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Physicians come together on National Colorectal Cancer Awareness and Screening Day
Date:3/4/2010

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer death among men and women nationwide, yet only half of people who need CRC screening receive it. The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute is working to educate patients about the importance of screening and to encourage everyone age 50 and older to get screened for CRC.

Recognizing that those without insurance have limited access to screening, gastroenterologists and physicians throughout the country have established free CRC screening programs for the uninsured. On National Colorectal Cancer Awareness and Screening Day (March 20, 2010), programs in ten states are holding simultaneous screening events on March 19 and 20, 2010, to check patients for this deadly cancer and raise awareness of the importance of screening.

"The AGA Institute firmly believes that all Americans should have access to life-saving colorectal cancer screenings. If caught early, colorectal cancer is very treatable," said Carla H. Ginsburg, MD, MPH, AGAF, chair of the AGA Institute Social Conscience Task Force. "The AGA applauds the physicians who are donating their time to screen patients who wouldn't otherwise be checked for colorectal cancer. We encourage all patients over age 50 to talk with their doctor about their colorectal cancer screening options."

There are a number of colorectal screening options, which vary by the extent of bowel preparation, as well as test performance, limitations, time interval and cost. The AGA considers colonoscopy the definitive test for CRC screening and prevention since it can detect cancer at an early, curable stage and prevent cancer by removing pre-cancerous polyps. For detailed information on CRC screening options, please see the AGA Institute brochure CRC Prevention and Treatment.

In addition to supporting grassroots efforts to screen patients without insurance, the A
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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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