Get your Colorectal Cancer screenings

March 31st, 2016 | Keller Corner

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer.

Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older.

The best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer—that’s why it’s so important to get screened.

To increase awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, Keller Army Community Hospital is proudly participating in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Locally, in Orange County, New York, there were 147 average annual cases of colorectal cancer between 2007 and 2011.*

“The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for colorectal cancer using fecal occult blood testing or colonoscopy in adults, beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years,” Lt. Col. Troy Prairie, MD, Director of Primary Care Department at KACH, said. “The clinical evidence supporting these screening recommendations is vast and receives the highest recommendation given by the USPSTF (Grade: A Recommendation). In other words, the benefits of screening are proven to outweigh risks and save lives. Here at Keller Army Hospital we highly recommend screening by a colonoscopy performed by our general surgery team.

“If the study is normal (no polyps or cancer), the procedure is repeated every 10 years until you turn 75 and then it becomes a case by case discussion between you and your physician whether screenings should continue. If you prefer not to have a colonoscopy, we are happy to discuss yearly testing through the use of fecal occult blood cards,” Prairie added. “However, colonoscopy is more accurate and the preferred method.”

To discuss your colon and rectal cancer screening options, call 938-7992 and schedule an appointment with your primary care provider today.

People over age 50 have the highest risk of colorectal cancer. You may also be at higher risk if you are African-American, smoke, or have a family history of colorectal cancer.

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 plenty of physical activity and eat healthy;

For more information, visit www.TRICAREonline.com, or the public website at http://kach.amedd.army.mil.

Our team of providers, nurses and medics at Keller Hospital stand ready to help every patient develop a goal directed diet and exercise program tailored to your individual needs.

Call today to schedule an appointment aimed at reducing your risk of colorectal cancer.

(Editor’s note: *National Cancer Institute and CDC-CDC State Cancer Profile 2007-2011.)