National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month focuses attention on a disease that is detectable and treatable when caught in its early stages. Each March, healthcare facilities and organizations take steps to raise awareness of this condition and to highlight the importance of regular colorectal cancer screenings on a schedule recommended by your healthcare providers.
Bertrand Chaffee Hospital joins in this effort by sharing information about colorectal cancer with patients through its Primary Care Center and Surgical Center. The goal: encourage patients to know their risks for colorectal cancer and to get screened on a schedule recommended by their healthcare provider.
For most patients, colon cancer screenings begin at age 50, though certain risk factors such as a family history of colon cancer might indicate that earlier screenings are needed.
Colonoscopies are screening tools that are performed in a surgical setting with sedation for patient comfort. Other screening options include take-home stool tests that are covered by most insurance plans and available for free to uninsured patients through county Cancer Services Programs (CSP). To access the CSP in Erie County, call (716) 858-7376. For Cattaraugus, Allegany and Chautauqua Counties, call 877-778-6857. For Wyoming County, call (716) 278-4898.
At Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, physicians in our Surgical Center perform colonoscopies for patients in an ambulatory surgery setting. That means that patients are generally able to go home from their procedure on the same day.
Colorectal cancer most commonly affects individuals over the age of 50. Patients who are experiencing a change in bowel habits, bleeding or blood in stool, persistent abdominal pain or cramping, or unexplained weight loss should consult with their healthcare provider.
A prescription is needed from a healthcare provider to schedule a colonoscopy. Please call (716) 794-3295 for a colonoscopy consultation with Dr. Gavin Davison, surgeon in the BCH Surgical Center.