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HRMC promotes wearing blue for colorectal cancer awareness: March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Posted: Monday, Mar 17th, 2014

The HRMC endoscopy team poses for a photo with new endoscopy equipment recently purchased to improve imaging for the physician and comfort for the patient. From left, in front, are Katlyn Rostyne, Phyllis Jones, Sandie Hathaway, Joani Ochsner and Pam Shoultz; and in back, Tammy Jackson, Eva Wipf, Corliss Kleinsasser, Mike Melmer, Kris Brandt and Sara Eckmann. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Huron Regional Medical Center is encouraging the community to wear blue in March to raise awareness of and prevent colorectal cancer.

One in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer, leading to more than 50,000 deaths every year according to the Colon Cancer Alliance. Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death, yet it is preventable, treatable, and beatable, says the American Cancer Society.

“I think a lot of people put colorectal screening off because they just don’t want to think about it,” said Katlyn Rostyne, a surgery nurse at HRMC. “We see more and more young people having malignant polyps so I think it is so very important to raise awareness of colon cancer and ways to prevent it.”

Rostyne is heading up awareness activities which include flyers throughout the hospital, educational information to local media and a display booth at the Dakota Country Outdoor Show on March 22 and 23 at the Huron Arena. HRMC staff will be on-hand to educate show attendees about the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and will also provide free colorectal screening kits.

“We’re encouraging people to wear blue to not only support their family members and friends who have gone through colorectal cancer but also to encourage everyone to get screened early,” said Rostyne. “Getting screened at 50 is so important to get a baseline of what is happening in the colon.”

Colon cancer is one of only two cancers that can actually be prevented through screening. It almost always starts with a polyp – a small growth on the lining of the colon or rectum. Some colon cancer tests can find polyps and your doctor can remove them before they become cancerous. If you are 50 or older, the American Cancer Society recommends you talk to your doctor about getting tested, even if you have no symptoms, and discuss which test is right for you. And if you have a family history of colon cancer, you may need to get tested earlier than age 50.

In addition to getting tested, there are steps you can take every day to stay well and prevent colon cancer:

• Maintain a healthy weight by being physically active and eating a well-balanced diet.

• Limit the amount of red meat and processed meat you eat, including pork and lunch meats.

• Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women, and do not smoke.

For more information about colonoscopy at HRMC, visit www.huronregional.org and click on Services/Departments or call 605-353-6200. To learn more about how to prevent colon cancer, call your American Cancer Society anytime at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org/colon.

For the complete article see the 03-16-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-16-2014 paper.

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