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Joining Forces to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Tuesday, March 17, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Megan Bourque
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Contact:  Julie DiRossi-King, Chief Operating Officer

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Joining Forces to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings

“80% by 2018”: ensure 80% of adults age 50+ are regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018

 

(Columbus, March 10, 2015) – Today, the Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC) kicked off its 2015 Annual Spring Conference: Helping All Communities Live Better Lives.  Concurrently, March is also Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Topping the OACHC agenda is raising awareness and increasing access to colorectal cancer screenings.  On behalf of its 44 member Health Centers serving over 550,000 patients annually, OACHC is pleased to announce its commitment to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 initiative.

 

Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths; however, it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented.  Through proper colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether.

 

“We are committed to the cause of improving colorectal cancer screening rates,” said Randy Runyon, CEO and President of OACHC. “Our Board of Directors unanimously voted colorectal cancer screenings as a top clinical quality priority for 2015 in Community Health Centers across the state. As Community Health Center leaders are gathered here today, we pledge to play a major role in helping to reduce colorectal cancer as a serious public health problem, and we stand ready to assist in these efforts.”

 

While colorectal cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. over the last 10 years among adults 50 and older, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable. In fact, in 2014 in the U.S., 137,000 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed.

 

“Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem. Adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened, however we have found that many people aren’t getting tested because they don’t believe they are at risk, don’t understand that there are testing options, and/or don’t think they can afford it,” said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, OACHC’s Chief Medical Officer. The truth is the vast majority of cases of colorectal cancer occur in people over 50 years old and are initially without symptoms in the early stages.  There are several screening options, even take-home options available. Many public and private insurance plans now cover colorectal cancer screening, and in all our local Community Health Centers, patients can be screened regardless of insurance status.”

 

Part of the 80% by 2018 goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients, providers to increase screening rates.  The 80% by 2018 initiative consists of health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, non-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups who are committed to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer to prevent more cancers and save lives.

 

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About 80% by 2018

Led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC), “80% by 2018” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative in which nearly 200 organizations have committed to eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health problem. United, these organizations are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. 

 

About OACHC

The Ohio Association of Community Health Centers (OACHC) is a not-for-profit professional association representing Ohio's Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs, or community health centers). OACHC's Mission is to ensure access to high-quality affordable health care for all Ohioans through the growth and development of Ohio's Community Health Centers. OACHC represents Ohio's 44 Community Health Centers at over 220 locations, including multiple mobile units in 55 of Ohio’s 88 counties.  For more information or to locate a Community Health Center, please visit www.ohiochc.org .

 

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