Colorectal cancer seminar planned

AMSTERDAM — Doctors Gary Sinensky and Jay Zimmerman, St. Mary’s Healthcare gastroenterologists, will speak at a free educational seminar on colorectal cancer on Tuesday, March 6, at St. Mary’s Carondelet Pavilion auditorium, 380 Guy Park Ave., sponsored by Cancer Services Program of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady.

The seminar for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month includes a free dinner and open discussion.

Dinner will be available at 5:30 p.m. with presentations starting at 6:15 p.m. with time for questions afterward until 7:30 p.m.

To register, call (518) 841-3726.

St. Mary’s Healthcare has pledged its support of a healthier community by helping 80 percent of appropriate people to get screened, according to a news release. With recommended screening, the number of people who die from colorectal cancer could be reduced by at least 60 percent

When colorectal cancer is found and treated early, it can often be cured. In some cases, screening can prevent the development of colorectal cancer by finding polyps (growths that can turn into cancer) so they can be removed before they become cancerous.

Yet colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in the state. Each year, more than 9,000 New Yorkers develop colorectal cancer and more than 3,000 die as a result.

All men and women age 50 and older should get screened for colorectal cancer, the release said. Anyone with a personal or family history of colon polyps, colorectal cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, is at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. These individuals should talk to their doctors about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested. In addition, men and women of any age with blood in their stool, weight loss without knowing why, or a change in their bowel habits including aches and pains that do not go away should talk to their doctor.

For individuals insured through Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health plans, including those participating in the New York State of Health, colorectal cancer screening is covered with no cost to the patient. For anyone without a doctor or without insurance, the Cancer Services Program (CSP) can help.

To register for the program on Tuesday, March 6, please call (518) 841-3726.

By Kerry Minor

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