CENTRAL COAST, CA – March 1, 2021 – 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. We urge community members not to delay routine colon screenings because of the pandemic.
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.
A colonoscopy screening is the only test available to detect and at the same time remove colon polyps. This is important because most colorectal cancers begin as benign polyps.
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 45 and continue at regular intervals or at the recommendation of a physician. Although colorectal cancer is most common among people age 50 and older, recent data shows that 10.5 percent of colorectal cancers occur in people between the ages of 45 and 49. 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.
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.