May 15, 2008 — On your 50th birthday, you’ll get a present from your doctor — a referral to colon cancer screening, preferably by colonoscopy. But a new study suggests this gift might do more good if it arrives years earlier. Most people don’t get colon cancer before they’re 60. Although colon cancer is deadly, it takes about a decade for colon polyps to turn into cancer (if they do — most polyps never become cancers). Removal of polyps prevents colon cancer, so doctors start looking for polyps when a person turns 50. Should doctors start looking earlier? A new study shows that people in their 40s are just as likely to have colon polyps as are people in their 50s. Study leader Alfred I. Neugut, MD, PhD, is acting chief of oncology at Columbia University Medical Center. “Should we start screening people in their 40s? Maybe,” Neugut tells WebMD. “It does take 10 years for a polyp to turn into cancer. So if people had screening in their 40s, maybe you would not see cancers in people in their 50s.” Neugut is quick to point out that this small study is by no means definitive. For one thing, there were too few patients. And the study did not evaluate whether the patients had family histories of colon cancer — a risk factor for colon cancer that should trigger screening before age 50. (Have you been screened for colon cancer ?
click to find out more http://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/news/20080515/earlier-colon-cancer-screening
Colon Cancer Alliance Announces Eric Hargis as CEO
Hargis brings more than 30 years of relevant leadership experience in national health organizations to his new role. “Our Board of Directors and executive staff selected Eric after a nationwide search. As a seasoned executive, his strong leadership abilities, history in strategically growing health organizations and passion for our mission make him the right candidate to take our organization to the next level and move our mission forward,” says Jasmine Greenamyer, Colon Cancer Alliance COO. Hargis joins the Colon Cancer Alliance after serving as the Executive Director for the National Parent Teacher Association. Prior to the National PTA, Hargis served as CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of America, COO of the Arthritis Foundation and Director of Development for the American Diabetes Association. Hargis has a proven track record of being a transformational leader, specifically leading nonprofit organizations through strategic growth plans. Nationally, Hargis has successfully led the development of numerous programs, partnerships, events and fundraising initiatives. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of the Colon Cancer Alliance, an organization that is directly saving lives,” says Hargis. “The foundation has already been laid: more people than ever before know they need to get screened, but yet, colon cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and it shouldn’t be. Through early detection and lifesaving screening, we can fulfill our mission to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. I’m committed to this organization and know that with the support of our Board of Directors, staff, sponsors and volunteers, we can save more lives than ever before.” Hargis graduated with a degree from the University of San Diego.