During a recent signing ceremony in New Jersey, Ross University School of Medicine recently pledged 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).
"Having lost my father too early in life to colorectal cancer, I know firsthand the seriousness of this disease and the importance of early detection,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) who shared remarks at the ceremony. “Colorectal cancer is highly preventable and treatable—but you have to catch it early. By increasing awareness and screening rates, we can save thousands of lives in New Jersey, keeping families whole and our communities strong. That is why I am proud to endorse the 80% by 2018 Initiative and pledge to do all that I can to help achieve this goal to prevent and eliminate colorectal cancer.”
According to ACS, 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 cancer 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.
“We are thrilled to join the cause to improve colorectal cancer screening rates,” said Nicole Pride, communications manager at RUSM. “We will help to educate our nearly 12,000 alumni, particularly those who specialize in primary care, on what they can do to encourage patients who are over 50 years of age about getting screened. Together, we can help to eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.”
“Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem. Adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it. There are several screening options, including take home tests,” said Dr. Alvaro Carrascal, Vice President of Health Systems for the American Cancer Society. “Colorectal cancer can be prevented or detected early through appropriate screening and tens of thousands of lives can be saved if we increase screening to reach 80% by 2018."
Part of the 80% by 2018 goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients, providers to increase screening rates. The 80% by 2018 initiative consists of health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, 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.