OSWEGO – Oswego Health has signed the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 initiative, led by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.
Community members over the age of 50 can improve their health by undergoing a colon cancer screening, which includes colonoscopies, as they help the health system achieve its 80 percent goal.
Staff from the health system signed the pledge on March 3, National Dress in Blue Day, which brings awareness to colon cancer.
The 80% by 2018 campaign is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable initiative in which more than 1,000 organizations, including Oswego Health, have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem for those 50 and older.
“Most colon cancers are found in patients who do not have any symptoms,” said Oswego Health Gastroenterologist Bishnu Sapkota. “By achieving the 80 percent of screening colonoscopies of the eligible population, we will identify more colon cancer or the polyps that can lead to cancer, therefore decreasing incidents of the disease and its risk of death.”
These initiative’s partnering organizations are working toward the shared goal of 80 percent of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.
While the national rate is 65 percent, Oswego County’s rate is 74.2 percent, according to the New York State Prevention Agenda Dashboard for the county.
Health Facts on Colon Cancer
• Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. when men and women are combined and a cause of considerable suffering among more than 135,000 adults diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year.
• When adults get screened for colorectal cancer, it can be detected early at a stage when treatment is most likely to be successful, and in some cases, it can be prevented through the detection and removal of precancerous polyps.
• About 1 in 3 adults between 50 and 75 years old – about 23 million people – are not getting tested as recommended.