SVMC Endoscopy Unit to Hold Open House

18 March 2011
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Kevin Robinson


BENNINGTON — On March 28, the Endoscopy Department at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center will host an open house from 1–3 p.m. to educate the public and provide information about colon cancer screening.


Colon cancer is a hidden killer and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. In 2011, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 100,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer. The good news is that colon cancer can be treated if caught early.


People who get screened regularly for colon cancer have lower risk of getting the disease. Screening can find polyps, which are small growths or bumps on the intestines that can turn into cancer. Removing them can prevent cancer. Colon cancer, when found early, has a cure rate as high as 90 percent. That’s why colon cancer has been called, “the cancer nobody has to have.” It’s one of the most preventable kinds of cancer there is.


Some people — especially those with a personal or family history of cancer — have a greater risk of getting colon cancer. If you are age 40 or over, ask your doctor for a risk assessment. You may need to start screening at 40 or younger.


Starting at age 50, all men and women should be screened for colon cancer. Just turning 50 puts people at risk for colon cancer. If your doctor does not offer, ask about screening options. Most insurance plans, including Medicare, cover screening.


Long before it’s time to think about testing for colon cancer, take four steps toward a healthier lifestyle, which prevents colon cancer, too. First, eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet with at least five vegetables and fruits a day. Second, exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Third, don’t smoke. Fourth, if you drink alcoholic beverages, limit yourself to one per day.


If you want to know more about the types of screening and whether you’re at risk, come by SVMC’s Endoscopy Department, Monday, March 28 from 1-3 p.m.