NORTHAMPTON – Colon cancer screening saves lives. And it's doctor recommended. Community members are invited to learn the facts about colon cancer, the second cause of cancer deaths, at a free program that will be held on Wednesday, March 16 from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Dakin Conference Room at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
[img_assist|nid=632|title=Dr. Jeff Cooley|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=366]Dr. Jeffery Cooley, a board certified gastroenterologist of Hampshire Gastroenterology Associates, will present the myths and facts about colon cancer. According to Cooley:
- The risk of developing colon cancer increases after age 50. Getting a simple screening colonoscopy exam can significantly decrease someone's chances of developing colon cancer, which is a life-threatening disease.
- Most colon cancers develop from pre-cancerous polyps. Most polyps do not cause symptoms.
- A colonoscopy will reduce one's risk of developing colon cancer by 60 to 80%.
Colonoscopy screening, encouraged for people over age 50 and those with a family history, helps find polyps so they can be removed before they turn into colorectal cancer. While most polyps are not cancerous, 20 percent of people have precancerous polyps and a small number could become cancerous over time.
To register for the community program, call (888) 554-4CDH (234).