Kingston, NY - Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith announce that Ulster County recognizes National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, as well as the nationwide “80% by 2018” initiative of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. This initiative includes hundreds of organizations who have committed to substantially reducing colon cancer as a major public health problem, working toward the shared goal of regularly screening 80% of adults aged 50 and older for colon cancer by 2018. There are over five hundred local and national organizations working collaboratively to substantially reduce colon cancer as a major public health challenge.
“Colon cancer is a preventable disease if caught early,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “Everyone knows someone who has had cancer and the devastation it causes individuals and their families. Fortunately colon cancer can be detected in its early stages through the screening process. I encourage everyone over the age of 50 to be proactive and get screened. Life is precious and by encouraging our residents and employees to get their screenings it may be possible to save lives.”
“Colon cancer in its early stages has no symptoms; so many people believe that there is no risk. People can only know for sure by getting screened. There are several screening options available and most insurance plans cover preventative cancer screenings. I strongly urge every adult over 50 to talk to their doctor and set up a screening appointment”, said Dr. Carol Smith, Ulster County Commissioner of Health.
In 2013, over 136,000 men and women in the United States were diagnosed with colon cancer and over 50,000 individuals succumbed to the disease. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer related deaths; however it is one of the few cancers that can be prevented. Through proper colon cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous.
More information regarding National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and colon cancer screening can be found on the American Cancer Society’s website at www.cancer.org/colon, the Centers for Disease Control site at www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal, and for information regarding the 80% by 2018 initiative, please visit www.nccrt.org.