March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

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Granite Peaks Gastroenterology joins forces with over 500 local and national organizations to increase colorectal cancer screening rates across the country. "80% by 2018" is a shared goal to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

Colon cancer is preventable. A screening colonoscopy is painless, modest and safe.

Granite Peaks Gastroenterology recently announced that it has made 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).

“80% by 2018” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative in which over five hundred organizations have committed to substantially reduce colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and work toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

“We are thrilled to join the cause to improve colorectal cancer screening rates,” said Dr. R. Kyle Barnett, a board-certified gastroenterologist at Granite Peaks. “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.”

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. Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives and removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether.

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.

“Colon cancer is preventable. A screening colonoscopy is painless, modest and safe,” said Dr. Christopher Cutler, board-certified gastroenterologist at Granite Peaks “This simple test could save your life. Many patients have remarked, ‘If I had known how easy this procedure is, I would have scheduled a colonoscopy a long time ago.’”

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.

“Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it, but we have found that many people aren’t getting tested because they don’t believe they are at risk, don’t understand that there are testing options or don’t think they can afford it,” said Dr. Andrew Heiner, another board-certified gastroenterologist at Granite Peaks. “The truth is that the vast majority of cases of colorectal cancer occur in people age 50 and older. Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 50 and older should get tested. There are several screening options – even take home options – available. Plus, many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening and there may be local resources available to help those that are uninsured.”

For more information or to learn about resources in your area, visit: http://bit.ly/coloncancerawareness

Granite Peaks Gastroenterology specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the digestive system. Granite Peaks GI’s board-certified physicians provide consultations at two locations, in Sandy and Lehi. They perform endoscopic procedures, including colonoscopy and upper GI endoscopy. For more information about Granite Peaks Gastroenterology or the digestive conditions its physicians treat, please call (801) 619-9000 or visit granitepeaksgi.com

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Tara Alvey

Tara Alvey
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