Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is an observance held every March to raise awareness of colorectal cancer (CRC) and to promote research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and cure.

Colorectal cancer is a disease in which cells in the colon or rectum grow out of control. Sometimes it is called colon cancer, for short. The colon is the large intestine or large bowel. The rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus. Sometimes abnormal growths, called polyps, form in the colon or rectum. Over time, some polyps may turn into cancer.

East Georgia Healthcare Center has partnered with Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (GaCore), to help individuals in our community be screened regularly for Colorectal Cancer. We provide at-home test kits even if the patient is uninsured and needs financial assistance with their colonoscopy. GaCore is a statewide nonprofit organization that leverages partnerships to increase research, education and early cancer detection in rural, urban, and suburban communities across the state of Georgia.

“Early detection of Colon Cancer can save your life,” stated Sable Fleming, LPN and Clinical Liaison Specialist for East Georgia Healthcare Center. “Once Colon Cancer becomes symptomatic, 9 out of 10 times it’s too late.”

Credit: East Georgia Healthcare

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests that adults aged 45 to 75 get screened for
colorectal cancer. Deciding to get screened between ages 76 and 85 should be made
individually, so talk to your doctor about screening.

Some people are at an increased risk due to inflammatory bowel disease, a personal or family history of colorectal polyps, or colorectal cancer. Others suffer from genetic syndromes like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (also known as Lynch syndrome). These people may need to start screening earlier than age 45. If you believe you are at increased risk, ask your doctor if you should begin screening earlier.

Multiple colorectal cancer screening strategies are available, including stool tests, flexible
sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy). Your doctor can help you decide which test is right for you. “Give our office a call to schedule a screening and go over screening options. We offer an at-home noninvasive test that only takes two minutes and can detect colon cancer early.”

About EGHC

East Georgia Healthcare Center is a non-profit community-owned health center, governed by a local board of directors, most of whom are active patients. They provide services in 13 counties in southeast Georgia and have committed to providing excellent quality care since its start in 1994. EGHC has a location in Swainsboro, Baxley, Metter, Mount Vernon, Reidsville, Soperton, Statesboro, Vidalia, Wadley, Millen, Sylvania, and Claxton.

For more information on East Georgia Healthcare Center and colorectal screening, please visit our website at https://eghc.org or our Facebook page.