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(HONESDALE PA, February 3, 2006)… It had a funny name—Bottoms Up—but a recent panel discussion at Wayne Memorial Hospital on colorectal cancer couldn't have been more serious. Colorectal cancer rates in northeast Pennsylvania are higher than rates for the state and the U.S. as a whole. The discussion, aimed at healthcare workers, drew 55 physicians, nurses, nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and representatives of physician practices and health-related agencies.
“We gathered to share and increase our knowledge of colorectal cancer,” said Donna Decker, RN, Manager of Community Health at Wayne Memorial, “but there was also an underlying—and very urgent—message: how do we get colon cancer rates down in our community?”
The Northeast Regional Cancer Institute estimates colon cancer rates in Northeast Pennsylvania are 20% higher than the rest of the state, 23% higher than the U.S. average. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. It’s estimated that close to 57,000 Americans will die of colorectal cancer this year
“I deal routinely with patients who have or have had colon cancer, but I wasn’t aware until now just