March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In recognition of this, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is offering a free find an Endoscopist online tool, to help individuals find a physician in their area with specialized training in these gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures.
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is hoping to urge everyone over 50, and those under 50 with a family history or other risk factors, to be screened for colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US, with approximately 148,000 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed annually and 56,000 deaths from the disease. However, screening tests can actually prevent colorectal cancer via the identification and removal of non-cancerous polyps. It is estimated that increased screening could save 30,000 lives each year in the US.
Colorectal cancer is highly preventable, but access to specialists who perform the widely used colorectal cancer screening methods of flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is critical.