(Sioux Falls, SD) Sanford Health is recognizing Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by encouraging patients to schedule a potentially life-saving colonoscopy. March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This year, an estimated 153,000 people nationwide will be diagnosed with a form of colorectal cancer. Early detection means many of those cancers can be cured. Colorectal cancer is 90% treatable when detected early.
"A colonoscopy is a routine, safe and effective procedure healthcare providers use to visually examine the full lining of the colon and rectum," says Christopher Hurley, MD with Sanford Clinic Gastroenterology. "The procedure can be used to help diagnose abnormalities such as polyps, tumors and areas of inflammation."
All people over the age of 50 are at risk for colorectal cancer and should be screened. Patients with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps may need to be screened at a younger age, and have follow-up exams at more frequent intervals.
"Colorectal cancer affects both men and women of all races," adds Dr. Hurley. "Its the second leading cancer killer in the United States, but if everyone 50 or older had regular screening tests, many of these cancers and cancer deaths could be prevented."
Colonoscopy uses a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera attached to examine the lining of the large intestine. The procedure takes about 30 minutes and is performed under sedation. Patients who would like more information about colonoscopy should visit with their physician or contact Sanford Clinic Gastroenterology at 605-328-8500 or Healthformation at 605-333-4444 or 1-800-445-5788.
Stacy Bauer Jones | Media Relations Coordinator
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