Colon Cancer Rates Higher in Tishomingo County
IUKA, Miss.—Information recently released by the National Cancer Institute indicates that colon cancer rates in Tishomingo County are higher than state and national averages.
“When we looked at this data, we quickly realized that people in Tishomingo County are diagnosed with colon cancer more frequently because they are not meeting screening recommendations,” said Cindy McDaniel, BSN, RN, CGRN, who serves as a nurse navigator for colon cancer patients at North Mississippi Medical Center. “Screening is the easiest way to catch and treat early colon cancers, and we really want to make sure Tishomingo County residents are getting the screenings they need.”
The incidence rate of colon cancer in Tishomingo County is 54.5 percent. Mississippi’s incidence rate is 49.1 percent and nationwide is 39.8 percent. Lee County’s incidence rate is 47.3 percent.
“This translates to many people in Tishomingo County who are getting colon cancer diagnoses that could have been prevented with early and regular screening,” McDaniel said. “Colon cancer can be prevented through colonoscopy. Colon cancer starts as a small polyp, or growth, in the colon. A colonoscopy can remove those polyps before they become cancerous. The colon cancer death rate in the United States could be cut in half if we all followed screening guidelines.”
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. This year, approximately 135,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed and 50,000 people will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
Who should be screened?
- All men and women age 50 or older.
- African-Americans age 45 and older. (African-Americans tend to be diagnosed with colon cancer at a younger age and experience decreased survival.)
- Those with risk factors should talk to their doctor about beginning screening earlier, including those with a personal or family history of:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Colorectal cancer or polyps
- Ovarian, endometrial or breast cancer.
The American College of Gastroenterology recommends colonoscopy as the preferred colon cancer prevention strategy.
For more information or to schedule a colonoscopy, ask your primary care provider for a referral, or call 1-800-THE DESK (1-800-843-3375) to find a provider near you.