Virginia Cancer Specialists Urges Men and Women to Get Screened During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March 01, 2016

Screening saves lives by preventing the disease or catching it early.

Fairfax, Va. (March 1, 2016) —Virginia Cancer Specialists (VCS), the premiere cancer treatment center in Northern Virginia and a practice in The US Oncology Network, reminds the community that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a time to encourage everyone over age 50 to speak with their healthcare providers about getting screened for the disease.

“Colorectal cancer screening prevents cancer and saves lives,” said Raymond Wadlow, M.D., oncologist with VCS. “This disease is one of very few cancers that can be prevented through screening, yet statistics show that more than 134,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year. Virginia Cancer Specialists is committed to making sure every adult in our community is aware of 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%), and nearly 50,000 people will die from the disease in 2016, according to the American Cancer Society. Many of these deaths could be prevented through screening, which can help find precancerous polyps, abnormal growths in the colon or rectum which can develop into cancer. Screening can also help detect the disease in early stages 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. Wadlow. “Research has shown strong links between diet, weight, exercise and colorectal cancer risk. We encourage everyone to make a commitment to healthy lifestyle changes and proper screening to reduce risk and boost odds of avoiding this disease.”

Virginia Cancer Specialists recommends that both men and women at average risk for colorectal cancer begin screening at age 50, and earlier for those with an increased risk due to IBS, colitis, family history and other factors. 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.

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. Virginia Cancer Specialists 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, VCS 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 VCS encourage all of their patients to contact them for more information about colorectal cancer screening or to learn more about what they can do to prevent the disease.

About Virginia Cancer Specialists

For more than 40 years, Virginia Cancer Specialists (VCS) has contributed to the campaign against cancer and diseases of the blood. VCS has nine locations throughout Northern Virginia staffed by more than 30 highly-skilled physicians, each delivering exceptional care. The practice has built a world-class treatment team of cancer specialists, as well as acquiring the very latest treatment technology to help achieve the best outcomes for patients. VCS unites medical, radiation, and orthopedic oncologists, hematologists, oncology nurse navigators, oncology infusion nurses, radiation therapists, genetic counselors, oncology pharmacists and laboratory technicians, all working together as a team to design optimal multidisciplinary treatment programs, efficiently sharing knowledge, executing treatment plans, and providing a patient-centered, consumer-friendly approach to cancer care. Patients receive the full spectrum of high-quality care necessary to treat their disease from a care team united in their effort to provide each patient with the specific personalized care they need to battle cancer.

Virginia Cancer Specialists has a well-established, comprehensive clinical research program, and it is one of the only fully staffed cancer centers committed to research in Northern Virginia. The practice has access to hundreds of innovative clinical trials through its affiliation with The US Oncology Network, one of the nation’s largest networks of more than 1,000 community-based oncologists and a leader in the advancement of cancer research and treatment. The US Oncology Network conducts clinical trials through US Oncology Research, which has played a role in nearly 60 FDA approved cancer therapies, nearly one third of all cancer therapies approved by the FDA to date. US Oncology Research manages about 300 active trials at any given time, and VCS participates in many of them, testing new leading-edge drugs or various combinations of treatments for cancer and blood disorders. To learn more about Virginia Cancer Specialists, please visit

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