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March Is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 2015 has been designated as National Colorectal Cancer awareness month. Of cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older. Join Washington County Hospital this Friday, March 6th with National Dress in Blue Day in support of Colorectal Cancer Awareness. The Colon Cancer Alliance first launched the Dress in Blue Day program in 2009 to bring nationwide attention to colon cancer and to celebrate the courage of those affected by this disease.

WCH wants to increase awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screenings. It is estimated that as many as 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely. WCH offers Colorectal and Esophageal/Stomach Cancer screening services. Testing offered at WCH include Colonoscopy, Upper Endoscopy, and The Pill Cam Capsule Endoscopy. WCH is partnered with Jose Ramirez, M.D. who is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine specializing in Gastroenterology.

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50 and those with a family history of colorectal cancer should be screened before age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer – that’s why it is so important to get screened.

According to the American Cancer Society in 2015 their will be approximately 132,700 new cases of Colorectal Cancer and 49,700 deaths. It is vital that people understand that there is a 90% survival rate when colorectal cancer is found early and treated.

People over the age of 50 are at highest risk for colorectal cancer. Other risk factors include smoking, having a family history of colorectal cancer, and being African American.

Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:

Get screened starting at age 50.

Quit Smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

Get active and eat healthy.

For more information on Colorectal Cancer and Screenings please feel free to contact Washington County Hospital’s Surgery Department at 618-327-2309.

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