Lit Up in Blue For Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Colorectal cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in South Carolina. Each year, more than 2,400 South Carolinians are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and approximately 800 die from the disease. But colorectal cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer – and treatable when detected early. Unfortunately, not everyone receives proper screening.

That’s why Lexington Medical Center is lighting up in blue this month. Our hospital wants to raise awareness about the prevalence of colorectal cancer and ways to prevent it. Blue lights will illuminate Lexington Medical Park 3 along Interstate 26 in West Columbia on the hospital campus throughout the month of March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Colorectal Cancer Facts
The best tool to screen for colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy, which is considered one of the most powerful tools in clinical medicine because of its ability to identify and remove polyps before they become cancerous. Early detection and intervention can reduce mortality from colorectal cancer by up to 90 percent. Unfortunately, only 64 percent of the people in our state age 50 or older report ever being screened.

“Don’t delay having a colonoscopy,” said Samir R. Shah, MD, a surgeon with Lexington Surgical Associates, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. “It’s a painless procedure, and it’s better to be checked than to ignore an issue that could have been preventable and, most importantly, curable.”

In general, people should have a colonoscopy at age 50. Patients with a family history of colorectal cancer should talk to their doctor and begin screening earlier. Sometimes, colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may be bleeding, abdominal pain or a change in bowel habits. People with those symptoms should talk to their doctor, regardless of age.

While genetics may play a role in some colorectal cancer cases, most occur in someone with no family history of the disease. Factors that increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer include tobacco and heavy alcohol use, consumption of red or processed meat, diabetes, obesity and a low-fiber diet.

Lexington Medical Center diagnoses and treats more than 100 cases of colorectal cancer each year. From medical and radiation oncologists to surgeons, our clinicians provide comprehensive care for colorectal cancer. Visit

Flu Cases Decline at Lexington Medical Center

There’s some good news to report about the flu. The number of flu cases diagnosed in Lexington Medical Center’s Emergency department and five Urgent Care centers in Lexington County has declined steadily this month.

According to information gathered by the hospital’s Infection Control department, flu cases peaked during the week of January 28 with 760 positive flu tests.

Since then, the numbers have consistently gone down.
Week of February 4: 585
Week of February 11: 352
Week of February 18: 141

While the numbers seem reassuring, experts say to be cautiously optimistic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects several more weeks of significant flu activity. So, keep covering your cough, washing your hands and staying home if you’re sick.

And because flu season can last into the spring, it’s still not too late to get a flu shot. While it will take two weeks for the vaccine to be completely effective, some protection is better than none.

Monitoring Your Heartbeat: There’s An App For That!

We use our smartphones for a lot of things. But what about to monitor our heartbeats? Believe it or not, there’s a device and an app for that. Lexington Medical Center is using a new technology called Confirm Rx that uses wireness technology to record a patient’s heart rhythm and transmit pertinent information to his or her doctor. Dr. Christopher Rowley, an electrophysiologist with Lexington Cardiology at Lexington Medical Center, explains how it works and who it’s for in this WLTX interview.