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Preventing Colon Cancer

Its the second leading cause of cancer death in this country, but many of us dont want to talk about it. If we did , wed find out that its just about the most preventable form of cancer.

It's the second leading cause of cancer death in this country, but many of us don't want to talk about it. If we did , we'd find out that it's just about the most preventable form of cancer.

March is Colorectal Cancer awareness month and WTAJ, Your News Leader and Conemaugh Health System are teaming up on air and online to tell help you fight the disease.

This year doctors will diagnose about 150,000 Americans with colon cancer. About a third of them will die. Here in Pennsylvania, both the number of people diagnosed and the number who die from colorectal cancer stand higher than the national average.  In our region, four counties, Blair , Cambria, Elk and Clinton are among ten in the state with the the highest incidence of colorectal cancer.

At Conemaugh Health System, oncologist Dr. Ibrahim Sbeitan said, "older counties usually they have higher incidence of cancer, counties that are losing population. This would also be reflected on the incidence of cancer, but in general Pennsylvania's incidence of cancer is a little higher than that of the U.S."

Fortunately, the incidence of colon cancer and death rate are dropping , but not nearly as much as they should be. Conemaugh Gastroenterologist Dr. Hira Koul said more people need to know that screening for colon cancer can prevent it entirely.

As in most cancers, early detection and treatment saves lives. You need to undergo colonoscopy when you turn 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, you need the test 15 years earlier than your relative was diagnosed with the disease.

For more information about colorectal cancer, or for a brochure on the Facts about Colorectal Cancer from Conemaugh Health Systems, click here to complete our form

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