(NEWTON, IL) – HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is concerned about the health of the community. Because of this, St. Anthony’s has made the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the “80% in Every Community” nationwide effort, a shared goal to have 80% of adults aged 45 and older regularly screened for colorectal cancer. This initiative is led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by the ACS and the CDC).
St. Anthony’s will hold a Colorectal Cancer Awareness event at the Jasper County Health Department on Tuesday, February 12 from 7-11 a.m. If you or your family member are age 45 or older, or indicated for a screening due to a colon cancer diagnosis of a first-degree relative, come to this event to learn more about your screening options. Participants may receive a simple take-home FIT test at no charge (while supplies last), or learn how to schedule a colonoscopy. Please check with your insurance provider on coverage for a colonoscopy.
Colorectal cancer screenings have been proven to save lives. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has released updated colorectal screening guidelines for adults that now recommend screening to begin at age 45 for people at average risk. For people of average risk, the ACS lowered the age to start screening after analyzing data from a major analysis led by ACS researchers. The numbers showed that new cases of colorectal cancer are occurring at an increasing rate among younger adults. Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 45 and older should get tested. There are several screening options available – even take-home options. Testing may include:
Fecal Immunochemical (or Immunohistochemical) Test (FIT, also known as iFOBT) – a fecal blood test should be done every year. Note: Most insurance providers only cover a FIT take-home screening test once every 12 months.
Colonoscopy – Depending on findings, a colonoscopy is normally repeated every five to 10 years.
Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths when men and women are combined. However, routine screening can prevent colon cancer or find it at an early, treatable stage. According to St. Anthony’s cancer registry, 47 percent of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer were at stage 3 or 4 in 2017. Treatment at these later stages normally includes surgery followed by chemotherapy. However, if found at an earlier stage, treatment usually only involves surgery. Through proper colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous. Removing polyps may prevent colorectal cancer altogether.
If you have not been screened, plan to attend this Colorectal Cancer Awareness event. If you have already been screened, talk to your friends and family who are over 45 years of age about getting screened. Together, we can help to eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.
For more information regarding this Colorectal Cancer Awareness event or any other upcoming health screenings, contact St. Anthony’s Community Programs at (217) 347-1529.