Community Joins Hospital for a Digestive Health and Colon Cancer Luncheon

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ORANGE CITY, Fla., May 6, 2016 On April 25, approximately 50 community members joined Florida Hospital Fish Memorial for a free colorectal cancer event featuring a physician panel of physicians, including gastroenterologist Dr. Raul Badillo, hematologist/oncologist Dr. Ernesto Bustinza-Linares, and radiation oncologist Dr. Irfan Ahmed.

Florida Hospital Fish Memorial oncology operations director Mike Brantley and cancer care navigator Holly Soucy served as the event's moderators.

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in our country. Colorectal cancer is expected to cause nearly 50,000 deaths this year alone, said Bustinza. Nowadays, we have newly more advanced ways to treat cancer including targeted and immune therapies. We also have access to plenty of clinical trials in our region to benefit our community.

We do not know the cause of most colorectal cancers, but it is likely related to changes in the genetic material the DNA in our cells. This change in DNA is related to our lifestyle, said Ahmed. This is why it is so important to lead a healthy lifestyle. This includes avoiding diets high in red meats and processed meats, staying physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding tobacco and alcohol.

Regular colorectal cancer screenings are one of the most powerful weapons against colorectal cancer. Its estimated that more than half of all cases of colorectal cancer could be prevented by regular colonoscopy screening, said Badillo. Even when not prevented, colon cancer in its early stages is highly treatable, with a five-year survival rate of 90 percent. However, due in part to people failing to get tested, only 39 percent of colon cancers are detected at this stage. So the important message here is to get tested.

About Florida Hospital Fish Memorial

Florida Hospital Fish Memorial is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 46 hospital campuses and nearly 8,200 licensed beds in 10 states. With 175-beds, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial is one of the six Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties that composes the Florida Hospital East Florida Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region has 899 beds and nearly 5,900 employees. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region collectively contributed nearly $120 million in benefits in 2015 to the underprivileged, the community's overall health and wellness and spiritual needs, and capital improvements.

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