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Stamford Hospital Raises Colon Cancer Awareness

Interactive exhibit at Tully Health Center

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Stamford, CT | Added on March 06, 2014 At 04:29 PM

Stamford Hospital is inviting people to learn more about colon cancer prevention. 

"With this colon in the background, the main thing is trying to get people aware of what colon cancer is," said Marilee Freitas, a colorectal surgeon at Stamford Hospital.  

The "strollin' colon" is an interactive display people can walk through to learn more about the disease as part of colon cancer awareness month.  

"It's also the second cancer killer in the nation," said Freitas.  

The American Cancer Society says it's also the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women.  An estimated 50,000 will die from the disease in the U.S. But, the Colon Cancer Alliance reports the disease is 90 percent beatable when caught early.  

"Ninety percent of colon cancers are diagnosed after the age of 40, but that being said, it can affect anyone so everyone is at risk," said Freitas.  "I have seen it in younger people, but usual it's after the age of 40.  We recommend that most people start getting their screenings, even if they don't have any symptoms, starting at age 50.  Colon cancer doesn't always cause symptoms and that's the problem."

Oncology Dietitian Lisa Shepard says 90 percent of the body's immune system is located in the intestines, making what you eat even more essential for colon health.  

"Fiber is really one of the most important things.  Of course you want to reduce animal meat, you want to reduce red meat, you want to reduce trans fats and processed foods and sugars," said Shepard, who works at Stamford Hospital's Bennett Cancer Center.  "Fiber has protective roles in preventing colon cancer."  

The exhibit will be on display again tomorrow March 7 from 10 am to 2 pm at Tully Health Center.  


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