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St. Luke's MSTI Hosts Colon Cancer Awareness Event

By Ken Dey, News and Community
March 4, 2011

BOISE, Idaho – Colon Cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer and the third leading cause of death in the United States. March is colon cancer awareness month and St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute is hosting and information fair at from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, March 5 at the Boise Towne Square Mall lower level, center court. Special healthy cooking demonstrations will be held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. special in cooperation with Williams & Sonoma.

The event will give community members the opportunity to learn more about colon cancer and the steps they can take to prevent it including the benefits of screening for colon cancer.  Free home screening kits will be available at the event.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that as many as 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely. In most cases, colorectal cancer develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum.

Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests also can find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best. Some studies have also show that increased physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight may decrease the risk for colorectal cancer.

The home screening kits, which detect blood in fecal matter, are only a starting point to determining if someone is at risk for colon cancer.  Accurately detecting colon cancer requires a screening colonoscopy, which is recommended every 10 years after age 50. Those with a history of colon cancer should consult with their doctor, who may recommend screening begin before age 50.

The March 5 event is made possible through funding provided by proceeds from the Brian Olson Memorial Golf Tournament.  The 11th annual tournament will be held this June.  Since its inception the tournament has raised more than 300,000 for St. Luke’s MSTI. Money from the tournament pays for programs such as awareness campaigns, screening kits and financial assistance for colonoscopies.

The tournament is named for Brian Olson a devoted father, community citizen, and 15-year HP employee who died at age 39 from complications of colon cancer in November, 2000.  In Brian’s honor, a volunteer committee comprised of Hewlett-Packard employees established the Brian Olson Memorial Golf Classic with the goal of raising awareness of colon cancer

About St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute

Founded in 1969, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute (MSTI) has treated nearly 60,000 patients and has become one of the Northwest’s most respected cancer care centers providing the region’s most advanced cancer care therapies with the added benefit of allowing most patients to remain close to home. To find out more about St. Luke’s MSTI visit www.stlukesonline.org

About The Author

Ken Dey served as Public Relations Coordinator at St. Luke's from 2008-2014.