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Colorectal Cancer Month: Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Your Doctor About Symptoms

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. 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.

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. It might seem like an embarrassing topic, but as a Lexington Medical Center patient from Gilbert explains in this WIS-TV story, it could save your life.

Dr. Samir Shah of Lexington Surgical Associates, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, treated Joanne for colorectal cancer.

“Don’t delay having a colonoscopy,” Dr. Shah said. “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.”

A colonoscopy 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.

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.
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

Expanding 3-D Mammography with the Campaign for Clarity

Join the Lexington Medical Center Foundation on Thursday, March 29 for the McDaniels Automotive Group Gala benefitting Lexington Medical Center’s Campaign for Clarity, a capital campaign to expand 3-D mammography throughout Lexington Medical Center’s network of care.

In this video, Dr. Beth Siroty-Smith of Lexington RAaiology Associates at Lexington Medical Center explains the significance of 3-D mammography in detecting breast cancer early and improving outcomes.

The black tie optional event will take place at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. It will feature live and silent auctions, music by The Root Doctors and catering from the Blue Marlin.

Live auction items at the gala include Hootie and the Blowfish Monday after the Masters tickets with VIP access; a party for 100 attendees at the Vista Room in Columbia with food, beer and wine from the Blue Marlin and live music; and a “Create Your Own Trip” package with a Ritz-Carlton hotel stay and international airline tickets.

Silent auction items include a Live PD Ride Along; four tickets to see the Eagles; a Seabrook Island golf weekend; and a driving experience at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta.

Also known as ‘tomosynthesis,’ 3-D mammography creates a group of three-dimensional pictures of the breast and allows doctors to view tissue one millimeter at a time, making tiny details visible earlier and easier.

3-D mammography uses a low dose X-ray to create multiple images within seconds that are similar to the “slices” of images in a CT scan. The FDA-approved procedure uses the same type of equipment as a 2-D mammogram and a similar dose of radiation. Studies have shown that 3-D mammography also reduces false positives and unnecessary callbacks for patients with dense breast tissue.

To buy tickets for the gala, visit Individual tickets and sponsorships are available.

If you can’t attend the gala but would like to contribute to the Campaign for Clarity, click here.

Lexington County Students Express the Art of Healing

Ten Lexington County high school students have received prizes and awards in the 9th annual “Art of Healing,” a juried art competition for Lexington County high school students sponsored by Lexington Medical Center Foundation in partnership with the Columbia Museum of Art. The students created drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures that each depicted their interpretation of healing. The Columbia Museum of Art will display the artwork until April 2. Then, the work will be in the North Tower Atrium of Lexington Medical Center for the rest of the month.

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“Lexington Medical Center is proud to partner with the Columbia Museum of Art to give students the opportunity to express their interpretation of healing through art,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Development and Community Relations at the Lexington Medical Center Foundation. “The creativity and thought put into each entry and their interpretations of the art of healing truly inspire us. Displaying their work at the Columbia Museum of Art is a wonderful way for our community to see how these students look at the world.”

Art teachers from Lexington County high schools each chose one student’s artwork to enter in the competition. All artwork had to incorporate healing or health. Many of the students’ entries shared inspirational personal stories of family members’ health challenges and recovery.

Award-wining fine artist Michael Story judged the entries and selected the winners.

First Place
Hannah Christine Moore, “Healing Hands”

Second Place
Tayler Murray, “Transcendence”

Third Place
Gabriel Carrilho, “Healing Daughter”
Juror’s Choice
Eva Slagle, “Art by Isaac”
Lindsey Kirtley, “Soul Searching”
Ann Marie Connor-Schroten
Honorable Mention
McKenzie Peacock, “Healing Starts in the Mind”
Alexandra Busbee, “Trying”
Taylor Carder, “Mental and Spiritual Wellness”

CEO’s Choice
Hannah Eck, “The Black Sea”