Watertown— Friday, March 1st marks the first Friday where folks are asked to wear blue in order to help raise colon cancer awareness.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 112,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer annually. Between 1991-2005, studies show that the colon cancer survivor rate improved by 30%.
Samaritan Medical Center has partnered with American Cancer Society and Cancer Services Program to kick-off a colon cancer awareness event. Businesses are encouraged to decorate their office front blue in support for colon cancer awareness month.
“Colon cancer is a very preventable cancer,” said Dr. Daniel DeBlasio, a Samaritan Radiation Oncologist who oversees the cancer services and has been with the hospital for 15 years.
Approximately, 90% of colon cancer cases can be prevented and is the third highest cancer in the country. “Roughly there are 150,000 new cases a year” said Dr. Deblasio, “it’s the number two killer of both men and women, it’s a cancer that very few people think of.”
It is recommended that people over the age of 50 undergo a colonoscopy. During a colonoscopy Doctors can remove any polyps that they see. According to Dr. Deblasio, just by getting checked 45,000 lives could potentially be saved a year.
Individuals with a family history of colitis or crohn’s disease stand a higher chance of getting colon cancer. If you do have a history of colitis or crohn’s disease, colon cancer screening can be done early on individuals in their 40’s.
The event will be held in the Samaritan Cafeteria from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. American Cancer Society and Cancer Services Program will be providing free colon cancer screening kits.