Section: Barnabas Health News

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

03/01/2017

RWJBarnabas Health Joins the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings Rates across the Country

“80% by 2018” is a shared goal to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

New Jersey – Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. RWJBarnabas Health is pledging its support to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 national initiative, 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).

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.

“80% by 2018” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative in which over five hundred organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. Leading public health organizations, such as ACS, CDC and the NCCRT are rallying organizations to embrace this shared goal.

“Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem, and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it, but 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 or don’t think they can afford it,” said Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, Senior Vice President for Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health and Director, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. “The truth is that the vast majority of cases of colorectal cancer occur in people age 50 and older. Colorectal cancer in its’ early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 50 and older should get tested. There are several screening options – even take home options – available. Plus, many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening and there may be local resources available to help those that are uninsured.”

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 U.S, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable. In fact, in 2015 in the U.S., 132,700 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed.

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.

“We are proud to be a part of this national initiative focused on educating our communities about colorectal cancer and preventative screening,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer, RWJBarnabas Health. “We are fully committed to doing all we can to help eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem within the communities we serve.”

For more information or for a referral to an RWJBarnabas Health gastroenterologist, visit rwjbh.org/80by18 or call 888-724-7123.

Categories: Press Releases