West Columbia, S.C. – Colorectal cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in South Carolina. Each year, more than 2,400 South Carolinians are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and approximately 800 die from the disease. But colorectal cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer – and treatable when detected early. Unfortunately, not everyone receives proper screening.
That’s why Lexington Medical Center is lighting up in blue this month. Our hospital wants to raise awareness about the prevalence of colorectal cancer and ways to prevent it. Blue lights will illuminate Lexington Medical Park 3 along Interstate 26 in West Columbia on the hospital campus throughout the month of March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Colorectal Cancer Facts
The best tool to screen for colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy, which is considered one of the most powerful tools in clinical medicine because of its ability to identify and remove polyps before they become cancerous. Early detection and intervention can reduce mortality from colorectal cancer by up to 90 percent. Unfortunately, only 64 percent of the people in our state age 50 or older report ever being screened.
“Don’t delay having a colonoscopy,” said Samir R. Shah, MD, a surgeon with Lexington Surgical Associates, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. “It’s a painless procedure, and it’s better to be checked than to ignore an issue that could have been preventable and, most importantly, curable.”
In general, people should have a colonoscopy at age 50. Patients with a family history of colorectal cancer should talk to their doctor and begin screening earlier. Sometimes, colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may be bleeding, abdominal pain or a change in bowel habits. People with those symptoms should talk to their doctor, regardless of age.
While genetics may play a role in some colorectal cancer cases, most occur in someone with no family history of the disease. Factors that increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer include tobacco and heavy alcohol use, consumption of red or processed meat, diabetes, obesity and a low-fiber diet.
Lexington Medical Center diagnoses and treats more than 100 cases of colorectal cancer each year. From medical and radiation oncologists to surgeons, our clinicians provide comprehensive care for colorectal cancer. Visit LexMed.com/Cancer.
About Lexington Medical Center
Lexington Medical Center is a 438-bed hospital in West Columbia, South Carolina. It anchors a health care network that includes five community medical centers and employs a staff of more than 6,500 health care professionals. The network also has cardiovascular and oncology care affiliated with Duke Health, an occupational health center, the largest skilled nursing facility in the Carolinas, an Alzheimer’s care center and approximately 60 physician practices. Lexington Medical Center operates one of the busiest Emergency departments in South Carolina, treating approximately 85,000 patients each year. The hospital delivers more than 3,500 babies each year and performs more than 23,000 surgeries. Lexington Medical Center is currently undergoing the largest hospital expansion in South Carolina history by creating a new patient tower that will open in 2019. Lexington Medical Center has a reputation for the highest quality care. For more information, visit LexMed.com.