RICHMOND, Va. -- MEDARVA Stony Point Surgery Center will perform 30 free colonoscopies on August 16 in an event called “Bringing Up the Rear." The medical facility partnered with Access Now and HCB2 (Hitting Cancer Below the Belt) to provide colonoscopies to patients chosen either through meeting the medical criteria for needing one, or who don’t meet the insurance needs to pay for one.
This event is coming to fruition as a result of Melinda Conklin, Dr. Andrew Vorenberg with Colon and Rectal Specialists, and MEDARVA’s passion for raising colon cancer awareness and compassion for educating and helping the community.
The money was raised for “Bringing Up the Rear” day colonoscopies through HCB2’s 5-k Boxer Brief Run.
This is the first time the event is being hosted, but Access Now hopes to orchestrate this three or four times a year in the future.
Many adults are uncomfortable talking about their colon, Dr. Vorenberg said.
"They wonder ‘what do I do if they find something?’ And I think it’s gross to a lot of people," he said. "They just don’t want to talk about it and don’t want to get involved with it.”
More than 131,000 people were diagnosed with colorectal, or colon cancer in 2010, according to the American Cancer Society. More than 52,000 of those who were diagnosed died.
Colon cancer the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. One in 20 adults will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime.
A lack of physical activity and poor diet may contribute to an increased risk, but the biggest factor is your age. That is why doctors recommend everyone get a colonoscopy at or before age 50.
“We don’t really know what causes colon cancer,” Dr. Vorenberg said. “We know family history plays a part, so anyone with a family history should be screened earlier and more often.”