High Country Community Health and The Colon Cancer Coalition are partnering to make potentially life-saving cancer screening resources, education and patient support available to the community, the uninsured, and those who may be unable to access the screening otherwise in Watauga, Avery and Burke Counties.
Colon Cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the United States, and among the three most commonly diagnosed cancers in the high country. But it is also one of the most treatable and survivable cancers if caught early.
The key to catching colorectal cancer when it is most beatable is regular screening.
1 in 20 adults develop Colon cancer. Colon cancer often appears without symptoms so screening is necessary to catching and stopping it. Those who are age 50 or older are recommended to have a regular colonoscopy every 10 years, or a take-home screening test once a year.
But 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. are not up to date on their recommended screenings.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that if everyone aged 50 and older had regular screening tests, at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided.
While those over 50 are at higher risk, the U.S. is seeing more and more diagnoses in its younger population. 1 in 7 of those diagnosed with Colon Cancer are under 50 years old. Those in this age group are more likely to be diagnosed with stage III and IV.
Anyone with a family history of colon cancer, polyps, or medical conditions such as Crohn’s, colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease may need to be screened before 50.
Thanks to support from the Colon Cancer Coalition, High Country Community Health (HCCH) will be offering take-home screening kits to its patients and navigation to through the process of further testing and linkage to treatment if necessary.
HCCH launches a proactive advertising and screening campaign this September as part of the FLU FIT screening program, which offers take-home colorectal screening kits to patients who come in for their flu vaccinations in order to improve awareness and colorectal screening practices among those who are overdue for the testing.
HCCH is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides integrated medical and behavioral health to the people of Watauga, Avery and Burke County, making affordable medical care available to medically underserved areas.
For more information, call (828) 262-3886