Tags Posts tagged with "colorectal cancer screenings"

colorectal cancer screenings

Photo from Facebook

Colon Cancer is Preventable, Treatable and Beatable. Early Detection Saves Lives

In support of Colorectal Awareness Month, Northwell Health Peconic Bay Medical Center (PBMC) has adopted the recommendation to lower the minimum age to start colorectal cancer screening from 50 to 45 years old. In partnership with the Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County, free screenings can now be administered to those 45 and older, conveniently, and discreetly at home to people who are uninsured, underinsured, or at-risk.

The Colorectal Surgery Program at PBMC has expert surgeons who treat patients with conditions affecting the colon and rectum, intestinal tract and pelvic floor, as well as the anal canal and perianal area.  Brett E. Ruffo, MD, colorectal surgeon and Ashanti L. Franklin, colorectal surgeon, lead the program using minimally invasive techniques such as robotic-assisted surgery which offers leading-edge precision for treatment of life-threatening cancers of the colon and rectum.

“Colorectal cancer is traditionally one of the deadliest forms of cancer, but it is treatable and beatable if caught during the early stages before it spreads. Making screenings more accessible at a time when younger people are being diagnosed will save lives,” said Dr. Ruffo. “With timely screenings, we can remove dangerous polyps before they become cancerous. Don’t wait for symptoms to get tested. Recommendations for colorectal cancer screening options vary for individuals. Please discuss with your primary care provider to determine the best option for you and your family.”

The United States Preventive Services Task Force has lowered its recommended age for colorectal cancer screening for people at average risk from age 50 to 45. Recent studies have also found that adults born around 1990 have twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer compared to adults born around 1950.

Those with a family history of colorectal cancer or other bowel disease are at a higher risk and may need to begin screening before age 45. According to the National Cancer Institute, other heightened risk factors include obesity, physical inactivity, and smoking.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is for residents of Eastern Suffolk to get back to regular, on-time screenings,” said Maureen O’Connor, director of The Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County. “Talk to your health care provider about your risks for colorectal cancer and your testing options. Regular screening for colorectal cancer can save lives.”

Colorectal screenings are covered at little or no cost by most insurance plans. The Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead and the Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County offer free colorectal, cervical, and breast cancer screening to eligible adults who do not have insurance. Call Maureen O’Connor, director of The Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County at (631) 548-6320 for any questions and to find out if you qualify for free cancer screening. Visit http://www.pbmchealth.org for more information.