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5 Things You Need to Know...January

Published on 01 February 2018 back to previous

Five things you need to know…. January

Happy New Year to all our friends and colleagues! We hope you all managed to have a relaxing break (although I’m sure it feels a long time ago already!) and you are as excited about 2018 as we are – there’s lots going on at EuropaColon and this year promises to be a very productive one.

Highlights from January included:

1)    Celebrating our 14th Anniversary

14 years have flown past but we are thrilled with what we have been able to achieve and contribute in this time. In particular it has been an honour to help create a single European community of 43 groups in 32 countries and to get to know so many of you over recent years. When we think about all of the incredible awareness campaigns instigated by our groups, the growth of ECCAM and Annual Master Classes… we are definitely moving in the right direction!

Look out for an update on our website soon outlining all the inspirational work done by our member groups in 2017.

2)    A pivotal moment in our history

While it is extremely rewarding to look back, it is even more exciting to look forward and it is certainly a year of change for our organisation. More information will be coming soon including the outcomes of a major strategy meeting to be held in February. In the meantime, we have just completed a move into new offices and started the process of re-registering EuropaColon in Belgium. Lots more news to follow in the coming months! 

3)    Getting ready to launch initiatives in digestive cancers

Towards the end of last year we announced that we would also be moving into oesophageal and gastric cancer, both greatly under-represented cancers. Activities are gathering pace and our first major initiatives in this area will be an Unmet Needs survey on gastric cancer and, if funding is confirmed, setting up support meetings for patients, family and carers.

4)    Great progress in our metastatic colorectal cancer survey

We are very pleased with the way our survey on the Unmet Needs of Patients Living with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (mCRC) is progressing. Four of the 12 countries are now fully recruited and we continue to make progress with the remainder. 

This would not be possible without the help of our groups and all the patients, clinicians and nurses involved in recruitment who are going the extra mile when necessary. For example, Mrs Jadranka Stanisic Trenevski, a nurse from the Serbian Colorectal Cancer Patient Association told us: “We soon realised in Serbia that it would be easier for patients and we would get more responses if we distributed paper surveys. We have printed and sent them to all centres where patients are being treated. I have called each of these centres and helped them with all the questions they had. Also, we have organized five meetings with patients where we have distributed the surveys."  We are hearing stories like this in all participating countries – thank you to everyone!  We are looking forward to having the results later this year and to start work with our groups to ACTION the changes needed to make life better for these patients.

In the meantime, if you would like to help us recruit patients for the survey please write to zorana@europacolon.com  To visit the survey page – which includes a full list of participating countries – please click here: www.europacolon.com/survey  

5)    Preparing for ECCAM 2018 – #Time4Change!

Back in 2008 EuropaColon established European Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (ECCAM) during the month of March as an annual awareness raising initiative. 

There has been tremendous progress in that time but this year we want to take stock of how far we have come and what still needs to radically change. So we are asking ourselves and the wider colorectal cancer community, have we done enough? Enough awareness raising, enough lobbying for effective formal population screening or for equal access to treatment and care across Europe?

We have come a long way but a lot more needs to be done, which is why we believe it is #Time4Change!

Stay tuned for more information next month and in the meantime look out for our #ECCAM18 campaign #Time4Change.

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