MCF Joins the 80% by 2018 Challenge
“80% by 2018” is a shared goal to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.
Falmouth, Maine. – Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives. Maine Cancer Foundation today announced that it has made the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC).
Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths and is the fourth most common cancer in Maine; however it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented. Through proper colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether.
“80% by 2018” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative in which over two hundred organizations have committed to eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. Leading public health organizations, such as ACS, CDC and the NCCRT are rallying organizations to embrace this shared goal.
“Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem, and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it, but we have found that many people aren’t getting tested because they don’t believe they are at risk, don’t understand that there are testing options or don’t think they can afford it,” said Tara Hill, Executive Director of Maine Cancer Foundation. “The truth is that the vast majority of cases of colorectal cancer occur in people age 50 and older. Colorectal cancer in its’ early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 50 and older should get tested. There are several screening options – even take home options – available. Plus, many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening and there are local resources available to help those that are uninsured.”
While colorectal cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. over the last 10 years among adults 50 and older, it is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable. In fact, in 2014 in the U.S., 137,000 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed.
Part of the 80 percent by 2018 goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients, providers to increase screening rates. The 80% by 2018 initiative consists of health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, non-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups who are committed to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer to prevent more cancers and save lives.
“We are thrilled to join the cause to improve colorectal cancer screening rates,” said Ms. Hill. “We are asking the people of Maine to come together and help us by getting screened and talking to your friends and family who are over 50 years of age about getting screened. Together, we can help to eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.”
For more information or to learn about resources in your area, visit: www.mainecancer.org/colorectal
Maine Cancer Foundation was started in 1976 by a group of concerned citizens eager to do more for Maine in the fight against cancer. Over the years, our targets have shifted as new treatments and hard-won knowledge have become available to doctors and patients, but our commitment remains firm. We owe our success to those who came before us, and are dedicated to continue the fight for those who will come after. The Maine Cancer Foundation continually seeks to invest in the most promising and effective cancer-fighting programs in Maine.
We are proud of our record of accomplishment and we hope that you will continue to support this grand vision: a future where cancer is no longer a threat to our loved ones.
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