Regional West Joins the Effort to Fight Back Against Colon Cancer
SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., ― Regional West has announced it will join the statewide effort organized by the Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force and the Nebraska Cancer Coalition to help raise awareness of lifesaving colon cancer screening during Colon Cancer Awareness month and Dress in Blue Day on Friday, March 5.
Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer in the U.S., affecting men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. Undergoing screening, especially for those ages 45 or older, can stop cancer before it starts or identify it early enough to provide the best prognosis for recovery.
"Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that is curable if caught early. That is why it is important to not delay getting screened," said Regional West physician Armando "AJ" Magana, MD.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant decrease in colon cancer screening, threatening to regress years of progress toward early detection and treatment of the disease. In 2020, there were an estimated 1.7 million missed colonoscopies nationwide as four out of every 10 Americans delayed or avoided medical care during the pandemic due to COVID-19 concerns.
There are multiple safe, affordable options available for screening, including free, at-home test kits available statewide. Individuals are encouraged to contact their primary care provider to start a conversation about screening. Pick-up locations for free, at-home test kits can be found by visiting coloncancertaskforce.org/pickup-locations.
Nebraska residents between the ages of 45 to 75 years old who meet certain income guidelines may be eligible for free or low-cost colon cancer screening. For more information, visit the Nebraska Colon Cancer Screening Program website or call (800) 532-2227.
Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Neb., is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center and the only Level II Trauma Center in Nebraska west of Kearney. As the region’s only tertiary referral medical center, Regional West offers care that spans more than 32 medical specialties provided by over 28 physician clinics. With nearly 300 in-network providers and approximately 2,000 staff members, Regional West provides comprehensive and innovative health care services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.