Thursday, March 01, 2012
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month; Screening and Early Detection Key to Effective Treatment
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and a good
time to learn more about colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and
rectum) and how it can be prevented or best treated.
is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United
States for both men and women combined. This year, approximately 140,000
new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed and 56,000 people will
die from the disease.
"But colorectal cancer is a disease that can be
prevented through regular screenings, a healthy diet and regular
exercise," explained Dr. Michael Trevisani, a colorectal surgeon and
Vice President Medical Affairs/Chief Medical Officer of UHS Chenango
Memorial Hospital and UHS Delaware Valley Hospital.
UHS is offering two events where you can learn more about Colon Cancer. On Monday, March 5th, UHS Gastroenterology will be offering a free Open House at UHS Binghamton General Hospital on the Second Floor. This is a
great opportunity to learn about colon cancer screening and detection
and meet the staff and providers. They will also be raffles and free
In the Norwich area, there will be a free 1/2 hour “Lunch and Learn” in the
Basement Conference Room at UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital on Monday,
March 12. Lunch will begin at 11:30am and at noon Dr. Mark Shumeyko
of Binghamton Gastroenterology Associates, who sees patients and
performs procedures at Chenango Memorial, will present information on
Who is at risk for colorectal cancer?
risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. All men and
women aged 50 and older are at risk for developing colorectal cancer,
and should be screened. Some people are at a higher risk and should be
screened at an age younger than 50, including those with a personal or
family history of inflammatory bowel disease; colorectal cancer or
polyps; or ovarian, endometrial or breast cancer.
How can I lower my risk?
To lower your risk of colorectal cancer, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends that you:
Why is it important to have regular screenings?
- Get regular colorectal cancer screenings after age 50. (Consult with
your health care provider to receive earlier screenings if there is a
personal or family history as described above.) Between 80-90% of
colorectal cancer patients are restored to normal health if their cancer
is detected and treated in the earliest stages.
- Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet.
- If you use alcohol, drink only in moderation. If you use tobacco, quit.
If you don't use tobacco, don't start. Alcohol and tobacco in
combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each
week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening or climbing steps
there are very few symptoms associated with colorectal cancer, regular
screening is essential. Screening is beneficial for two main reasons:
colorectal cancer is extremely preventable if polyps that lead to the
cancer are detected and removed, and it is very curable if the cancer is
detected in its early stages. Dr. Trevisani commented,"Between 80-90%
of patients are restored to normal health if the cancer is detected and
treated in the earliest stages. However, the cure rate drops to 50% or
less when diagnosed in the later stages."
Which medical providers provide colorectal screening?
care providers can perform annual fecal occult blood testing ( a simple
chemical test that can detect hidden blood in the stool) and digital
rectal exams. Gastroenterologists, surgeons, and medical providers
trained to do so perform additional essential, recommended screenings,
including colonoscopies. Consult your healthcare provider regarding
which screening procedure is right for you and how often you should be
screened. Colorectal cancer screening costs are covered by Medicare and
many commercial health plans.
For information about scheduling a
UHS Gastroenterology at UHS Binghamton General Hospital, call (607) 762-2276
- UHS Gastroenterology at UHS Wilson Medical Center, call (607) 763-6032
- UHS Delaware Valley Hospital, call 865-2235
- UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital call (607) 337-4800