Make screening a priority

Published 9:24 pm Friday, April 6, 2012

Because some forms of cancer get more attention than others, it can be easy to forget about those that nobody likes to talk about.

Colon cancer is one of those that generally gets less attention, but it’s one of the deadliest cancers, according to the American Cancer Society — likely, at least partially as a result of that lack of attention.

However, Bon Secours is bringing attention to colon cancer — and helping colon cancer patients — by hosting the Bon Secours 5K for Colon Cancer and 1-Mile Fun Walk later this month.

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Bon Secours gastroenterologist Mark Lawson said colon cancer is highly treatable if caught early.

“Thinking about cancer is scary, but the best way to stop doubt and worry is to be seen by your primary care doctor,” Lawson said. “Your physician is your greatest ally in avoiding or detecting colorectal cancer.”

Lawson added that nearly 90 percent of all colorectal cancer cases would be prevented if everyone followed the guidelines for screening.

This month, not only should you consider supporting the 5K for Colon Cancer, but think about talking to your doctor about scheduling a screening. According to the National Institute of Health, you are at higher risk if you are older than 60, are black or of eastern European descent, eat a diet high in red or processed meats, have a family history of colon cancer, have a personal history of cancer, smoke, drink alcohol or have certain genetic syndromes.

To register for the event, visit www.bshr.com/colonrun.