The Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA) advocates for equitable access to quality colorectal cancer screenings, testing, treatments, and care, because where you live should not determine whether you can prevent or survive colorectal cancer. As both a membership-based umbrella organization and a direct patient advocacy organization, GCCA works toward this goal by amplifying and supporting the efforts of our member organizations, by developing adaptable advocacy and educational materials for our members, and by conducting our own advocacy, education, and initiatives that ensure patients are at the heart of all policy discussions.
Know Your Biomarker
Know Your Biomarker is an awareness, education, and advocacy campaign promoting global access to colorectal cancer biomarker testing. Patients everywhere should have access to biomarker testing. Biomarker testing should be available early in the diagnosis and treatment process. And patients should have access to targeted treatments as indicated by their biomarker testing results. GCCA has developed plain language patient educational materials that can be used by patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers, or adapted by member organizations to use in their own campaigns. We have also published a Know Your Biomarker Toolkit to support our member organizations as they effect policy changes in their communities. GCCA promotes the importance of knowing your biomarker directly to patients and caregivers through social media posts, and printed materials in healthcare provider offices.
Clinical Trial Awareness
Patients should be informed about clinical trials early in the colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment process. Clinical Trial Awareness is a program aimed at increasing patient knowledge and awareness about clinical trials, as well as making clinical trials more accessible to patients at all stages of diagnosis and treatment. With our plain language educational materials, GCCA promotes clinical trial awareness directly to patients and caregivers on social media, as well as through healthcare provider offices. GCCA also provides these materials to our member organizations for adaptation and use in local communities.
Clinical trial participants should be representative of the larger population of colorectal cancer patients who will use the treatment being tested. Overly restrictive exclusion criteria, as well as the demands of clinical trial participation, can stand in the way of this goal. Under the umbrella of the Clinical Trial Awareness program, GCCA is partnering with industry to improve clinical trial design, patient recruitment, and participant retention. GCCA provides feedback to clinical trial designers about potentially restrictive clinical trial exclusion criteria and trial characteristics that make it difficult for patients to participate.
Blue Hat Bow Tie for Colorectal Cancer Awareness
Blue Hat Bow Tie for Colorectal Cancer Awareness s a partnership program of GCCA and member organization The Blue Hat Foundation. Advocacy comes in all sizes, and the Blue Hat Bow Tie for CRC Awareness Toolkit we have developed supports individuals, new advocates, and established advocacy organizations in hosting their own colorectal cancer awareness events. Blue Hat Bow Tie began over a decade ago as a way for The Blue Hat Foundation founder and colorectal cancer survivor Candace Henley to raise awareness and promote screening in her church community. Now patients, survivors, and caregivers are putting on their blue hats and bow ties to share information about colorectal cancer in their own communities worldwide.
Global Colorectal Cancer Congress
GCCA is building a global community of advocates and advocacy organizations to share information about how to make the most impact in the sphere of colorectal cancer advocacy and patient-centered policy. Our annual Global Colorectal Cancer Congress is a virtual event that brings together
patients, survivors, and caregivers
policymakers, including government representatives and payors
Past congresses have addressed disease state information and breakthroughs in the treatment of colorectal cancer as well as best practices for advocates and patient advocacy organizations. Experts share real life examples of advocacy efforts and provide attendees the tools to take action. The focus of the 2023 Global CRC Congress is Equitable Access for All: Achieving Health Equity in Colorectal Cancer Screening, Testing, Treatment, and Care.
CRC Health Equity Grants
GCCA’s CRC Health Equity Grants provide financial assistance to member organizations to help meet specific needs in local communities around the world. Priority is given to members in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC). Areas of focus include screening programs, educational opportunities, patient support, and policy initiatives, all of which are designed to increase equitable access to colorectal cancer screening, testing, treatment, and care. Grants awarded range from US$1000 to US$5000. The application process is straightforward and there is a short turnaround time to ensure assistance is well-timed. Our member organizations in LMIC have built trusted relationships with healthcare providers, research institutions, and government regulators, but often lack the financial resources to make the most of these connections. For example, as a 2022 CRC Health Equity Grant recipient, the Kenya Society for Hematology and Oncology held a preceptorship for general surgeons in Kenya to learn colorectal cancer surgical techniques and better understand the quality-of-life challenges patients face due to colorectal cancer surgery. The GCCA grant provided financial assistance which was used to organize the event and provide a stipend to the speakers.
HealthUnlocked Colon Cancer Connected
HealthUnlocked Colon Cancer Connected is GCCA’s international online community for people seeking support and information about colorectal cancer screening, diagnosis, testing, and treatment. Participants remain anonymous, so they are free to discuss sensitive subjects without concern. Our moderators are available to connect people with the encouragement and resources they need through referral to a local member organization, patient navigation, or other GCCA programs.