Colorectal cancer is both preventable and curable. However, it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Maryland. During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, Doctors Community Hospital will celebrate by raising awareness about this type of cancer through a community walk and education fair on March 25, 2017, on its main campus in Lanham, Maryland.
The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 2,390 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Maryland with about 850 deaths in 2016. “These startling numbers are part of the reason why awareness and education is so important,” explained Kwanza Graham-Sykes, program administrator at Doctors Community Hospital’s Cancer Prevention, Education, Screening and Treatment (CPEST) Program. “Equipped with the right information and access to the right tools, people can improve their health. At the same time, they can educate others within their sphere of influence – creating a cycle of improved health and wellness.”
Colorectal cancer is a disease that often occurs in the colon or rectum. It is both preventable and curable if detected early. Beginning at age 50, both men and women should receive colonoscopy screenings. Also, people should recognize some of the symptoms of colorectal cancer:
- Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement)
- Lump in the abdomen
- Cramps or pain in the abdomen
- Flat or ribbon-shaped stool
In addition to colonoscopies, people can help prevent this disease by:
- Being physically active
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Transitioning to a healthy eating lifestyle
- Drinking alcohol in moderation
- Not smoking
To improve access to life-saving screenings, Doctors Community Hospital provides free colonoscopies – not just in March, but throughout the year. Community members may qualify for free colonoscopies if they are:
- Prince George’s County residents
- Ages 50 or older
- Younger than age 50 with a family history of colorectal cancer
- Uninsured or underinsured
“We invite the community to join us on March 25 from 8:00 am to 11:00 a.m. for our first annual 3K colon cancer awareness walk. Get your exercise and learn more about colorectal cancer from our knowledgeable team,” Mrs. Graham-Sykes continued.
For more information about Doctors Community Hospital’s free colorectal cancer screening program, community walk and educational opportunities, call 301-324-4968 or 301-552-7705. Also, visit DCHweb.org/freescreenings.