March Is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

By  //  March 20, 2013

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(ABOVE VIDEO: AmerCancerSociety)

Health First Encourages People Over age 50 To Get Colon Cancer Screening

BREVARD COUNTY • ROCKLEDGE, FLORIDA — March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Health First reminds men and women age 50 and older to get screened because it might just save your life.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. However, if diagnosed in its early stages, this disease is highly preventable through screening and early detection.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. However, if diagnosed in its early stages, this disease is highly preventable through screening and early detection. Colonoscopy is the preferred method of screening for colon cancer.

“Early detection of colon cancer can truly prove life-saving because it can prevent polyps from becoming cancerous and can help people start treatment early when it’s most effective,” said Health First Medical Group Physician Mark Hughes.

Dr. Mark Hughes

“If you are turning 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, polyps or any other risk factors, you should get screened as soon as possible.”

Important Facts About Colon Cancer

• This year alone, more than 140,000 cases of colon cancer are expected to occur and more than 50,000 people are projected to die from this disease.
• Colon cancer (also referred to as colorectal cancer) is a silent killer because there are often no symptoms until it is too late to treat.
• Age is the largest risk factor for colon cancer. Therefore, even people who live a healthy lifestyle can develop polyps and cancer.
• Men and women are equally impacted by colon cancer.
• Most colon cancers come from pre-cancerous growths in the colon called polyps (which can be found during a colonoscopy screening exam and removed before they cause cancer).

If you have bleeding or unexplained abdominal pain, contact your doctor immediately. According to the recent studies, American men have a 44 percent chance of developing cancer while the chances for women are about 37 percent. The general risk of developing colon cancer in the United States is about 6 percent. For this reason, it’s important for everyone, particularly people above the age of 50 years, to go for routine screening.


Many well known people from around the world have had colon cancer including:

President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are among well known people affected by colon cancer.

• Corazon Aquino, former president of the Philippines
• Milton Berle, American comedian, died March 27, 2002 at the age of 93
• Lillian Board, British athlete
• Dick Dale, surf guitarist whose cancer has recurred as of 2008
• Denis D’Amour, guitar player for the band Voivod
• Claude Debussy, French composer
• Babe Didrikson Zaharias, American athlete
• Conrad Furey, Canadian painter
• Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court justice
• Audrey Hepburn, actress, died January 20, 1993
• Pope John Paul II
• Carolyn Jones, actress, known for playing Morticia Addams in “The Addams Family.” Diagnosed with colon cancer in 1982, died one year later in 1983.
• Eartha Kitt, American singer and actress, died December 25, 2008
• Jack Lemmon, American actor, died of colon and bladder cancer on June 27, 2001, aged 76
• Vince Lombardi, coach of the Green Bay Packers, died of metastatic colon cancer in 1970
• H.P. Lovecraft, horror writer
• Marilyn Martinez, comedian
• Walter Matthau, American actor, had metastatic colon cancer, but died of heart disease on July 1, 2000, aged 79
• Lois Maxwell, Canadian actress, known for originating the role of Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond movies, died September 29 2007
• Tammy Faye Messner, American Christian singer, evangelist, died July 20, 2007
• Elizabeth Montgomery, American actress, died at age 62, 8 weeks after diagnosis
• Jeff Moss, co-founder of Sesame Street
• Sharon Osbourne, British reality TV star and talent show judge, diagnosed with colon cancer in July 2002, aged 49. She has recovered.
• Ronald Reagan, U.S. President
• Rod Roddy, previous announcer for “The Price Is Right,” died at age 66, 2 years after diagnosis
• Mstislav Rostropovich, one of the greatest cellists of all time, died April 27, 2007
• Gary Rowe, Tennessee State Representative
• Charles Schulz, creator of ‘Peanuts,’ died at age 77, 60 days after diagnosis
• Joel Siegel, movie critic and host of “Good Morning America,” died at age 64, 10 years after diagnosis
• Tony Snow, White House press secretary under George W. Bush died July 12, 2008 at the age of 53
• Darryl Strawberry, baseball player

About Health First
Health First is Central Florida’s only fully integrated health system. With a mission to positively change the health and wellness of the communities we serve, Health First offers multiple commercial and Medicare health plan products, the latest technological advances and quality care through our four hospitals and numerous Outpatient & Wellness Services, including four fitness centers to help members of our community stay healthy. We offer Brevard’s only Trauma and Heart Centers, and the Health First Medical Group is the largest multi-specialty physician group in Brevard County with 246 employed physicians.