Date: 3/26/2007

St. Mary Medical Center staff ’springs’ for cancer awareness

St. Mary Medical Center physicians are raising cancer awareness and some cheer by springing for daffodil bouquets to present to patients in observance of March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Some 200 patients have received flower bud vases from the medical staff during Daffodil Days, along with a reminder card that features colon cancer screening guidelines.

“With early detection of colorectal cancer through regular screenings, there is increased opportunity for successful treatment outcomes,” said Peter Mavrelis, M.D., gastroenterologist and president of the medical staff at St. Mary Medical Center.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Statistics compiled by the ACS indicate that some 135,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with colorectal cancer and 57,000 die from the disease. Nine out of 10 individuals with colorectal cancer who receive treatment at an early stage, live longer, according to the ACS. Most cases occur at age 50+, which is why the ACS recommends men and women begin regular screenings at age 50. Individuals with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer may need additional preventative care such as being examined at an earlier age or more often.