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Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006 -- 9:04 AM

It isn't a topic people really enjoy talking about, but healthcare workers know it's important to discuss colorectal cancer.

Among cancers, only lung cancer kills more people, but unlike lung cancer, colorectal cancer is very treatable if found early.

Memorial Medical Center will be offer $10 colorectal cancer screenings at the Clark County Fair.

"The colon is part of the digestive system," explains Tina Opelt, a nurse practioner with Memorial Medical Center. "It's made of two main parts: the small intestine and the large intestine."

There are many risk factors for developing colon cancer, but age is one of the biggest.

"91-percent of all colon cancers are found in those age 50 or higher," Opelt says. "Once you hit the age 60-79, you're fifty times more likely to have cancer than you are at the age of 40."

While education has led to a decrease in the number of colorectal cancer deaths, more than 56,000 died of coloncancer in 2005.

"Anecdotally, we are certainly performing colonoscopies and diagnosing colorectal cancer every month," Opelt says.

Health officials recommend annual screenings for those over the age of 50. Those screenings, which usually require a trip to the doctor?s office, can be quite pricey, [b]but you can receive a take-home screening for only $10 if you stop at the Memorial Medical Center tent from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Thursday and Saturday of the Clark County Fair[/b].

[url=http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/pdq/treatment/colon/patient]National Cancer Institute: Colon Cancer[/url]

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