Guthrie Highlights Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screening

As Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close, Guthrie is encouraging people age 50 and older, and those with family history of colorectal cancer, to protect their health and schedule a screening for colon cancer. 

Dr. Thomas McDonald, Guthrie Gastroenterologist, advises, "Colonoscopies can detect cancer at an early stage. Early screenings and early diagnoses promote greater survival rates because treatment can begin sooner. The sooner one gets screened, the more treatable the cancer, if cancer is found.”

Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through screening. Polyps can often be removed during a colonoscopy before they become cancerous. Colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable, especially when it is caught early. The cancer typically has few symptoms in early stages, so screening is extremely important. 

Current guidelines recommend colonoscopies for all women and men age 50 and older. African Americans should being screenings at age 45, and those with family history should speak to their doctor about possible earlier screening.

Guthrie is a non-profit integrated health system located in north central Pennsylvania and Upstate New York, serving patients from an 11-county service area. Guthrie is a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, and is the first health system based in Pennsylvania and New York to join this network. Guthrie is comprised of a research institute, home care/hospice, hospitals in Sayre, Pa., Corning, N.Y., Towanda, Pa., and Troy, Pa., as well as a multi-specialty group practice of more than 290 physicians and 175 mid-level providers in a regional office network encompassing sub-specialty and primary care sites in 23 communities throughout Pennsylvania and New York.  Guthrie offers a wide range of services and programs designed to enhance the health and well-being of those it serves.