Missouri Cancer Associates Urges Men and Women to Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 26, 2015

Screening saves lives by preventing the disease or catching it early

Columbia, Mo. (March 26, 2015) – Missouri Cancer Associates (MCA), the premiere cancer treatment center in mid-Missouri and an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, is making a special effort this month to remind the community that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a time set aside to encourage people to speak with their healthcare providers about getting screened for the disease.

“Colorectal cancer screening saves lives,” said Mark Tungesvik, M.D., a medical oncologist with the practice who has extensive experience in colorectal cancer. “This disease is one of very few cancers that can be prevented through screening, yet according to the American Cancer Society, we will see over 132,000 new cases of the disease this year. We at Missouri Cancer Associates want every adult in our community to understand the importance of screening so they can avoid this potentially deadly disease.”

The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20 (5%)1, and nearly 50,000 people will die from the disease in 20151. Many of these deaths could be prevented through proper screening which can help find precancerous polyps, abnormal growths in the colon or rectum which may develop into cancer. Screening can also help detect the disease at an early stage when it is easier to treat and possibly cure.

“While we don’t know the exact cause of colorectal cancer, we do know that several lifestyle-related factors are linked to the disease,” said Dr. Tungesvik. “Research has shown the links between diet, weight, exercise and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer. We encourage everyone to make a commitment to healthy lifestyle changes and proper screening to boost their odds of avoiding this disease.”

Missouri Cancer Associates recommends that men and women at average risk for colorectal cancer begin screening at age 50. There are several simple tests, such as the fecal occult blood test and other take-home sample methods, which can serve as a starting point for screening or for ongoing screenings between other more invasive procedures. If results are positive, a colonoscopy, a test that allows a doctor to look at the inner lining of the large intestine, may be recommended. A colonoscopy should be done every 10 years.

The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for more than 20 years, thanks to increased screening and more effective treatment options. Missouri Cancer Associates is at the forefront of bringing the latest treatment advances to the region to beat colorectal cancer. Through its affiliation with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest networks of integrated community-based oncology practices dedicated to advancing high-quality, evidence-based patient care, MCA quickly brings the latest advances in therapies, research and technology to the community. This allows patients to remain close to their homes and their support network of family and friends while they receive the very latest evidence-based treatments to fight their disease.

Physicians with Missouri Cancer Associates encourage Missourians to contact them for more information about colorectal cancer screening or to learn more about what they can do to prevent the disease. 

About Missouri Cancer Associates

Missouri Cancer Associates (MCA) is the largest oncology group in mid-Missouri and offers patients advanced comprehensive care from their new state-of-the-art facility in Columbia, as well as a treatment center in Kirksville. MCA has 16 cancer physicians on staff and offers a full range of hematologic care, chemotherapy and radiation services, laboratory and diagnostic testing delivered by compassionate, caring professionals dedicated to helping patients achieve optimal outcomes. The practice prides itself in offering the latest technologies to diagnose and treat cancer, including PET/CT and a full range of advanced radiation therapies. In 2014, Urology Associates of Central Missouri, a leading provider of urology services in the region, joined MCA, adding seven highly credentialed and experienced urologists to the practice. Urology Associates of Central Missouri offers the very latest treatment options and technologies, such as robotic and minimally invasive surgery. The practice is committed to providing compassionate, quality, state-of-the-art urological care in a prompt and courteous manner. To learn more visit www.missouricancer.com and www.mo-urology.com.

Missouri Cancer Associates is united in healing with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest networks of integrated community-based oncology practices dedicated to advancing high-quality, evidence-based cancer care. As an affiliate of The US Oncology Network, MCA is united with 1,000 physicians nationwide. For more information, visit www.usoncology.com.

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