Shore Medical Center Joins Nationwide Fight Against Colorectal Cancer

April 05, 2017
“80% by 2018” is a shared goal to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives.  Shore Medical Center announced March 31 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 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 over 1,000 organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem 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. Unfortunately, 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 Joseph Johnston, Administrative Director of Oncology Services at Shore Medical Center. 

“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 everyone 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. If you are uninsured or underinsured, the NJ Cancer Education and Early Detection (CEED) program may be able to provide you with a free colorectal screening.” 

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 U.S, despite being highly preventable, detectable and treatable. In fact, in 2015 in the U.S., 132,700 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed.

Part of the 80% by 2018 goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients and providers 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 more cancers and save lives.

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

If you are unable to get important cancer screenings because you are uninsured, have high insurance deductibles or out of pocket expenses you cannot afford please call 609-653-3484.  Shore Cancer Center may be able to help.

Pictured: Shore Medical Center staff and physicians signed a pledge increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the “80% by 2018” initiative.  Pictured, left to right, are Jeanne Rowe MD, Chief Medical Officer, Shore Medical Center; David May, MD, General Surgeon, Shore Physicians Group; Jason Plaia, Senior Market Manager, American Cancer Society; James Pond, MD, Medical Director of Laboratory Services and Cancer Committee Chairman, SMC; Desiree D'Angelo-Donovan, DO, Surgeon, GFHD Surgical Associates; Robert Goldberg, MD, Medical Oncologist, SMC Oncology Division Chairman; Hemangini Shah, DO, Radiation Oncologist at Shore Cancer Center; James W. Herrington, MD, Surgeon, GFHD Surgical Associates; Kenneth Schwab, MD, SMC GI Division Chair, Jersey Shore Gastroenterology.