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March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 1, 2012

Cancer is one of the biggest public health threats in New Hampshire - it is, in fact, the second leading cause of death in the state. And one of the most common cancers, colorectal cancer, is particularly deadly in New Hampshire, which ranks 14th among the 50 U.S. states for colorectal cancer deaths in men and 13th among women. But, colorectal cancer is also one of only a few cancers that can be prevented through the use of screening tests. Literally, screening tests can save New Hampshire lives.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - a national movement to increase awareness and education about colorectal cancer and to spread the message that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable if detected early. Littleton Regional Hospital will recognize the month with information from patients and their families provided by Centers for Disease Control.

Nationwide, more than 147,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are reported every year, with nearly 50,000 deaths reported per year, according to the American Cancer Society. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the country after lung cancer. In New Hampshire alone, 730 new cases of colorectal cancer are reported each year.

Dr. John Peterson, Oncologist at DHMC - Norris Cotton Cancer Center at LRH states, "Those who are age 50 and older can benefit from a screening. There are different types of screening tests available; patients and primary care providers decide together which screening test is best. "

Most insurance plans and Medicare help pay for screening tests. Or, the New Hampshire Colorectal Cancer Screening Program (NHCRCSP) may be able to help you. They provide free education on colorectal cancer screening, a free colonoscopy screening test and preparation, and free patient assistance services for those who meet financial and clinical eligibility.

More information is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/screenforlife or by calling CDC at (800) CDC-INFO. NHCRCSP information can be obtained by calling (603) 653-3702.

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