March brings awareness for Colorectal Cancer

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and unfortunately also the second leading cause of cancer death.

The month of March is used as a national platform to reduce the risk of this cancer.

"Everybody needs to get screened for colorectal cancer," said Dr. James Surrell, a colorectal surgeon. "The big thing is that most common early symptoms of colorectal cancer is nothing at all."

Dr. Surrell said a person should get a screening by age 50, unless there is a history of colorectal cancer in their family, then they should get a colonoscopy earlier.

"If you have any symptoms such as rectal bleeding, change in bowl pattern, unexplained weight loss, or something is going on with your digestive system, get checked right away," explained Surrell.

And those who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, expenses related to treatments can add up.

The Cancer Care of Marquette County is able to help the cancer patients in need of financial assistance with co-pays, deductibles, insurance, and travel expenses.

"We have had a lot younger people in the prime of their life who have to deal with this," said Lynn Bartanen, the patient care coordinator at CCMC. "They are unable to work because they are too sick and then they loose their insurance because of that. It can leave people to financial ruin in addition to what it does to their health."

The CCMC is an all volunteer organization. This weekend they hosted their 2nd annual Stick It to Cancer co-ed hockey tournament where proceeds go to cancer help.

"We like it for people to come out and have a good time because it is for a good cause, but it still makes people aware there is someone like us available to help people out," said Bartanen.

For more information on CCMC, click here.

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