Augusta Health offers free colon cancer awareness event

A free seminar on colon cancer and the screening options available for early detection will be held Wednesday, March 30 from 7–8:30 p.m. at the Augusta Community Care Building on the Augusta Health campus. Panel members will include Dr. Vanessa Lee, a gastroenterologist; colon clinic Nurse Practitioner Sandy Flintom; a current patient Aggie Dodson. To register for the seminar, please call 540.245.7900.

A recent report by the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 141,210 new colon cancer cases in 2011 and 49,380 deaths. Experts estimate that 60 percent of those deaths would have been avoidable through earlier screening. At Augusta Health Cancer Center, 40 percent of the colon cancers diagnosed are already in the later stages—Stage III and Stage IV. That percentage is much higher compared to the other three cancers that have good screenings available—skin cancer is 5 percent, prostate cancer is 9 percent and breast cancer is 12 percent.

Cancer prevention organizations and physicians recommend that screening for colon cancer begin at age 50. According to the American Cancer Society, more than half of Americans age 50 and older are not getting screened.

The panel-led seminar will include information on and discussion of the screening options available for colon cancer, and samples of the ‘preps’ used for colonoscopies. Current patient Aggie Dodson will discuss the importance of screening and early detection.

Augusta Health is an independent, nonprofit community hospital with a mission to promote the health and well-being of our community through access to excellent care. Online at

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