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March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

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In observance of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the Southwestern Endoscopy Center at Cherry Tree Medical Park in Uniontown is taking part in "Dress in Blue Day" on Fridayas a way to bring awareness to and educate people on the risks of colon cancer.

"Dress in Blue Day" is a part of a national campaign organized by the Colon Cancer Alliance as a way to raise awareness about colon cancer, celebrate survivors, and help patients in need during the month of March.

"This program is for anyone who is involved with colon cancer, whether you've had a colonoscopy or know someone who has. Everyone that day dresses in blue as an awareness of colon cancer," said Sally Calabrese of Southwestern Endoscopy Center in Uniontown.

The center will be kicking off the month by educating people with posters, distributing stickers and pins, and having physicians available as a source of information.

"A 30-minute colonoscopy can save your life," Calabrese said. "That's all it takes. People have a little bit of a stigma about going in for a colonoscopy, but it's very non-invasive."

A colonoscopy works as a cancer preventative measure, because it facilitates the removal of pre-cancerous growths.

Colon cancer is diagnosed in roughly 150,000 Americans each year. Approximately 50,000 people die of colon cancer annually in this country, making colon cancer the second-leading cancer killer behind lung cancer. The American Cancer Society now recommends that everyone have a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50.

"We're just trying to raise awareness, because this is definitely a preventable type of disease," Calabrese said.

The Southwestern Endoscopy Center is located at 300 Spring Creek Lane in Cherry Tree Park, Uniontown. The center is operated by five board-certified gastrointestinal physicians and is fully equipped with a full-service gastrointestinal group and endoscopy center. For more information, call 724-437-7677.

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