J.C. Blair Joins Forces to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

“80% by 2018” is a shared goal to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

Huntingdon, PA, 3/8/17 - Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives.  J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital and Gastroenterology Associates of Huntingdon announced that it is making the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC).

Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths; however it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented. Through proper colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether.

“80% by 2018” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative in which over five hundred organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.  Leading public health organizations, such as ACS, CDC and the NCCRT are rallying organizations to embrace this shared goal.

While colorectal cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. over the last 10 years among adults 50 and older, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable. In fact, in 2015 in the U.S., 132,700 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed.

Huntingdon County’s 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment reported that colorectal cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the county; however, the death rate which had been declining and significantly lower than Pennsylvania’s death rate, is on the rise. The county’s incidence rate is close to Pennsylvania’s rate and is declining.

According to the CDC, 67% of Pennsylvanians age 50 and older are screened.

Part of the 80% by 2018 goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients, and providers to increase screening rates. The 80% by 2018 initiative consists of health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, non-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups who are committed to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer to prevent more cancers and save lives.

“We are pleased and proud to join the cause to improve colorectal cancer screening rates,” said Adam Dimm, Chief Operating Officer at J.C. Blair. “We are asking all members of our community to come together and help us by getting screened and talking to your friends and family who are over 50 years of age about getting screened. Together, we can help to eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.”

For more information or to learn about resources in your area, contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org/colon, or call J.C. Blair Gastroenterology Associates at (814) 643-8600 or visit www.jcblair.org/80%by2018.

J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital Chief Operating Officer Adam Dimm, along with gastroenterologist Keith Waddle, D.O., participated in an official signing of the 80% by 2018 pledge, surrounded by J.C. Blair’s endoscopy and gastroenterology staff on National Wear Blue Day March 3, 2017.

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