MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - Colorectal cancer is the nation's second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It's also one of the few cancers that can be prevented.
The American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable are teaming up in hopes of reducing the number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States.
That goal is to have 80 percent of adults aged 50 and older regularly screed for colorectal cancer by the year 2018.
On Thursday, March 30, leaders at Shawnee Health Services announced that it pledged to help increase screening rates by supporting the 80 percent by 2018 initiative.
"Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem, and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it, but we have found that many people aren't getting tested because they don't believe they are at risk, don't understand that there are testing options or don't think they can afford it," said Nancy Caskey, clinical coordinator of Shawnee Health. "The truth is that the vast majority of cases of colorectal cancer occur in people age 50 and older. Colorectal cancer in its' early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 50 and older should get tested. There are several screening options – even take home options – available. Plus, many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening and there may be local resources available to help those that are uninsured."
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer rates have dropped by about 30 percent in the U.S. over the last decade among adults 50 and older. But, it's still the second leading cause of death despite the fact that it is highly preventable, detectable, and treatable.
For more information, contact the American Cancer Society.