A new event planned in Kennewick later this week aims to prevent or catch early one of the deadliest kinds of cancer.
The free colorectal cancer pre-screening is March 19 at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, 7350 W. Deschutes Ave. It will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., by appointment.
“We’re very, very excited (about the event),” said Michael Novakovich, spokesman for the cancer center. “There is a real need.”
Colorectal cancer — cancer that starts in the colon or rectum — is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women in the U.S.
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The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 134,490 new cases this year, and 49,190 deaths.
But it’s preventable through early detection screenings, and is treatable in the early stages.
The cancer center is putting on the pre-screening with the three area hospitals, Trios Health, Kadlec Regional Medical Center and Lourdes Health Network.
The event is for men and women ages 50 to 75. Those older than 75 should consult their doctor.
The pre-screening won’t involve a physical exam or a colonoscopy. Instead, a health assessment will be performed to determine if a colonoscopy is needed.
If one is needed, it will be scheduled on the spot.
“The commitment we have for these 150 or so patients that we’ll run through this pre-screening ... they walk out with a schedule for a colonoscopy in two weeks,” said Michele Caron, director of clinical services for the cancer center.
Free colonoscopy prep and education also will be provided.
Novakovich said the plan is for colorectal cancer pre-screenings to be held regularly. “This is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., which is ridiculous, because if more people got screened it wouldn’t be on the radar most likely,” he said.
“It’s curable,” Caron said.
The cancer center also is offering a free presentation about colorectal cancer on March 18, the day before the screening.
It will run from noon to 1 p.m. and feature Dr. Amer Khouri of Trios Health. He’ll discuss risk factors, prevention and treatment. Lunch will be provided with an RSVP.
To sign up for the free colorectal cancer pre-screening, go to tccancer.org and click on the “Free Community Wide Colorectal pre-screening” banner at the top of the page.