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Putnam Daily Voice serves Brewster, Carmel-Kent, Cold Spring, Mahopac, Patterson & Putnam Valley
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Open Door Aims To Increase Westchester Cancer Screenings

From left to right: Daren Wu, CMO, Open Door; Lindsey Farrell, CEO, Open Door; Lea Cassarino, Hudson Valley Cancer Services Program Director; Alvaro Carrascal, VP of Health Systems for the American Cancer Society in New York.
From left to right: Daren Wu, CMO, Open Door; Lindsey Farrell, CEO, Open Door; Lea Cassarino, Hudson Valley Cancer Services Program Director; Alvaro Carrascal, VP of Health Systems for the American Cancer Society in New York. Photo Credit: Submitted

Open Door Community Health Centers signed a pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates in Westchester and Putnam counties.

Open Door is supporting the 80 percent by 2018 initiative, led by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC).

“Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem, and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it, but we have found that many people aren’t getting tested because they don’t believe they are at risk, don’t understand that there are testing options or don’t think they can afford it,” said Alvaro Carrascal, VP of Health Systems for the American Cancer Society. “Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 50 and older should get tested. There are several screening options – even take home options – available. Plus, many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening and there may be local resources available to help those that are uninsured.”

The pledge signing occurred at the Relay For Life in Ossining on June 25.

Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths, however, it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented.

“We are thrilled to join the cause to improve colorectal cancer screening rates,” said Daren Wu, Open Door’s Chief Medical Officer. “We are asking all members of our community to come together and join Open Door Family Medical Centers by getting screened and talking to your friends and family who are over 50 years of age about getting screened. Together, we can help to eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.”

The 80 by 2018 is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable initiative in which over 500 organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of 80 percent of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

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