Lahey Health Joins Forces with Over 200 Local and National Organizations to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings Rates across the Country

“80% by 2018” is a shared goal to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018

April 01, 2015

Burlington, Mass. – Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives.  Lahey Health 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 the ACS and CDC).

Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths; 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 nearly 200  organizations have committed to eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health concern 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 Paul J. Hesketh, MD, Chair of the Lahey Health Cancer Institute. “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 those 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 may be 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 and providers in order 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 colorectal cancer and to save lives.

“We are thrilled to join the cause to improve colorectal cancer screening rates,” said Dr. Hesketh. “We are asking all members of our community to come together and help us by getting screened and by talking to your friends and family who are over 50 years of age about getting screened. Together, we can help eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health concern.”

For  more information about Lahey Health, including lists of services and physicians as well as what separates it from other healthcare systems, visit www.laheyhealth.org, follow the Lahey Health Twitter feed, or become a fan on Facebook.

About Lahey Health
Lahey Health is what's next in healthcare, providing a full continuum of integrated health services close to where you live or work. It is comprised of nationally recognized, award-winning hospitals—including an academic hospital and medical center, and community hospitals—primary care providers, specialist physicians, behavioral health services, post-acute programs such as home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities, and senior care resources located throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire. 

Lahey Health offers nearly 1,000 locally based physicians providing clinical excellence and an exceptional patient experience in adult and pediatric primary care and every medical specialty, including kidney and liver transplantation; neurosurgery, cancer, cardiovascular and orthopedic medical and surgical care; local emergency and trauma care; urological surgery; chronic disease prevention and health management; and pediatric emergency, newborn and inpatient care provided in collaboration with Boston Children's Hospital physicians. 

Lahey Health includes Lahey Hospital & Medical Center—a teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine—and Lahey Clinic physician group with practices in Burlington, Peabody and other locations throughout northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; Beverly Hospital; Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass.; Winchester Hospital; Lahey Health Senior Care and Lahey Health Behavioral Services as well as more than 30 primary care physician practices and multiple outpatient and satellite specialty care facilities. 

Together, we are making innovative, integrated healthcare more personal and more accessible. For more information, visit LaheyHealth.org and its member websites Lahey Hospital & Medical CenterBeverly Hospital, Winchester Hospital, and Lahey Health Behavioral Services.


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LAHEY HEALTH CONTACT:

Dan Marra
Lahey Health Media Relations
781-744-9796
Daniel.J.Marra@Lahey.org