Esplora event: 

We were invited to take part at an event that took place at The Esplora. The Colorectal Cancer Nurse Navigator organised this event. Several speakers spoke about the role of the Colorectal Cancer Nurse navigator and also one of our popular oncologist Dr Nick Refalo delivered a speech to the audience. The audience included patients and relatives of patients. Anthony Rossi spoke about his experience with the cancer and about the MCRCAG organisation. asking patients and relatives to seek help from our organisation. Very well attended activity.

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EuropaColon has been in the news! Read 'Cancer from patient’s perspective' by Anthony Rossi




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