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Half of all American adults age fifty and up have not had a colonoscopy

Date: 03.17.2011
Contact: Jennifer Farquhar Phone: (330) 375-4930

Contact: Jennifer Farquhar, Phone: (330) 375-4930, Email: farquharj@summahealth.org

AKRON, Ohio, March 17, 2011 - Half of all American adults age fifty and up have not had a colonoscopy. If they did, the number of colorectal cancer cases would decrease by an estimated eighty percent.

"Many colon cancers can be prevented through a program of frequent colonoscopies and removal of polyps before they become invasive cancer," said Colorectal Surgeon Joel Porter, MD, vice chair of surgery at Summa Health System.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to learn more about the disease and how it can be prevented and treated.

How to lower your risk:
To lower your risk of colorectal cancer, The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons recommends:

  • Having regular colorectal cancer screenings after age 50 (45 for African Americans due to a higher rate of incidence)
  • Eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet
  • Consuming only a moderate amount of alcohol
  • Quitting all tobacco products, especially cigarettes
  • Excersing for at least 20 minutes, three to four times per week

Colorectal cancer is highly preventable of polyps, or abnormal growths in the colon, are detected and removed before they may become cancerous. The cancer itself is also highly curable if it is detected in early stages.

Akron's only five board-certified colorectal surgeons practice exclusively at Summa Health System hospitals. To find out more or schedule a colonoscopy with a Summa colorectal surgeon, general surgeon or gastroenterologist, visit summahealth.org or call (330) 379-5111.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook a twww.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.

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