Embarrassing to discuss: maybe. Potentially deadly? yes.

Media Contact: Kim Keelor

Embarrassing to Discuss: Maybe. Potentially Deadly: Yes.
March is reminder about why colorectal cancer shouldn’t be squeamish subject

Charleston, SC – (March 1, 2011) There are many reasons why March is designated Colorectal Awareness Month. First, cancer of the colon and rectum is not fun to discuss and some people find it embarrassing so they avoid mentioning it, even to their doctors. Second, it is also scary as colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer-killer in America, according to the Colon Cancer Alliance. But, third and perhaps most important, is that colorectal cancer is preventable through screenings, which is why it needs to be discussed with the general physicians of both men and women.

“It’s easier to say ‘Doctor screen my colon’ than it is to live with the unknown,” said Jorge A. Lagares-Garcia, MD, FACS, FASCRS, Roper St. Francis Physician Partners. “Colorectal cancer is treatable and beatable. Once a patient gets in the habit of regular screenings, they become routine…a potentially lifesaving routine.”

Dr. Lagares-Garcia, who is a nationally-recognized colon and rectal surgeon, offers this basic information about why people ages 50 and older should request regular screenings from their general practitioners:

WHY: Because in 2010 alone, close to 103,000 new cases of colon cancer were detected according to the American Cancer Society.
WHO: Everyone 50 or older; those whose immediate family members have had colon cancer, colon polyps or long standing ulcerative colitis.
WHAT: Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor arising from the inner wall of the large intestine.
DIAGNOSING: Screening is important because colon polyps and early cancer can have no symptoms.
TREATMENT: Treatment of colorectal cancer depends on the location and size, as well as the age and health of the patient. Surgery is the most common treatment.

Lagares-Garcia, who is board certified in General and Colon and Rectal Surgery, is specialty-trained in colorectal surgery using the daVinci Robotic Surgical System, a minimally invasive robotic assisted system that enhances precision and accuracy.
He practices with Roper St. Francis Cancer Care at locations including the new cancer center located on the campus of Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley as well as at Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital and Roper Hospital downtown.

For more on colorectal cancer, please visit http://healthlibrary.rsfh.com/Library/Encyclopedia/85,P00362.


Colorectal Cancer Month P2
March 1, 2011

The Roper St. Francis Healthcare Mission:
Healing All People with Compassion, Faith and Excellence
Roper St. Francis Healthcare is the South Carolina Lowcountry’s only private, not-for-profit health care system. The 657-bed system consists of 90 facilities and services in seven counties. Member hospitals include Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Mount Pleasant Hospital and Roper Rehabilitation Hospital. Plans to build a hospital in Berkeley County are in progress. Roper St. Francis Physician Partners is a comprehensive network of more than 170 physicians that covers a complete range of primary care and 20 subspecialties.
With more than 5,000 employees, Roper St. Francis Healthcare is Charleston’s largest non-governmental, private employer. Its medical staff includes nearly 800 physicians representing every medical specialty. Ranked #46 among the Top 100 Integrated Health Networks in the nation, Roper St. Francis Healthcare recently earned 96 National Awards recognizing high levels of patient, physician and employee satisfaction. In October 2010, Roper St. Francis was named among Modern Healthcare’s prestigious list of “Top 100 Places to Work.” Roper St. Francis Healthcare was additionally listed among the Top 25 Connected Healthcare Systems in 2010. In 2009, the organization contributed more than 58,015 hours of staff time and $29.6 million to benefit the community, serving nearly 175,000 community residents.

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