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Allina Medical Clinic -Hastings launches colorectal cancer screening awareness initiative

Colorectal cancer has a new enemy, the CRCS-WISDM Project, a community-based health improvement initiative in Hastings. The project is meant to combat colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., by encouraging more people to get screened for colorectal cancer.

"Colorectal cancer is the No. 2 cancer killer in the United States, but it doesn't have to be," said Jennie Orr, MD, Allina Medical Clinic - Hastings. "Colorectal cancer is among the most preventable of all cancers, but screening is vital to prevention. Both men and women should start getting screened at 50 years of age. The facts are, though, that as many as one out of two Hastings residents between 50 and 75 years of age are not screened."

A colorectal cancer screening test can:

• Identify people who are more likely to have or develop colorectal cancer even if they do not have symptoms.

• Find pre-cancerous polyps (growths) so they can be removed before they ever turn into colorectal cancer.

• Find colorectal cancer at an early stage when the chance of being cured is high.

The goal of the CRCS-WISDM Project - Colorectal Cancer Screening With Improved Shared Decision Making, is to empower individuals to make personalized, informed medical decisions about colorectal cancer screening that are consistent with their values, preferences, and best available medical information, in collaboration with their healthcare team and other important people in their life. CRCS-WISDM is a community-based project and you do not have to be an Allina patient to benefit from it.

Orr says information is key, so CRCS-WISDM has created a web site,, where visitors can find information about colorectal cancer, screening options, shared decision making and local resources.

There is also a CRCS-WISDM community call-in line, (651) 438-1699, so Hastings-area residents have access to a live healthcare professional during regular business hours to ask questions about colorectal cancer and screening options.

Allina Medical Clinic - Hastings has also made changes designed to make it easier for patients to follow through with care and involve them in the decision making process including mailed pre-visit information and one-on-one coaching sessions for those who are undecided about their screening options.

"We want Hastings community members to be informed, to feel comfortable talking to their family doctor about colorectal cancer so they can make the right choices for themselves and their family," Orr said. "Colorectal cancer can be deadly, but it's so easy to prevent. We owe it to ourselves and our families to make the effort to learn about colorectal cancer screening and then have that talk with our doctor."