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Dignity Health Central Coast Hospitals Recognize March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month with Informational Session

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Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, affecting men and women of all races.

CENTRAL COAST, CA – March 1, 2018 – Arroyo Grande Community Hospital (AGCH),  French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC), and Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC), which are Dignity Health Central Coast hospitals, recognize the significance of March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  In acknowledgment of this month, Marian Cancer Care at Mission Hope Cancer Center is pleased to offer an informational session to explain the importance of a colonoscopy.

Over 75 percent of colon and rectal cancers occur in individuals with no known risk factors and they often begin with no symptoms. Dignity Health Central Coast encourages a proactive approach to intercepting this cancer in its earliest stages with regular screenings and the resources necessary to make informed health care decisions.

In acknowledgement of this prevalent disease, Marian Cancer Care at Mission Hope Cancer Center is offering a Colorectal Cancer Informational Session by expert Gastroenterologist Atul B. Vachhani, MD. The event will be free to the public and will discuss risk factors, screening recommendations, what to expect during a colonoscopy, and the latest treatment options for colorectal cancer. It will be held on Tuesday, March 13 at 5:30p.m. at Mission Hope Cancer Center, 1325 East Church Street, Santa Maria. Reservations are required for the event by calling 805.219.HOPE (4673).

Both men and women are equally at risk for colon cancer and the risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. Screening tests for colorectal cancer should begin soon after turning 50 and continue at regular intervals or at the recommendation of a physician. Although colorectal cancer is most common among people age 50 and older, it can also occur in teenagers. The majority of colon cancers appear in individuals with no known risk factors, which is why regular screenings are so important.

March serves as a gentle reminder of an annual screening colonoscopy, but colon health is of great importance to us all year long. Understanding the disease is essential for anyone who has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and for those who are trying to prevent it. With early detection and regular screenings, colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable. For more information, please call oncology Nurse Navigator Carol Lowe, RN, OCN at (805) 346-3463.


About Dignity Health Central Coast
Dignity Health Central Coast is comprised of five hospitals, all recognized for their quality of care, safety and service, primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically advanced imaging centers, outpatient services and comprehensive home health services. Hospitals in the Dignity Health Central Coast region include Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo and St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to provide additional funding to support new programs and services, as well as to advance the community’s access to health care.  For more information, visit: 


Publish date: 

Thursday, March 01, 2018