SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the US with more than 100,000 Americans being diagnosed each year. Despite the alarming statistics, if detected early though regular screenings, colorectal cancer is preventable. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 lives could be saved each year through regular screenings and exams.
Colon cancer has a 90 percent survival rate if caught early.
The problem is, not enough people are getting screened. And Nevada is not high on the list. According to a report distributed by the American Cancer Society (ACS), Nevada ranks 48th in the nation for colorectal cancer screening. In 2006, 48.6 percent of people over the age of 50 living in Nevada reported having a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy within the last 10 years. The national average was 55.6 percent. In 2004, only 36.7 percent of state residents over the age of 50 underwent screening, compared to 45.1 percent nationwide.
To emphasize Renown Institute for Cancer’s commitment to quality cancer care and the importance of getting screened, Renown Health is offering a reduced rate of $15 for its colorectal cancer home screening kits, a savings of $20. The $15 screening kit, Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), is a home screening for annual colon cancer detection.
In the March 2008 issue of “The American Journal of Gastroenterology,” the American College of Gastroenterology’s (ACG) issued a report offering new graded recommendations for screening in an update of those published in 2000. The new guidelines revealed, in addition to recommending colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50 as the preferred test for cancer prevention, an annual FIT is the preferred strategy for colorectal cancer detection.
“This preferred strategy simplifies and shortens discussion with patients and should increase the likelihood that screenings are offered to patients,” said Linda Ferris, Ph.D., vice president of the Renown Institute for Cancer. “It is impractical for a primary-care physician to discuss several different options for colorectal screening with each patient. People are busy, but they should consider taking the time for screenings not only for colorectal cancer but also a variety of other diseases.”
Ferris also said patients who have a family history of cancer should begin annual screenings ten years earlier than the age at which a family member was diagnosed. For example, if your father was diagnosed with cancer at 55, you should start annual screenings at 45.
The new ACG guidelines list FIT as a preferred strategy because it has more extensive data than the guaiac-based Hemoccult SENSA test, and because fecal DNA testing is expensive, the guidelines note.
“With increased screening compliance, it is very possible to reduce cancer rates in the state,” Ferris said.
Home Screening Kit – This screening detects cancers and polyps more successfully than older and more widely used stool-screening test
Key patient benefits of the test include:
- Higher sensitivity resulting in fewer false readings
- More convenient for patients because it is easy to prepare and complete in the privacy of your own home
- Only one sample required, as opposed to three consecutive samples with the previous guaiac tests
- No dietary or medication restrictions required
FIT home screening kits are offered for just $15, with no physician referral required. To request a kit call 775-982-6830.
Dress in Blue Day for Colon Cancer:
In addition to the reduced screenings, Renown Institute for Cancer will be participating in the Colon Cancer Alliance’s Dress In Blue Day, Friday, March 5. Northern Nevadans are encouraged to wear blue to show support for colon cancer awareness and begin a dialogue about colon cancer screenings.
About the American College of Gastroenterology
Founded in 1932, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) is an organization with an international membership of more than 10,000 individuals from 80 countries. The College is committed to serving the clinically oriented digestive disease specialist through its emphasis on scholarly practice, teaching and research.
The mission of the College is to serve the evolving needs of physicians in the delivery of high quality, scientifically sound, humanistic, ethical, and cost-effective health care to gastroenterology patients. To learn more, visit www.acg.gi.org.
About Renown Institute for Cancer
Renown Institute for Cancer was the region’s first hospital recognized by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer for comprehensive cancer care for more than 22 years. Only 25 percent of hospitals nationwide meet the Commission’s rigorous standards.
Renown Institute for Cancer is the largest healthcare provider in the area conducting clinical trials with the National Cancer Institute. Clinical trials allow patients to be on leading trends in medicine and often times they become involved in that “next big discovery” for cancer treatments. Leading northern Nevada in cancer research, Renown Institute for Cancer has administered more than 135 trials to 870 participants.
Whether individuals have been referred, are currently receiving treatment or are seeking a second opinion, they can make an appointment at Renown Institute for Cancer anytime. The team of skilled professionals brings expertise and comprehensive resources to patient care. For general inquiries, contact 775-982-6830 or visit www.renown.org.