can save lives
“Colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in Idaho behind lung cancer for both men and women,” commented Steve Frei, OR director for St. Mary’s Hospital. “But it doesn’t have to be; colorectal cancer screening saves lives. Idaho has improved screening rates for colon cancer but still lags behind much of the nation and that is something SMH would like to change.”
Cancer screening is a means of detecting disease early in people with no symptoms of disease. Some of the tests can detect abnormal cell changes that when treated can greatly reduce or eliminate the potential for that cancer entirely. Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps, or small growths in the colon or rectum. The longer a polyp goes undetected, the greater chance it will turn into cancer. When polyps are found in the colon they can be removed before they have a chance to become cancer and colon cancer is prevented.
Early detection saves lives by finding cancers when they are still localized and when treatment is more likely to be successful. Many deaths from colon cancer could be prevented with early detection of the disease.
“Make it a point to learn more about colon cancer and screening,” said Frei. “If everyone aged 50 years or older had regular screening tests, at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. Call your healthcare provider to see if you should be screened. Also check your health insurance policy; many policies do cover the cost of a screening.”