Death stalks Rim Country — so Payson Regional Medical Center and the Senior Circle want to organize a posse.
Well, not a posse exactly — more like a community meeting designed to help people deal with colorectal cancer — the third leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women in the United States.
Last year, 141,210 people learned they had colorectal cancer and 49,000 people died of the malady, according to the American Cancer Society.
Moreover, 90 percent of new cases and 94 percent of deaths occur in individuals 50 years of age and older. The incidence rate of colorectal cancer is more than 15 times higher in adults 50 years and older than in those 20 to 49 years.
Fortunately, screening can prevent many of these cancers and dramatically reduce death rates.
In fact, through colonoscopy, doctors can detect and remove precancerous polyps, which has resulted in a steady decline in cases of colon cancer nationwide.
Early colorectal cancer often has no symptoms, which makes screening crucial.
To help residents learn more about colon cancer, screening and prevention, PRMC and the Senior Circle will present a special program Wednesday, April 18.
Speakers include Dr. Ihor Zakaluzny, from Payson Surgery Associates, and Mary McMullen, PRMC dietician.
Dr. Zakaluzny will discuss the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer, plus treatment and the importance of routine screenings.
McMullen will prepare and demonstrate foods that can help keep the colon healthy. Participants will even get a chance to taste the foods.
The event will include a presentation at The Senior Circle, 215 N. Beeline Highway, for its members
from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
A second, free presentation for the public will run from from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the conference room in the administration building of PRMC.
Call (928) 472-9290 to reserve a seat.