Petra Pohl didn’t realize when she launched her drive to raise colorectal cancer awareness that her NorthBay Healthcare surgeon, Courtney Chambers, M.D., had also made it his focus. It was a disease that hit close to home for Dr. Chambers, whose wife’s mother died at age 42 from metastatic colon cancer.
“An estimated 50,000 people will die of colorectal cancer this year. Many of these cancers could have been prevented if people had undergone screenings to detect precancerous polyps that can be removed,” said Dr. Chambers.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening begin at age 50. “We have diagnosed and treated patients for advanced colorectal cancer at NorthBay far too many times because they were never screened according to national guidelines,” he said. The overall incidence of colorectal cancer has declined 32 percent since 2000, proving that education and screenings are key.
“When the Quality Improvement Committee at the NorthBay Group under the guidance of Bruce Hewett, M.D., launched a screening initiative last year for colon cancer, I realized it would be helpful if I added my voice to the chorus as a surgeon,” said Dr. Chambers. “Prevention is better than a cure.”