The launch of the Global Colon Cancer Alliance (GCCA) was announced today at the ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, California. The newly formed alliance unites two leading advocacy organizations: the Colon Cancer Alliance, a patient advocacy organization based in the United Statesthat provides hope and support to patients and their families, while saving lives through screening, access, awareness, advocacy and research, and its European counterpart, EuropaColon,the first European organization dedicated to colorectal cancer.

?We are excited to be a part of a global organization that will provide hope to a greater number of people around the world,? said Andrew Spiegel, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance and co-founder and co-chair of GCCA. ?We have made huge strides in the United States to bring greater awareness to colon cancer. Combining our efforts with the fantastic work done by EuropaColon will help us ensure that our message of getting tested for colon cancer is heard globally. Through GCCA, we now have the global ability to make a powerful impact on this preventable disease.?

New cases of colorectal cancer by 2020 are predicted to be 9.7% of the total global cancer cases in 2020. The increase is driven by population growth and aging in the next decade. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if diagnosed early and yet there were nearly one million cases worldwide and over 600,000 people die from the disease each year

A major cause is a diet rich in fat, refined carbohydrates and animal protein, combined with low physical activity. Genetic susceptibility appears to be involved in less than five per cent of cases. Epidemiological studies suggest that risk can be reduced by decreasing meat consumption (particularly processed meat) and increasing the intake of vegetables and fruit Migrant populations rapidly reach the higher level of risk of the adopted country, another sign that environmental factors play a major role

Jola Gore-Booth, CEO of EuropaColon and co-founder and co-chair of GCCA added, ?EuropaColon?s aim has been to unite people across Europe by establishing advocacy groups and creating a wide colorectal cancer advocacy community. Through the Global Colon Cancer Alliance, we can now unite people from around the world, working towards the same goals. It is an honor for us to partner with the Colon Cancer Alliance, the oldest colorectal cancer patient organization in the United States.

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The Global Colon Cancer Alliance has three core values based on sharing, learning and growing. The goal of the alliance is to provide a worldwide platform that brings together existing organizations and to support the development of new colorectal cancer groups. By creating such a platform, the Global Colon Cancer Alliance will be able to better unite people from all corners of the world in the fight against colon cancer and to effectively increase awareness, diagnosis and treatment of a disease.

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