If you are one of millions of Americans who should be checked for colorectal cancer, this is a special time of year.
March has been designated National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, for some very good reasons. Based on statistics from previous years, colon and rectal cancer may cause more than 50,000 deaths in 2010. Unfortunately, some of these deaths are likely to occur in the Kalamazoo area.
The good news is that the colorectal cancer death rate has been declining for the past 15 years. This is due to many factors, including increased colorectal screening. Screening and colonoscopy help identify polyps so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
When colorectal cancer is treated early, it is easier to cure. Regrettably, all too often the disease still goes undetected because people are afraid and uncomfortable about the screening process, so they do not get tested. The greater Kalamazoo area has been identified as having a significantly lower rate of early detection when compared with national rates.
Fortunately, Borgess makes it easy to be tested. Free colorectal cancer-screening kits are available from Borgess for area residents who have significant colorectal cancer risk factors. The test used by Borgess is simple and easy to use.
As a surgeon who has seen many persons who have been diagnosed early and cured, and others who have been diagnosed too late, I hope you and your loved ones taken advantage of this opportunity if you are at significant risk for colorectal cancer. Visit colorectal.borgess.com or call 1-800.828.8135 or 269.226.8135 for more information about colorectal screening kits from Borgess for Kalamazoo area residents.
Brij Dewan, MD
Kalamazoo Gastroenterology & Hepatology, PC