CHI Health St. Francis goes blue to fight colon cancer
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - CHI Health St. Francis wore blue to fight colon cancer on Friday and for the rest of the month they’re lighting the hospital the same color at night to raise awareness.
Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer and is the second leading cause of death for people with the disease.
Doctors say people generally over the age of 50 can get it and there’s no known cause for this type of cancer.
“Over 75% of the time colon cancer is sporadic, meaning that there’s no family history or underlying conditions that predisposes one to colon cancer,” said CHI Health Regional medical Center Dr. David Crockett M.D.
Most times people don’t even know they have it.
“Vast majority of times there are no symptoms from colon cancer, however, one could experience some fatigue, bloating or other abdominal symptoms which may also be a cause of a different condition that need to be checked out by a healthcare provider,” Dr. Crockett said.
He recommends getting routine screenings. Colonoscopies should be done every 10 years unless the findings say otherwise and other options such as stool testing should be done more frequently.
“Increase rates of screening will result in early diagnosis of colon cancer when there at most curable stages,” Crockett said.
Nebraska ranks 41 in the country for colon cancer screenings. Doctors believe there is room to improve, especially since they’re easily accessible now that COVID-19 restrictions for colonoscopies have lifted.
There are several places offering cancer screenings in the Tri-Cities. People can pick-up free at-home test kits in Grand Island at the Central District Health Department on 1137 South Locust Street. People ages 45-75 years old who meet income requirements may also be eligible for free or low-cost colon cancer screenings here.
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