Geisinger joins initiative to increase colorectal cancer screening rates
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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.”
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at geisinger.org or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.