Chautauqua County community leaders put pen to paper as they announced their commitment to promote colorectal cancer screening within the county.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 135,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States this year, and over one-third will die from the disease. In New York State, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women.
The event represents a strong commitment to keep our communities healthy, celebrating the pledge to achieve 80 percent by 2018; a shared goal led by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT.org).
“More than 40 community leaders from all over the county joined together to take steps to eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem,” said Christine Schuyler, Chautauqua County Commissioner of Health and Human Services. “Working together to increase screening ultimately prevents lives from being lost to colorectal cancer.”
80% by 2018 pledges were signed by: Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan, Commissioner of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler, and New York State Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Office for the Aging (OFA) Director Dr. Mary Ann Spanos, OFA Health Educator Judith Blitz, Heather Morris from the American Cancer Society, Chautauqua County Executive Assistant Daniel Heitzenrater, Budget Director Kathleen Dennison, Betsy Wright and Toni DeAngelo from UPMC Chautauqua WCA, Sheila Walier from Brooks Memorial Hospital, Tracy A. Stevens from TLC Health Network, Heather Courtney and Donna Trusso from The Resource Center, Kelly Potter from the Chautauqua County Health Network, Kelly McDonald and John M. LaMancuso MD, from Jamestown Area Medical Associates–GLPP, Rebecca Ruiz from The Chautauqua Center. It was also signed by Adam Dolce with Rayquan Brooks, Lorriane Crump, Shateka Knight, Neyda Martinez Ruano, Joselin Sanchez Guarneros, and Macy St. Pe, all students from Cassadaga Job Corps, Kirsten Kathman from Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, Jason Sample from the Post-Journal, and Dave Rowley from WDOE/WBKX.
Pledges were also signed by Joe Askar MD, Alex Selioutski MD from Family Health Services Medical Services, Karen Dull from Medicor Associates, Jeffery Smith Executive Director of St. Susan Center, City of Jamestown Mayor Samuel Teresi, and Peter Pascale, Administrator of Westfield Memorial Hospital.
Chautauqua County Legislators who also signed the pledge are: David Himelein, Chairman, District 18; Kevin Muldowney, District 1; Bob Scudder, District 3; Christine Starks, District 4; Terry Niebel, District 5;George Borrello, District 6; Mark Odell, District 7; Pierre Chagnon, District 8; Charles Nazzaro, District 9; Paul Wendel, District 10; David Wilfong, District 11; Elisabeth Rankin, District 12; Paul Whitford, District 13; Mark Tarbrake, District 14; Lisa Vanstrom, District 15; Ronald Lemon, District 16; Frank J. Gould, District 17; John Hemmer, District 19; Kathy Tampio, Clerk of the Legislature.
All men and women age 50 and older should get screened for colorectal cancer. Although this disease can occur at any age, most people who develop colorectal cancer are over age 50. Anyone with a personal or family history of colon polyps, colorectal cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, is at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. These individuals should talk to their doctors about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested.
“People at higher risk for colorectal cancer may need earlier or more frequent tests than other people,” said Schuyler. “The important thing to remember is to talk to your doctor, decide which screening test is right for you, and complete the screening. There is more than one way to screen for colorectal cancer and screening is easier than ever. For anyone without a doctor or without insurance, the Cancer Services Program of Chautauqua County can help.”
“Chautauqua County Leaders are proud to champion the 80% by 2018 initiative to improve colorectal cancer screening rates,” said Schuyler. “We are asking all county residents to help us by getting screened and talking to your friends and family who are over 50 years of age about getting screened. Together, we can reach our shared goal of 80% of our eligible population screened for colon cancer.”
The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Chautauqua County is part of the New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program. CSP offers colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured individuals in every county in the state. To find a local Cancer Services Program near you, visit www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/ or call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262).
To learn more about screening options, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/colorectal/screening.htm.