MedStar Health Cancer Network Lights Hospitals Blue for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Drives American Cancer Society campaign to promote screenings

March 10, 2021

BALTIMORE— Throughout March, blue light will shine from the surgical pavilion beacon at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, and illuminate the campuses at MedStar Good Samaritan and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals, in honor of the American Cancer Society initiative to raise colorectal cancer awareness. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US but is also one of the few cancers that can be prevented through timely screenings.

“We’ve seen a drop in colorectal cancer screenings since the pandemic started a year ago,” said regional chief of surgery, David Stein, MD, who is also a colorectal surgeon. “It’s a very real possibility that the result of that will be an increase in colon cancer diagnoses.”

According to the American Cancer Society, colonoscopies declined nearly 90% in April, 2020 from the same time a year earlier, which could result in an additional 4,500 deaths from colorectal cancer in the next 10 years. 

Colorectal cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. For people of average risk, screenings should begin at aged 45; earlier if there is a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps.

“In this country, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, but it doesn't have to be,” said Dr. Stein, emphasizing the importance of detecting cancers early. “With the screenings, we can find polyps, or abnormal growths, before they turn into cancer. Treatments are most effective in early stages of cancer.”

Free screenings are available to eligible patients, age 45 or older, who live in Baltimore City or Anne Arundel County and have a low income. Call 410-350-8216 or 410-350-3444 (Spanish) to see if you qualify. 

To schedule your colonoscopy at any MedStar Health hospital, call 443-777-2475.

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About MedStar Health

At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Phone: 410-274-1260
debra.schindler@medstar.net

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