FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DANVILLE, PA -- If a routine procedure could save your life, wouldn’t you want it done? Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, yet it’s highly preventable and detectable.
That’s why Geisinger is joining more than 500 health organizations across the United States by signing the “80% by 2018” pledge.
“80% by 2018,” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable initiative in which hundreds of organizations have already committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem for those 50 and older. All are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. By reaching that goal, it is estimated that 277,000 cases and 203,000 colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented by 2030.
Through routine screenings, doctors can find and remove hidden growths, or polyps, in the colon before they become cancerous.
“Colon cancer is a major public health problem,” said Michael Komar, M.D., FACG, Director of Gastroenterology at Geisinger Health System. “Many adults age 50 and older are not getting screened because they don’t believe they are at risk, they don’t understand the various testing options, or such as myself, too busy with work and family responsibilities” Dr. Komar added. “But I owed it to my family to get screened.”
“Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms, and since aging leads to a greater risk, most everyone 50 and older should get screened,” added Dr. Komar.
Despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable, it is estimated that almost 135,000 cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2016.
“We’re thrilled to join the 80% by 2018 initiative to improve colon cancer screening rates for our patients at Geisinger,” said Dr. Komar. “Instead of a public health problem, we can help make colon cancer a public health success story.”
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger is known for its focus on caring and innovative programs including the ProvenCare® best-practice approach to maximize quality, safety and value; ProvenHealth Navigator® advanced medical home; Springboard Health® population health program to improve the health of an entire community; ProvenExperience™ to provide refunds to patients unhappy with their care experience; and Geisinger’s MyCode® Community Health Initiative, the largest healthcare system-based precision health project in the world. With more than 215,000 volunteer participants enrolled, MyCode is conducting extensive research and returning medically actionable results to participants. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.