After a year of possibly delayed colorectal cancer screenings due to theCOVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to raise awareness for colorectal cancer. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month- a time to raise awareness for colorectal cancer and the importance of routine, life-saving screenings.Renown invites the community to join the organization in helping put an end to the preventable disease. Blue is the designated color to bring awareness to colorectal cancer and those impacted by it. The iconic “LOVE” sculpture at the main entrance of Renown Regional Medical Center located at 1155 Mill Street in Reno, Nev. will shine brightly in blue each evening in March, serving as a visual reminder to passersby to schedule a colorectal screening. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance estimates 149,500 new cases of colon cancer will present in 2021 alone. While colorectal cancer may be the second deadliest cancer in men and women combined, it is also one of the most preventable cancers with screenings. “Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a decline in colorectal screenings nationwide,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President and CEO of Renown Health. “We know early detection is key in preventing the spread of any cancer, and with regular screenings, we know colorectal cancer is easily detectable and treatable. As a cancer survivor, I know how important it is to get back on track with regular screenings and preventive care. Making your health a priority now will help you experience a healthier and brighter tomorrow.” “We invite the community to join us at Renown in spreading awareness about colorectal cancer and its prevention,” said Susan Cox, director of cancer services at the Renown Institute for Cancer. “It takes all of us to put an end to colorectal cancer. If you’re up to date on your screenings, remind a loved one to schedule their next screening--as your reminder may have the power to save their life.” “Colorectal cancer usually forms from precancerous polyps, or abnormal growths, in the colon or rectum, which can become malignant without presenting any symptoms. Screening tests like stool tests, colonoscopies, and others can detect these precancerous polyps, so they can be removed by a physician before turning into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, resulting in better treatment outcomes,” says Christos Galanopoulos, M.D., MBA, oncologic surgeon, VP Renown Health & Chair of Surgery for Renown Health. Dr. Galanopoulos adds, “Most people begin screening for colorectal cancer after turning 50. However, some individuals may begin screenings earlier if they have an increased risk of colorectal cancer, such as a family history with the disease. Regardless of one’s personal or family history of colorectal cancer, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the right time to begin your screenings.” Max J. Coppes, MD, Cancer Center Director, Renown Institute for Cancer adds, “While routine screenings are the only way to determine colorectal health, some healthy habits may reduce your risk for colorectal cancer. These factors include maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, eating a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, limiting alcohol intake and not smoking.” Dr. Coppes explains that, “1 in 500 Americans will test positive for Lynch Syndrome, a genetic condition that raises your risk of colon cancer, endometrial cancer, and other cancers. It is also known as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer. People with Lynch Syndrome are also susceptible to colon polyps at a younger age. The Healthy Nevada Project research team is looking at the occurrence of important inherited genetic variants in our population that increase the risk of certain diseases. These include Familial Hypercholesterolemia, Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Syndrome and Lynch Syndrome.” To enroll in The Healthy Nevada Project, a clinical study (saliva test) offering the opportunity to learn about your ancestry, diet insights and genetic risks linked to heart disease and certain cancers, including prevention strategies, at no cost, enroll here. For a limited time, Nevada residents may request a free DNA test kit that will be shipped to your home. Renown experts encourage every adult to talk to their doctor about their colorectal cancer risk and screening options. Those looking to schedule a screening or establish care with a Renown primary care provider are invited to call us at 775-691-7308 or visit our website for more information. About Renown Health Renown Health is the region’s largest, locally owned and governed, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children’s hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest, locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown’s institute model addresses social determinants of health and includes: Child Health, Behavioral Health & Addiction, Healthy Aging and Health Innovation. Clinical institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular Heath and Neurosciences. Renown is currently enrolling participants in the world’s largest community-based genetic population health study, the Healthy Nevada Project®.