Tag Archives: colorectal cancer

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 LexMed.com/Cancer

A Young Mother’s Cancer Story

Imagine learning you have Stage 4 cancer at age 29 – you’re a newlywed and the mom of a little boy. Scarlet Lutz of Chapin has colon cancer that has spread to her liver. Her condition is considered terminal. She shared her story in this WIS-TV news report hoping to help others recognize their symptoms and see their doctor promptly. Scarlet’s doctor is Steven Madden, MD, of Lexington Oncology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, who shares his insights on the disease.


The incidence of colon cancer is rapidly increasing in young people. Doctors aren’t sure why, but think it may have to do with diet – including eating a lot of red meat and processed foods – rising obesity rates, smoking and sedentary lifestyles.

Typically, doctors recommend a colon cancer screening called a colonoscopy at age 50 – or younger if you have a family history of the disease. Also – regardless of age – talk to your doctor if you have symptoms including abdominal cramps, blood in the stool, changes in the appearance of the stool, or changes in bowel habits.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death – behind lung cancer. It’s also preventable – and treatable when detected early. Unfortunately, if it’s not caught early and spreads to other parts of the body, it can be difficult to cure. And, more than 60% of people in South Carolina who should have a colonoscopy report never having the screening.

For more information about cancer service at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/Cancer.

Colon Cancer Challenge 2010: On A Roll to Raise Awareness

Lexington Medical Center hosted its first Colon Cancer Challenge, a bike ride to raise awareness and funds for colon cancer, on March 20, 2010 at Dutch Fork High School. Nearly 200 riders participated in a 65 mile ride, 25 mile ride and 5 and 10 mile family rides. All proceeds from the bike ride will pay for colonoscopies for patients who are uninsured or underinsured.

David Wright, a community leader and colon cancer survivor, emceed the event. Barbara Willm, LMC VP of Community Relations, was a key planner.

The bike ride came about as a result of a grant LMC received from the University of South Carolina to create and promote an event to raise awareness about colon cancer. Dr. March Seabrook, gastroenterologist, was one of the people behind the idea of a bike ride.

Here are some colon cancer facts from the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Cancer Society:

Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.
• Nearly 800 South Carolinians die of colon cancer each year. But it’s also one of the most preventable forms of cancer – and curable – when detected early.
• The best way to screen for colon cancer is a colonoscopy, which is an examination of the large intestine using a lighted tube.
Colonnoscopy is among the most powerful tools in clinical medicine, because of its excellent potential to identify and permit removal of polyps before they turn into cancer.
• In general, doctors recommend that people undergo a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50. African-Americans should begin screening at age 45.
• Early detection and intervention can reduce mortality from colon cancer by up to 90%.