March 19, 2014 —
March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and an opportunity to bring attention to potentially lifesaving actions people can take. This year, the American Cancer Society estimates 136,830 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the U.S.
It is the third most common cancer in both men and women. However, it is also one of the most preventable and successfully treated cancers if diagnosed early. The five-year survival rate is around 90 percent for colorectal cancers caught in their earliest stage.
Major strides have been made with colorectal screening rates in the U.S., but we can do better. It is important to take an active role and get screened if you are aged 50 and older.
As a physician, I regularly work with colorectal cancer patients. It’s devastating to see test results with advanced cancer in patients who could have benefited from earlier screening. I understand the news will change their lives forever. It fuels my passion to spread the word that everyone 50 and older should be screened.
Together we can drastically reduce the number of adults who develop and die from colorectal cancer. Join me and the American Cancer Society in spreading the word this month, and beyond.
Bruce Waldholtz, MD
Gastroenterology Associates of
Southeaster Virginia; American
Cancer Society - South Atlantic Division Board Member Virginia Beach, Va.