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Colon cancer screening offers patients options

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and Blair Gastroenterology Associates is initiating a campaign to remind everyone to get screened for colon cancer.

The Blair Gastro Colon Cancer Screening Center has been developed to help patients with their screenings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a significant decrease in the number of colon cancer screenings.

Many decided to wait until the pandemic subsided to get screened.

When colon cancer screening rates decrease, there is a corresponding increase in the incidence of colon cancer. The American Cancer Society reports the risk of developing colon cancer is 1 in 23 (4.3%) for men and 1 in 25 (4.0%) for women.

An analysis conducted by the Epic Health Research Network reports colon cancer screening rates were down 86% in the early days of the pandemic.

Because we know colon cancer screenings reduce the incidence of colon cancer, with the decrease in the number of screenings in 2020, there will be more Americans with colon cancer in 2021.

In 2021, especially during Colon Cancer Awareness Month in March, Blair Gastro wants patients to do something about this by making it a priority to get a colon cancer screening.

The good news is there are several options today for screening for colon cancer. However, having these options creates some confusion as to what is the best option.

To help patients determine the best option for colon cancer screening, Blair Gastro has developed an innovative solution to eliminate this confusion: the Blair Gastroenterology Associates Colon Cancer Screening Center.

Providers work with patients and may suggest a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), Cologuard, or the “gold standard” screening colonoscopy.

Blair Gastro wants to enlist the region to fight colon cancer by getting screened today.

Stephen C. Gildea

Altoona

(The writer is executive director of Blair Gastroenterology Associates.)

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