In recognition of March being National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Halifax Health is hosting a free colon health awareness event on Wednesday, March 22 at Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach, 303 N. Clyde Morris Boulevard, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Presented by the Halifax Health – Center for Oncology, the educational event will provide attendees with information on prevention, treatment and local resources.
The event’s guest speaker will be Stacey Scrabis, a registered dietitian for the Halifax Health – Center for Oncology. Scrabis’ presentation will focus on ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle for a healthy colon. Halifax Health physicians and patient navigators will also take part in the event.
50,000 deaths annually
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Each year, approximately 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 people die from the disease.
Colorectal cancer is highly preventable through early detection. Medical professionals recommend screenings beginning at age 50. Screenings are recommended even earlier for those individuals with a family history of cancer.
Screening tests help prevent colorectal cancer by finding precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed. Screenings also find this cancer early when treatment can be most effective.
Affecting the young
Although risk for colorectal cancer increases with age, with more than 90 percent of colorectal cancers occurring in people aged 50 and older, a recently released study published by the National Cancer Institute has found that rates are rising sharply among young and middle-aged Americans.
The study did not identify a reason for the rise of this disease in younger adult groups known as Generation X and millenials, but researchers suggest one explanation might be a complex interaction involving the same factors that have contributed to the obesity epidemic, including a change in diet, a sedentary lifestyle, excess weight and low fiber consumption.
In light of this new research, the American Cancer Society is reviewing if screenings should begin at a younger age.
To RSVP for Halifax Health’s colon health awareness event, call 386-425-4545.