Don’t Become a Statistic

Columbus Regional Health joins nationwide effort to save lives through colorectal cancer screenings.

Columbus Regional Health (CRH) has joined the 80% Pledge to reduce the number of Indiana residents who are diagnosed with or die of colorectal cancers. The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable launched the initiative to raise the colorectal cancer screening rate to 80 percent this year.

“Screening for colorectal cancer can save lives,” said Bryan Woolsey, R.N., manager of Endoscopy-Surgical Services at Columbus Regional Health.

A Public Health Threat
More than 140,000 Americans, including nearly 3,000 Indiana residents, are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

Experts recommend colorectal screenings for people starting at age 50 and continuing until age 75. Those with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or other hereditary conditions are at higher risk for colorectal cancer and should have screenings earlier and more often.

Colorectal cancers are more common in men than women. African-American, Hispanic and Asian populations face a higher risk than Caucasians.

Raising awareness
Despite the benefits of colorectal cancer screenings, about one in three adults — or about 23 million Americans — do not get screened as recommended. As part of the 80% Pledge, CRH and organizations throughout the United States and Indiana are working together to educate the public and make a difference.

“Some people are reluctant or embarrassed to have colorectal screenings,” Woolsey said. “They don’t realize it’s easier than having some dental procedures. Colorectal screenings not only can detect cancer at earlier, more treatable stages, but doctors also detect and remove precancerous polyps during a screening that can actually prevent colorectal cancers.”

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