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Norris Cotton Cancer Center Presents Colorectal Screening Expo at NHPR in Concord on March 4

February 10, 2011
Lebanon, NH

New Hampshire residents will find a wealth of valuable information about preventing colorectal cancers at the Colorectal Screening Expo scheduled for March 4. The Expo, presented by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center and hosted by New Hampshire Public Radio, will take place at the NHPR Broadcast Center at 2 Pillsbury Street in downtown Concord beginning at 11 a.m. and closing at 2 p.m.

Expo attendees will learn about options for colorectal cancer screening and prevention, watch videos about screening and screening preparation, and will be able to receive a personalized analysis of colon cancer risk. The information presented will be of particular value and importance for residents age 50 and older.

The Colorectal Screening Expo is part of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and is being held on "Dress In Blue Day," a national effort promoting colorectal cancer awareness by wearing blue clothes and accessories. Dress In Blue Day is being promoted in New Hampshire by the New Hampshire Colorectal Cancer Screening Program (NHCRCSP). Developed in collaboration with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, NHCRCSP aims to increase colorectal cancer screening to 80% of the state's residents age 50 and older by 2014. In addition, the NHCRCSP provides a small number of free colonoscopies to low income uninsured NH residents.

Nationwide, more than 147,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are reported every year, with nearly 50,000 deaths reported per year, according to the American Cancer Society. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the country after lung cancer, and the fourth most common cancer. In New Hampshire, 720 new cases of colorectal cancer are reported each year.

According to Lynn Butterly, MD, Director of Colorectal Cancer Screening for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Medical Director of the NHCRCSP, "Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that we can prevent, rather than just catch early. The way we prevent colorectal cancer is through screening. Very few people who come for screening at the recommended time will already have a colorectal cancer, although polyps are a common finding. By removing any polyps that are found, we can reduce the chances that those polyps can later develop into cancer. That's why screening is so important for this type of cancer."

Screening by colonoscopy looks for polyps, which are small growths on the surface of the colon (large intestine). Over a period of 5-10 years, some polyps can potentially become cancers. During a colonoscopy, polyps can be painlessly removed, which prevents them from having the chance to turn into cancer. This is the reason why a colonoscopy is such an effective preventive procedure, points out Dr. Butterly.

In addition to Dr. Butterly, Stefan Holubar, MD, a colorectal surgeon at DHMC and colorectal cancer survivor, will be on hand to answer questions. Dr. Holubar, who is a member of the Cancer Center's Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, is a screening evangelist. "I can say without any hesitation at all that a colonoscopy saved my life," he comments. "They caught my cancer early, and now I've been cancer-free for 12 years."

In addition to Norris Cotton Cancer Center, sponsoring partners for the Colorectal Screening Expo include the NHCRCSP, American Cancer Society, Concord Hospital, GI Associates of New Hampshire, NH Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration, and the NH Division of Public Health Services.

About Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center

Norris Cotton Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations in Manchester and Keene, NH, and St. Johnsbury, VT, and at 11 partner hospitals throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. It is recognized and designated by the National Cancer Institute for its breadth and depth as one of just 40 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the U.S. Learn more about Norris Cotton Cancer Center research, programs, and clinical trials online at cancer.dartmouth.edu.

For more information contact Steve Bjerklie at (603) 653-9056.

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