Free Screenings Offered During National Cancer Awareness Month
Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in LA
(Baton Rouge, La.) March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month—bringing attention to the type of cancer people are often too embarrassed to talk about. Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer death in Louisiana.* The Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins wants to change that.
During March, The Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins will distribute free take-home kits, fecal immunochemical test (FIT), which detects blood in the stool. Colorectal cancer usually causes no symptoms in its early stages, making screening vitally important. If you are seeing bright red blood with your bowel movements, you should go directly to your doctor. The take-home kit, which must be picked up by the user, is not a substitute for a colonoscopy but is just one form of colorectal cancer screening. The best method for colorectal cancer screening is through colonoscopy.
The primary risk factor for colorectal cancer is age. More than 90% of cases are diagnosed in individuals older than 50. Fifty is the recommended age to begin colorectal cancer screening, unless there is a family history, in which case
screening should start earlier. Obesity, sedentary life style, smoking and the amount of intake of red meat can all increase your risk of colorectal cancer .Check with your family doctor for the most appropriate screening option for your age and medical history.
An increase in the number of people who get colon and rectal cancer screenings are a major goal of the Cancer Program’s Multidisciplinary Colorectal Cancer Team, which is dedicated the comprehensive delivery of state-of-the-art patient care. The purpose of this team is to address the entire continuum of care for colorectal cancer from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, treatment, recovery and survivorship. Through the Cancer Program’s association with the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), the Colorectal Cancer Team’s activities will be shared with other centers throughout the United States as a best practice.
“There’s less awareness about colorectal cancer; many people are embarrassed to talk about it, so there’s a real need to find ways to promote early detection and get the conversation going. And now through NCCCP, the Colorectal Cancer Team’s work could make a difference in early detection across the country,” said Dr. Mitch Berger, medical director of the Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins.
As part of this effort, the Cancer Program has developed a resource specifically for the disease – www.coloncancerteam.org. The site contains a colorectal cancer risk assessment tool to help determine one’s personal risk for colorectal cancer. It also provides information on the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and lists free upcoming screenings, such as those being offered in March as listed below:
Screening Dates (No Appointments Required):
904 South Range Rd.
Denham Springs, LA
Greenwell Springs Rd. Library
11300 Greenwell Springs Rd.
Baton Rouge, LA
9350 Cortana Place
Baton Rouge, LA
9401 Cortana Place, Near Inside Mall Entrance to JC Penney
Baton Rouge, LA
For more information on free cancer screenings, call (225) 215-1234.
*American Cancer Society Facts and Figures 2010
The Cancer Program of Our Lady of the Lake and Mary Bird Perkins is the most comprehensive cancer program in the region offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced cancer care in one location, close to home. The Cancer Program offers surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and has been accredited by The American College of Surgeons since 1992, which is the gold-standard for community-based cancer care. The Cancer Program also part of the National Cancer Institute Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), a group of competitively selected cancer centers that are developing a national template for community cancer care.