Survey Released for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Shows Urgent Need to Promote Colon Health

The View's Meredith Vieira Shares Her Personal Battle With the Disease and

Promotes Role of Caltrate(R) in Maintaining Colon Health



Apr 10, 2001, 01:00 ET from Whitehall-Robins

    MADISON, N.J., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- National Colorectal Cancer
 Awareness Month gives cause to focus the nation's attention on colon cancer,
 the third most common cancer in men and women.  Simple preventive measures
 such as a healthy diet and exercise can improve overall health.  Now, a recent
 study which used Caltrate brand calcium supplements shows that adequate
 calcium intake can help reduce the risk of recurrence of colorectal polyps, or
 adenomas, which are a precursor to the disease.  Yet, according to a recent
 survey, the majority of Americans are not aware that calcium may help promote
 colon health.  In fact, less than 1% of Americans cite colon health as a
 reason to take a calcium supplement.
     Meredith Vieira, moderator of ABC Television's, "The View," became
 familiar with these issues when her husband, Richard Cohen, was diagnosed with
 colon polyps in December 2000.  After successful surgery, Cohen is now free of
 polyps, but the incident has spurred Vieira to action, joining the crusade to
 increase consumer awareness that small steps can make great strides in
 maintaining colon health.
     "In support of my husband's experience with colon cancer and treatment,
 I learned that there are preventive measures which may reduce the risk of
 recurrent polyps.  Clearly, regular colonoscopy examinations are the most
 important way to identify recurrence.  Diet that is low in fat, abundant in
 fruit and vegetables and that includes calcium-rich foods and calcium
 supplements may help to reduce the risk of recurrence," said Ms. Vieira."
     The Yankelovich survey, released this month, polled over 1,000 American
 adults to gauge their awareness of the emerging link between the intake of
 calcium and certain health problems, such as colon cancer.  Results showed
 that only 20% of American men and women are aware of the daily amount of
 calcium they should have in their diet, and only one in every three people are
 currently taking calcium supplements.  The responses suggest that, as a
 nation, we may not be adequately informed about the potential health benefits
 provided by dietary calcium and calcium supplements.
 
     The Impact of Colon Cancer
     Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the
 United States(4).  According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colon and
 rectal cancers (often referred to together as colorectal cancer) were
 responsible for approximately 56,300 deaths in women and men in the U.S. in
 2000(1).  In addition, the ACS estimated that there were new cases of
 colorectal cancer in 130,200 women and men in the U.S. in 2000(1).  Overall,
 colorectal cancer accounted for about 10% of cancer deaths reported in
 2000(1).  And, in 2001 the ACS is expecting approximately 135,400 new cases of
 colorectal cancer, resulting in approximately 56,700 deaths(2).  Incidence
 rates declined significantly during 1992-1996(3).  Research suggests that
 these declines may be due to increased screening and polyp removal, preventing
 progression of polyps to invasive cancers, according to the ACS.
 
     Caltrate(R) and Colon Health
     The effect of Caltrate brand calcium supplements on colon health was
 highlighted in a groundbreaking study, published in The New England Journal of
 Medicine, which demonstrated how adequate calcium intake may help reduce the
 risk of recurrence of colorectal adenomas in men and women with a history of
 these adenomas(5).  The study provides compelling evidence about the
 beneficial effects calcium may play in helping to maintain colorectal health.
     Principal investigator John A. Baron, MD, MS, MSc, Professor of Medicine
 and of Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School in New
 Hampshire, led the study, which was part of the multi-center Calcium Polyp
 Prevention Study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
     "Adenomas are a known precursor of colorectal cancer.  Our study
 demonstrates that a simple and inexpensive strategy -- maintaining a high
 calcium intake -- may make a difference in the number of people who will
 suffer from these polyps," said Dr. Baron.
     Dr. Baron's four-year study on calcium carbonate supplements
 (1200 milligrams of elemental calcium provided by Caltrate brand calcium
 supplements) noted the positive effects of calcium intake less than one year
 into the trial.  Results showed that subjects who received calcium supplements
 decreased their risk of recurrence of adenomas by 19%.  On average, the group
 taking Caltrate(R) had 24% less adenomas than the placebo group.
 
     About Whitehall-Robins
     Whitehall-Robins Healthcare, a division of American Home Products (AHP)
 Corporation and the maker of Caltrate(R) products, is a leader in the research
 and development, manufacturing and marketing of a broad range of consumer
 health care products in addition to nutritionals, including analgesics,
 respiratory remedies and gastrointestinal/topical products.
     AHP is one of the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical and health
 care products companies.  It is a leader in the discovery, development,
 manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs and over-the-counter
 medications.  It is also a global leader in vaccines, biotechnology, and
 animal health care.
 
     REFERENCES
 
     1) 2000, American Cancer Society, Inc. Surveillance Research, Cancer Facts
        & Figures 2000, page 4
     2) 2001, American Cancer Society, Inc. Surveillance Research, Cancer Facts
        & Figures 2001, page 5
     3) 2000, American Cancer Society, Inc. Surveillance Research, Cancer
        Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2000, page 27
     4) 1999, National Cancer Institute, Prevention of colorectal cancer
     5) Baron J.A., Beach M. et al.  Calcium Supplements for the Prevention of
        Colorectal Adenomas.  N Engl J Med 1999; 340:  101-7 (clinical study).
 
