Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center to host 'dress in blue' day to raise colon cancer awareness
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 2:26 pm

OGDENSBURG -- Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center will host a “dress in blue day” Friday, March 1, where employees can wear blue to help bring greater awareness to colon cancer.

In St. Lawrence County, colorectal cancer accounts for 12.5 percent of all cancer cases and 11.9 percent of all cancer deaths, according to medical center staffers.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States, staffers said. This reflects the lower screening and early detection rates for this cancer.

Early detection is associated with an increased survival rate. “There really is no reason why a person should not get a colonoscopy. The prep, which most people fret, has come a long way from drinking gallons of a chalky liquid to taking a couple of pills and drinking some Gatorade,” said Chris Brandy, general surgeon at Claxton-Hepburn.

“The new form of sedation that we use enables people to wake up feeling refreshed and not groggy as in the past,” he continued. “With these new positive changes in colon screening, there really is no excuse why somebody shouldn’t get a colonoscopy.”

Colon cancer is easily prevented through screening, but 1 in twenty people will be diagnosed with the disease. The Colon Cancer Alliance launched the first national “dress in blue day” in 2009 to bring nationwide attention to colon cancer.

“By going blue, we hope to raise public awareness and get people talking about this cancer. I want it to be talked about as much as breast cancer,” said Michele Catlin, the medical center’s community outreach coordinator.

“The dangers, prevention and treatment of colon cancer are still not widely known and are not discussed because colorectal cancer affects parts of the body that people often find embarrassing to talk about,” Catlin said.

The Medical Center’s Cornerstone Café will also serve a super-sized salad bar along with other healthy options.

“Go Blue Day” information and bracelets will be available in the café and a colorectal cancer information table will be on display in the Main Lobby during March.

For more information about “Go Blue Day” or colorectal screening services provided at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center visit www.claxtonhepburn.org or call 1-888-908-2462.