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.”
Geisinger is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record and the development of innovative care delivery models such as ProvenHealth Navigator®, ProvenCare® and ProvenExperience®. As one of the nation’s largest health service organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 45 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania, and also in southern New Jersey at AtlantiCare, a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. In 2017, the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital became the newest members of the Geisinger Family. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 30,000 employees, including nearly 1,600 employed physicians, 13 hospital campuses, two research centers, and a 583,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $12.7 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Geisinger has repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit Geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.