Bon Secours targets colon cancer

Published 10:00 pm Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View recently celebrated Dress in Blue Day on to raise awareness of and get people talking about colon cancer. Similar to breast cancer’s pink ribbon, the nationally recognized blue star represents the eternal memory of the people whose lives have been lost to the disease and the shining hope for a future free of colon cancer.

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer affects both men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people 50 or older. For men, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer after prostate and lung cancers. For women, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer after breast and lung cancers.

During the month of March, Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View is also providing the community “family PLZ” information. This information kit focuses on the importance of learning your family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, sharing this information with your doctor and loved ones, and getting the younger generation to start conversations about health and screening.

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While colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, it doesn’t have to be. If individuals aged 50 or older have regular screening tests, as many as 80 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer can be prevented.

Screening can find precancerous polyps — abnormal growths in the colon or rectum — so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.

According to the American Cancer Society:

4Approximately 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer every year

4Colon cancer often has no symptoms until it’s at an advanced stage

4Colon cancer is up to 90 percent preventable

4You can reduce your risk through regular screenings

4Beginning at age 50 (or earlier if you have a family history), everyone should talk to a doctor about getting a screening test for colon cancer

About Bon Secours Hampton Roads

Bon Secours Hampton Roads is a part of Bon Secours Virginia (BSV), the fourth largest health system in Virginia.

Bon Secours Virginia hospitals offer a full-range of services including cardiac, women’s, children’s, orthopaedics, oncology, neurosciences, surgery. Bon Secours Virginia is the only system of hospitals in Virginia that guarantees patients service within 30-minutes of entering one of its Emergency Departments.