Vivante Health Chief Medical Officer discusses the importance of colorectal cancer screenings, as well as his personal story.
For Dr. Hau Liu, Chief Medical Officer at Vivante Health, Colorectal Cancer Awareness month isn’t just another health awareness month – it’s personal.
“A close family member of mine was diagnosed with colon cancer. We were devastated and we were also lucky – although it was pretty advanced, he was able to receive effective treatment. Looking back, with appropriate screening, it’s possible that the cancer could have been completely avoided. It’s important that people recognize excellent screening options exist to prevent cancer, or detect it at an earlier stage when it is more treatable.”
But just how prevalent is colon cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, it’s the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 26 for women.
“This is especially important as currently only slightly more than a third of new colorectal cancers are diagnosed at an early stage,” says Liu.
At Vivante, we want to close the gap of the more than 30% of people who aren’t getting required colorectal cancer screenings that could help prevent unnecessary deaths. (In 2023, there will be more than 50,000 predicted deaths). We’re doing that by offering GIThrive, our digital platform that was designed to provide complete care for everyone feeling the burden and stress from digestive health issues.
In the program, we provide educational content and reminders for people to get screenings depending on their risk factors. We also make it easy for members to get screened.
“We’ll send a CRC screening kit directly to your home without having to see a doctor first if this is clinically appropriate for you,” says Liu.
Not only will this help us save lives, it will help cut down on the rising costs of healthcare, too. Studies show that treatment of early stage colorectal cancer can save upwards of $44,000 compared to later stage cancer.
Bottom line: Colon Cancer Awareness Month is a crucial time to increase public awareness about colon cancer and promote screening and prevention. By working together to raise awareness, we can reduce the incidence and mortality of colon cancer and improve the overall health of our communities.
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