Crouse Hospitalâ??s clock tower goes blue for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Crouse Hospital is lighting its clock tower blue for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March.

Crouse Hospital, in partnership with Onondaga Countyâ??s Cancer Services Program, is one of several local establishments participating in â??Downtown Syracuse Goes Blue.â??

Crouse Hospital is participating in â??Downtown Syracuse Goes Blueâ?? by lighting the clock tower in blue to help raise awareness about this preventable, treatable disease.

Local Cancer Services Program partnerships will also be hosting screening events for uninsured and underinsured men and women aged 50 and older.

Crouse Hospital says that colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US although it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented through the use of screening tests.

According to the CDC, 142,672 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2007, and 53,219 people died from it. Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and rectum.

The Cancer Services Program of the NYS Department of Health is launching a colorectal cancer awareness initiative called Main Streets Go Blue in twelve New York communities. Participating communities will turn their main street areas blue to promote colorectal cancer awareness.

In addition to Crouse Hospital, the American Cancer Society's Central NY Region, National Grid, Key Bank and the Crowne Plaza Hotel will be lighting up blue this March.

According to the CDC, the risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age; over 90% of cases occur in people over the age of 50.

The CDC estimates that as many as 60% of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if all individuals over the age of 50 were screened routinely.

Not having insurance is not a problem in Onondaga County, due to colorectal cancer screenings provided free of charge by the Cancer Services Program at 435-3653.

Learn more about colorectal cancer from the CDC, about cancer screenings from the Onondaga County Health Department, and more information from the American Cancer Society.