(LORAIN) – According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and over 50,000
people die from the disease each year in the United States. It is the
second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. However, the five-year
survival rate is more than 90 percent when found and treated early.
The best way to prevent colon cancer mortality is to have a screening
colonoscopy. More than 90 percent of this type of cancer occurs in adults
over the age of 50. Since the risk of getting colon cancer increases with
age, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that
adults age 50 and older have a screening colonoscopy every 10 years, or
more frequently in patients who have had polyps removed, a family history
of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, certain genetic syndromesor
other related risks.
In Lorain County, most eligible adults are not getting screened for colon
cancer as recommended by the CDC. According to Nicholas Jarmoszuk,
M.D.,medical director of the Mercy Gastroenterology Center, “Currently,
more than 50 percent of eligible Lorain County residents have not scheduled
a screening colonoscopy. That’s a critical percentage when you realize that
up to three percent of screened adults are diagnosed with colon cancer.”
In honor of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March and to
heighten awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer screening, Dr.
Jarmoszuk is kicking off community outreach efforts with El Centro and
Lorain County Health & Dentistry.
“We are excited to partner with the Mercy Gastroenterology Center to help
educate the Hispanic community on this important health issue,” says Victor
Leandry, executive director, El Centro. “We look forward to Dr. Jarmoszuk’s
presentation on February 28.”
“As a Federally Qualified Health Center, we closely monitor a number of
clinical quality measures in order to assure we provide the best care
possible. Colorectal cancer screening is just one of those measures,” said
Stephanie Wiersma, president and CEO of Lorain County Health & Dentistry.
“To have the support of Dr. Jarmoszuk and Mercy’s Gastroenterology Center
in this outreach endeavor means our patients will have greater access to a
screening colonoscopy. As the medical home for thousands, we are very
excited to be a part of this prevention project. It will save lives,”
To further educate the community, Dr. Jarmoszuk is also offering his
expertise to conduct free educational programs in the community. Dr.
Jarmoszuk, who is board-certified in gastroenterology, is one of the
region’s foremost experts on colon cancer and the benefits of regular colon
Many people are not diagnosed with colon cancer until the later stages of
the disease, which makes successful treatment and cure more difficult.
Colon cancer is considered a silent disease in many ways, and symptoms are
often subtle and similar to non-cancerous conditions. Symptoms may include:
▪ Blood in the stool
▪ Persistent pain, aches or cramps in the abdomen
▪ Unexplained weight loss
Colorectal cancer risk factors include:
▪ Tobacco use
▪ Sedentary lifestyle
▪ High fat, low fiber diets
▪ Previous history of colon polyps
Considered the gold standard for detecting colon cancer, screening
colonoscopies show the inside of the rectum and the entire length of the
colon. After a daylong prep to cleanse the colon, a patient is sedated and
a thin, flexible tube (colonoscope) is gently inserted into the lower
gastrointestinal tract. A camera attached to the end of the colonoscope
allows the doctor to check for polyps. If something abnormal is detected,
it can be removed or biopsied during the screening. The process takes about
four hours, including the time a patient spends in recovery.
“I am personally volunteering my time to educate adults who have not had a
screening colonoscopy about the importance of this exam,” continued Dr.
Jarmoszuk. “The procedure, which is done in a comfortable, outpatient
setting, is the first step in ensuring good gastrointestinal health. By
taking just a few hours out of your day, you may be saving your life.”
Mercy recently acquired Erie Shores Endoscopy Center to grow upper and
lower endoscopy services and to encourage adults age 50 and older to have
screening colonoscopies. The endoscopy center, which was renamed the Mercy
Gastroenterology Center, is located in the medical office building adjacent
to Mercy Regional Medical Center at 3600 Kolbe Road in Lorain.
To schedule Dr. Jarmoszuk to speak to a church, organization or civic
group, please contact Colleen Campbell at 440.282.1360.
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