PASADENA, Calif.--(Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Kaiser Permanente Southern California wants to encourage you to become aware of the everyday steps you can take to promote colon health and understand the importance of regular screenings.)--This
“Approximately 800,000 members, age 50 to 75, in our region are candidates for screening. Talk with your doctor about your medical history and what colorectal cancer screening test is best for you”
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When caught in its early stages, the disease is easily treated and often cured. But if it is not discovered early, colorectal cancer can be fatal.
“Colorectal cancer screening tests allow us to find and remove polyps from the colon even before the disease develops,” said Joanne Schottinger, MD, Assistant Medical Director, Clinical Analysis, Kaiser Permanente Southern California. “Approximately 800,000 members, age 50 to 75, in our region are candidates for screening. Talk with your doctor about your medical history and what colorectal cancer screening test is best for you,” she added.
Kaiser Permanente, in line with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations, encourages its members to undergo a yearly at-home fecal immunochemical test (FIT), a colonoscopy every 10 years or a sigmoidoscopy every 5 years. These tests can lead to early identification and treatment of colorectal cancer.
Since 2008, Kaiser Permanente Southern California has had a 35% decline in colorectal cancer cases as a result of an aggressive screening campaign fueled by Kaiser Permanente’s comprehensive health information system, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, which identifies those who need screening.
The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age, which is why everyone 50 and older should get screened. According to the CDC, as many as 60% of deaths from this cancer could be prevented with early detection.
In addition to screenings, you can greatly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices. Diet and proper nutrition are vital tools in the fight against colorectal cancer. Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains each day. Limit your consumption of red meat and foods high in saturated fat. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
Mattie Shaw, Len Laviolette and Jim Tate are all Kaiser Permanente Southern California members that know very well the importance of getting screened. The three are colorectal cancer survivors. To listen to their stories, visit the Kaiser Permanente “Care Stories” blog which showcases how Kaiser Permanente’s excellent care and commitment to prevention saved their lives.
About Kaiser Permanente Southern California
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 3.5 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.