CCHS Foundation 2018 Campaign

By the time you turn 50, you have a lot to celebrate. Years of hard work to be proud of, children who are grown and flourishing, the joy of friendships that have spanned decades, and the realization that each birthday is a blessing.

Turning 50 brings with it another milestone — most people begin routine screenings for colorectal cancer by undergoing a colonoscopy. In Cass County alone, more than 5,900 residents are 50 and older. That’s practically half the county!

Those 5,900 people are our friends, our family, our neighbors, and ourselves! That’s why the Cass County Health System Foundation has pledged to purchase new endoscopy equipment for the hospital. This equipment, which is commonly used for EGDs and colonoscopies, may not seem like life-saving technology, but it truly is. During a colonoscopy, if Dr. McCance sees a suspicious polyp, he is able to remove the polyp right then and there, potentially stopping cancer in its tracks.

Did you know that the most common symptom of early colorectal cancer is having no symptoms? That’s right – more than half of the people diagnosed with colorectal cancer had no symptoms. Typically, once symptoms start to develop, it may be a sign of more advanced disease, which is why it is so vital to begin screenings on time.

In 2017, the American Cancer Society reports that an estimated 6,200 Iowans will die from colorectal cancers. That’s 18 times the number of deaths caused by auto fatalities. Iowa also has one of the highest incidence rates for colorectal cancers in the country, which means that Iowans are more likely to develop colorectal cancers than people in other states.¹

This cancer doesn’t discriminate. Men and women are almost equally likely to develop colorectal cancer. It is most commonly diagnosed in adults over the age of 50, but the incidence rates in younger adults is actually increasing.

The vast majority of colorectal cancers are still found in older people, with nearly 90 percent of all cases diagnosed in people over 50. But a new study from the American Cancer Society that analyzed cancer incidence by birth year found that colorectal cancer rates, which had dropped steadily for people born between 1890 and 1950, have been increasing for every generation born since 1950. Experts aren’t sure why. ²

This trend is frightening. To us, it means that it is more important than ever that our patients have access to the best possible screening technology.

We need your help to purchase this new equipment here in Cass County. Please join us in making a pledge today for this worthy project. Click here to donate online now.

For more information or to make your gift today, please contact the CCHS Foundation Director, Dawn Marnin, at 712-243-7409.