PMC observing Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Carol Casebolt

The Leonard Lawson Cancer Center (LLCC) at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) acknowledges March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.


Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the US and the second leading cause in men.


The death rate for colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades.  There are a number of likely reasons for this change. 


One is that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers or are being found earlier when the disease is easier to treat. Treatment has also improved over the last few decades resulting in more than one million survivors of colorectal cancer in the US.


“If the patient can be operated on, surgery can get most, if not all, of the cancer,” said PMC Oncologist Gayle Roberts, MD. “This depends on the size of the tumor and how many lymph nodes test positive.”


If you have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, your cancer care team will discuss treatment options with you. There are several ways to treat colorectal cancer, depending on its type and stage.


“Colon Cancer has a fair prognosis depending on the size of the tumor and progression of the disease,” said Dr. Roberts.  “Sometimes surgery alone is enough. When there is a risk of cancer affecting the entire intestinal tract, chemotherapy is necessary to rid the body of the cancer.”


Dr. Roberts encourages patients to always focus on healthy life choices.


“Smoking is one of the biggest causative cofactors of colon cancer,” he said. “After diagnosis, it is never too late to change your habits. A good diet, exercise and stopping tobacco consumption are ways to minimize risk.”


For additional information about colorectal cancer or to schedule an appointment call the Leonard Lawson Cancer Center at 606-218-2212.




Source: American Cancer Society