Quincy Medical Group, Blessing Health System, and SIU Center for Family Medicine-Quincy Join Forces with Over 500 Local and National Organizations to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings Rates across the Country

“80% by 2018” is a shared goal to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. 

Quincy, IL – Colorectal cancer screening saves lives.  Blessing Health System, Quincy Medical Group and SIU Center for Family Medicine-Quincy have made the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the “80% by 2018” initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC).

Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths; however, it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented. Through proper colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths, called polyps, in the colon, before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent some cancers altogether.

“80% by 2018” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative in which over five hundred organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.  Leading public health organizations, such as ACS, CDC and the NCCRT are rallying organizations to embrace this shared goal.

“Colorectal cancer is totally preventable and, if caught early, it’s curable,” says Dr. Harsha Polavarapu, Colorectal Surgeon, Blessing Physician Services. “So, preventing colorectal cancer by raising awareness in the community as well as by offering screenings is something that we are very passionate about.”

While colorectal cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. over the last 10 years among adults 50 and older, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable. In the U.S. in 2015, the cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed totaled over 132,700.

“Our primary care providers both in Quincy and our rural branches and the gastroenterologists are dedicated to getting the message out to the community and help our patients by reducing the incidence of colorectal cancer in the tri-states,” added Dr. Richard Schlepphorst, Chief Medical Officer, Quincy Medical Group.

Part of the 80% by 2018 goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients, and providers to increase screening rates. The 80% by 2018 initiative consists of health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government agencies, non-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups who are committed to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer to prevent more cancers and save lives.

“We are proud to be part of this community-wide effort to improve colon cancer screening for Quincy and the surrounding areas,” said Dr. Timothy Ott, DO Chief Medical Officer SIU Center for Family Medicine – Quincy.

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