 

SOURCE Whitehall-Robins
    MADISON, N.J., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- National Colorectal Cancer
 Awareness Month gives cause to focus the nation's attention on colon cancer,
 the third most common cancer in men and women.  Simple preventive measures
 such as a healthy diet and exercise can improve overall health.  Now, a recent
 study which used Caltrate brand calcium supplements shows that adequate
 calcium intake can help reduce the risk of recurrence of colorectal polyps, or
 adenomas, which are a precursor to the disease.  Yet, according to a recent
 survey, the majority of Americans are not aware that calcium may help promote
 colon health.  In fact, less than 1% of Americans cite colon health as a
 reason to take a calcium supplement.
     Meredith Vieira, moderator of ABC Television's, "The View," became
 familiar with these issues when her husband, Richard Cohen, was diagnosed with
 colon polyps in December 2000.  After successful surgery, Cohen is now free of
 polyps, but the incident has spurred Vieira to action, joining the crusade to
 increase consumer awareness that small steps can make great strides in
 maintaining colon health.
     "In support of my husband's experience with colon cancer and treatment,
 I learned that there are preventive measures which may reduce the risk of
 recurrent polyps.  Clearly, regular colonoscopy examinations are the most
 important way to identify recurrence.  Diet that is low in fat, abundant in
 fruit and vegetables and that includes calcium-rich foods and calcium
 supplements may help to reduce the risk of recurrence," said Ms. Vieira."
     The Yankelovich survey, released this month, polled over 1,000 American
 adults to gauge their awareness of the emerging link between the intake of
 calcium and certain health problems, such as colon cancer.  Results showed
 that only 20% of American men and women are aware of the daily amount of
 calcium they should have in their diet, and only one in every three people are
 currently taking calcium supplements.  The responses suggest that, as a
 nation, we may not be adequately informed about the potential health benefits
 provided by dietary calcium and calcium supplements.
 
     The Impact of Colon Cancer
     Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the
 United States(4).  According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colon and
 rectal cancers (often referred to together as colorectal cancer) were
 responsible for approximately 56,300 deaths in women and men in the U.S. in
 2000(1).  In addition, the ACS estimated that there were new cases of
 colorectal cancer in 130,200 women and men in the U.S. in 2000(1).  Overall,
 colorectal cancer accounted for about 10% of cancer deaths reported in
 2000(1).  And, in 2001 the ACS is expecting approximately 135,400 new cases of
 colorectal cancer, resulting in approximately 56,700 deaths(2).  Incidence
 rates declined significantly during 1992-1996(3).  Research suggests that
 these declines may be due to increased screening and polyp removal, preventing
 progression of polyps to invasive cancers, according to the ACS.
 
     Caltrate(R) and Colon Health
     The effect of Caltrate brand calcium supplements on colon health was
 highlighted in a groundbreaking study, published in The New England Journal of
 Medicine, which demonstrated how adequate calcium intake may help reduce the
 risk of recurrence of colorectal adenomas in men and women with a history of
 these adenomas(5).  The study provides compelling evidence about the
 beneficial effects calcium may play in helping to maintain colorectal health.
     Principal investigator John A. Baron, MD, MS, MSc, Professor of Medicine
 and of Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School in New
 Hampshire, led the study, which was part of the multi-center Calcium Polyp
 Prevention Study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
     "Adenomas are a known precursor of colorectal cancer.  Our study
 demonstrates that a simple and inexpensive strategy -- maintaining a high
 calcium intake -- may make a difference in the number of people who will
 suffer from these polyps," said Dr. Baron.
     Dr. Baron's four-year study on calcium carbonate supplements
 (1200 milligrams of elemental calcium provided by Caltrate brand calcium
 supplements) noted the positive effects of calcium intake less than one year
 into the trial.  Results showed that subjects who received calcium supplements
 decreased their risk of recurrence of adenomas by 19%.  On average, the group
 taking Caltrate(R) had 24% less adenomas than the placebo group.
 
     About Whitehall-Robins
     Whitehall-Robins Healthcare, a division of American Home Products (AHP)
 Corporation and the maker of Caltrate(R) products, is a leader in the research
 and development, manufacturing and marketing of a broad range of consumer
 health care products in addition to nutritionals, including analgesics,
 respiratory remedies and gastrointestinal/topical products.
     AHP is one of the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical and health
 care products companies.  It is a leader in the discovery, development,
 manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs and over-the-counter
 medications.  It is also a global leader in vaccines, biotechnology, and
 animal health care.
 
     REFERENCES
 
     1) 2000, American Cancer Society, Inc. Surveillance Research, Cancer Facts
        & Figures 2000, page 4
     2) 2001, American Cancer Society, Inc. Surveillance Research, Cancer Facts
        & Figures 2001, page 5
     3) 2000, American Cancer Society, Inc. Surveillance Research, Cancer
        Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2000, page 27
     4) 1999, National Cancer Institute, Prevention of colorectal cancer
     5) Baron J.A., Beach M. et al.  Calcium Supplements for the Prevention of
        Colorectal Adenomas.  N Engl J Med 1999; 340:  101-7 (clinical study).
 
 SOURCE  Whitehall-Robins