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Awareness Campaign Urges Nevadans To Be Screened For Colorectal Cancer

PHOTO: Nevadans are encouraged to get screened for colorectal cancer as part of a national awareness campaign. Photo courtesy of the CDC.
PHOTO: Nevadans are encouraged to get screened for colorectal cancer as part of a national awareness campaign. Photo courtesy of the CDC.
March 11, 2014

RENO, Nev. - A national awareness campaign under way in March is urging people in Nevada and elsewhere to be screened for one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Cari Herington, executive director, Nevada Cancer Coalition, said Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is important because early detection and treatment can increase the chances of survival up to 70 percent.

"If folks got screened, if anything is found - any cancerous polyps - they often can be removed immediately," Herington said, "and survival rates are very, very good."

An estimated 500 Nevadans die from colorectal cancer each year, she said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among Americans.

Herington said screening should start at age 50, and having a colonoscopy every 10 years is the "gold standard" of screening methods. She added that a less invasive procedure, called the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT Test), can be done at home.

"You mail it in to a lab, and if anything is found through that test, then you can go in for a colonoscopy and further testing and removal of any possible cancers," she explained.

Herington said it is also important to be screened if there is a family history of the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 50,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer this year.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV