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CDC and AGA join forces to bring colorectal cancer screening to the uninsured
Date:3/18/2013

Bethesda, MD (March 18, 2013) Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women nationwide. During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) are joining forces for the second year to promote free colonoscopies for uninsured patients.

To bring this lifesaving test to patients who would not otherwise have access, gastroenterologists with the AGA are partnering with CDC's Colorectal Cancer Control Programs (CRCCP) throughout March to screen patients in five states.

"Colorectal cancer is largely preventable, through screening. It's important for men and women to get screened, beginning at 50," said Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH, director of CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. He continued, "Through the Colorectal Cancer Control Program grantees and AGA volunteers, we are able to offer important and life-saving screening to more people. The CDC is proud of its work with the AGA to support and promote colorectal cancer screening."

More than 25 gastroenterologists are coordinating with CRCCP grantees to conduct free colonoscopies throughout March in: Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington. Health departments in these states work with local primary care providers to identify patients, conduct health assessments, and schedule the eligible patients for appointments for their colonoscopy procedures with AGA members and their support staff providing free services for the event.

In 2012, AGA gastroenterologists, CRCCP programs, and their partners in seven states provided colonoscopies to more than 200 patients. Of the patients screened, approximately half had at least one polyp and a total of 215 polyps were removed. Five patients were diagnosed with cancer and all are received appropriate treatment. Among those involved in implementing the project were
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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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