NASHVILLE, Tenn. — AMSURG, a division of Envision Healthcare and a national leader in outpatient care, is continuing its mission to help people maintain their health and raise awareness about the importance of timely, appropriate screenings in the fight against colorectal cancer. AMSURG and its national network of gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons performed more than 1 million colonoscopies in 2022, helping people prevent, detect and overcome colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., and the American Cancer Society predicts that 52,550 people will die from it in 2023. However, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Timely screenings – especially colonoscopies – play a significant role in an individual’s chance of beating colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is the most accurate and effective screening method. During the procedure, a physician can examine the entire length of the colon, remove a polyp before it becomes cancerous and detect and sometimes remove cancerous polyps, giving people a greater opportunity to survive.
“Our care teams have made a meaningful impact in countless patients’ lives, helping them prevent colorectal cancer, detect it and continue ongoing surveillance,” said John Popp, MD, Medical Director for AMSURG. “Still, so much work remains to educate people about gastrointestinal health and the importance of not delaying care. Even as people are making up for colonoscopies missed during the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know more people are being diagnosed younger and that many aren’t receiving their first screening at the recommended age of 45.”
Research on the increase in early-onset colorectal cancer by AMSURG and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai supports recommendations by the American Cancer Society and U.S. Preventative Services Task Force for individuals at average risk to begin screening at 45 instead of 50. However, AMSURG data shows that the average age of patients seen in its ambulatory surgery centers receiving their first screening is 57 – more than a decade late.
“As a 22-year colon cancer survivor, I’m begging people to get screened,” said Keith Lyons, an endoscopy technician at AMSURG’s Endoscopy Center of Red Bank in New Jersey. “I am living proof that you can survive and thrive. Nobody should have to experience what I did after being diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer at 32 – surgeries to remove my colon, chemotherapy and so much more. I am very thankful. Now, I fight every day to care for others and give them a chance to live.” Watch his story to learn more about his colon cancer journey and mission to care for and protect people.
“Our team’s dedication to caring deeply for patients and helping them navigate some of their most difficult times is truly inspiring,” said Jeff Snodgrass, President of AMSURG. “We all play a role in caring for one another and raising awareness. Talking more openly about the signs, risk factors and screening recommendations for colorectal cancer is important. In doing so, anyone, no matter who you are, can help save someone’s life.”
Individuals with a family or personal history of colorectal cancer or pre-malignant polyps are at a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer and need to be screened earlier and more frequently. That also applies to individuals with a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease. Colorectal cancer symptoms are not always noticeable, but they can include changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding and abdominal pain. Individuals should consult a physician if they are experiencing any signs or symptoms or have questions about when they should be screened. To learn more about colorectal cancer or where to schedule a colonoscopy, visit StopColonCancerNow.com.
AMSURG acquires, develops and operates ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) in partnership with physicians throughout the United States. AMSURG owns and operates more than 250 ASCs in 34 states and the District of Columbia with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopedics. To learn more about AMSURG, a division of Envision Healthcare Corporation, visit www.amsurg.com.
About Envision Healthcare Corporation
Envision Healthcare Corporation is a leading national medical group that delivers physician and advanced practice provider services, primarily in the areas of emergency and hospitalist medicine, anesthesiology, radiology/teleradiology and neonatology. As a leader in ambulatory surgical care, AMSURG holds ownership in more than 250 surgery centers in 34 states and the District of Columbia, with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopedics. In total, the medical group offers a differentiated suite of clinical solutions on a national scale with a local understanding of our communities, creating value for health systems, payers, providers and patients. For additional information, visit www.envisionhealth.com.